The Hungry Tourist is delighted to present:
The Food Paradise of Dubai
WITH REZA NAMAZI
Regions explored: UAE – Dubai, Sharjah
Length: 5 days
Date: January 16th to 21st, 2023
Availability: Limited to 12 guests
❀ An opportunity to explore one of the world’s most unique culinary destinations.
❀ Savor in one city the grand cuisines of the Levant (Persian, Iraqi, Syria, Lebanese, Palestinian, Saudi, and Emirati)
❀ Experience the best of the ethnic cuisines that developed over the last 50 years in the UAE (Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Afghan, and Thai)
❀ Spend time in the intimate company of interesting and like-minded people from all over the world.
❀ A journey through hidden gems guided by the Hungry Tourist and his gang of local experts.
Many people have the pre-conception of Dubai as just host to second branches world’s glitziest and famous restaurants. Indeed, there are many of those in Dubai, but these are not why food lovers should travel to Dubai.
What makes Dubai so special is the plethora of ethnic restaurants of the highest possible level.
Think about it. 85% of Dubai’s population came from other countries, actually, from about every single country on earth. These people who came to improve their economic situation, made Dubai their home.
So the next logical step for them was to bring over from their home countries the most talented cooks and chefs so they can enjoy their financial success with “food from home”. That flow of talent and original raw materials over the last half-century resulted in the most varied, diverse, and authentic ethnic culinary landscape.
In fact, stringent quality control standards and the use of the best ingredients have resulted in many ex-pats saying that they prefer the food in Dubai to their home countries.
Where else in the world can you enjoy Iraqi, Persian, Lebanese, Syrian, Emirati, Saudi, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Chinese, and Afghani restaurants of the highest level on the same day?
It is virtually impossible for one person to intimately know everything Dubai offers. The selection is just too vast and deep. But when I say that, I can’t include in this generalization my good friend and food compass, Reza Namazi.
Reza Namazi is an Iranian of Iranian-Iraqi heritage on his father’s side and Anglo-Indian on his mother’s. To top that off, he was born in India (he jokes that he was “made in India”).
Reza’s colorful lineage very much encompasses the multicultural spirit of Dubai where he has been a resident since the early 90’s – he has not just witnessed the stellar growth of this desert metropolis but has been an active part of it, especially on the culinary front where he has visited in excess of 2,000+ restaurants in Dubai alone.
Reza is an avid writer and restaurant reviewer (aka Xerxes The Ravenous), Reza has documented many of the restaurants he has visited in his blog and for food-related sites like Zomato where he was the #1 reviewer for many years.
The history of the Persians and Arabs is intertwined in culture, religion, trade, and of course – food, and dates back centuries.
Persian bakeries, restaurants, and cafés have dotted the Dubai skyline from when the city was a sleepy trading post to the international metropolis it has grown into today, serving succulent kababs, hearty stews, and an array of delectable rice dishes.
The grandest cuisine of the Levant.
Text will be updated soon.
They say the best diet is the Mediterranean diet. Lebanese cuisine is the ultimate Mediterranean cuisine because it incorporates fresh vegetables, Mediterranean fish, and beautiful olive oil.
There are literally a hundred or more mezze dishes each more delicious than the other. If you’re a vegan, Lebanese cuisine is ideal because there are so many salad and vegetable options to choose from.
If you’re not a vegan you can try their raw meats and raw kibbeh which is delicious. Lebanese cuisine is levant cuisine done to perfection. Let’s not forget they make a mean hummus!
Iraqi cuisine is one of the most ancients in the world, if not the most. Actually, recipes found on Mesopotamian tablets are considered the first cookbooks in history.
Today, the cuisine of Iraq reflects this rich foundation as well as influences from the culinary traditions of neighboring Persia, Turkey, and the Syria region area.
The meal is always a sharing meal and begins with appetizers and salads, then a vast variety of stews, soups with or without Kubbah/Kibbeh (minced meat ground with bulghur, semolina, wheat or rice, stuffed with more spiced meat). Stuffed vegetable dishes such as Mehasha (Dolma) are also popular.
The most famous dish today is without a doubt the Masgûf (fatty river fish spiced with curry powder, pepper, and tamarind then grilled upright in front of a bonfire.
Indian cuisine is as diverse as the country itself and has been well represented in Dubai through decades of Indian settlements, starting with those who arrived by ship in the 1970s.
From street style chaat food to modern fine dining and everything in between, there are over 2000 restaurants serving food from all parts of/ NSEW India.
For never has one city seen such a vibrant mix of all ethnicities, not only from India but nationalities from all around the world, bringing their food and culture to this melting pot.
Seafood has been the mainstay of the Emirati diet for centuries. The United Arab Emirates cuisine is a reflection of a great Arabian heritage and vast exposure to civilizations over time.
Meat, fish, and rice are the staple foods of the Emirati cuisine. Lamb and mutton are the more favored meats, than goat, beef, and Camel meat.
Usually, Dates are consumed with meals. Popular beverages are coffee and tea, which can be supplemented with cardamom, saffron, or mint to give it a distinct flavor.
Dubai boasts a multitude of cultures from around the world and many from Asia. The city has authentic Chinese, Pakistani, Thai, Afghani, Sri Lankan, Malay, Indonesian restaurants along with many other small pockets of gems from the rest of Asia.
You can also find everything from British roasts to Japanese ramen, with a mix of locally sourced and internationally exported ingredients.
The City of Gold is the City of Food, with street food to casual eateries and high end fine dining options, something to suit every kind of diner.
The multi-course tasting menus are at par with global dine dining, and the ambiance and vibes are unique to the city.
The gems lie in the street eats from all parts of the world, whether it’s hummus and shawarma from Lebanon, chaat from India, or noodles from Thailand.
In my humble opinion, the best fine dining experience in Dubai.
Tresind Studio was created by Chef Himanshu Saini and his team with the aim of showcasing Modernist Indian cuisine in an intimate setting. The studio brings together seasonal menus, elevated techniques, and world-class service to provide a fine dining experience in Dubai like no other, for just 20 guests per seating.
The Dubai EDITION marks a significant expansion for the brand into the Middle East’s most popular travel destination. Situated in Downtown Dubai, the hotel is located in one of the city’s most popular locations, opposite the world-famous Dubai Mall.
Designed with LW Design Group, the hotel features 275 guestrooms and suites. The property is home to multiple food and beverage outlets, pool, spa and fitness center, in addition to dynamic events spaces boasting meeting rooms and a flexible ballroom
Itinerary and Hotels
The Dubai Edition Hotel: From Jan 16 to 21, 2023
Kick-off meal: Lunch at 12:00 on Jan 16.
Last meal: Lunch at 12:00 on Jan 21
Price includes all food, non-alcoholic beverages, taxes, service charges, domestic transportation, and 4 nights of accommodation.
Price does not include airfare and any travel or medical insurance.
Extra nights: in Dubai Edition Hotel before or after the tour can be booked in advance at special rates.
A Note on Set Menus
The menus offered during the tour are selected by The Hungry Tourist with the help of our local partners. We believe they represent the best culinary fare Dubai has to offer. Guests may order outside of these menus at their own expense.
A non-refundable deposit of USD 1000 per person will be charged upon reservation.
The balance will be charged to your credit card 60 days prior to the first day of the tour.
Cancellation Policy and Penalties
If cancellation is received up to 30 days before the first day of the tour, the deposit will be forfeited.
If cancellation is received up to 10 days before the first day of the tour, a penalty fee of 50% of the remaining balance will be charged. If cancellation notice is received within 10 days of the first day of the tour or the guest is a no-show, the entirety of the remaining balance will be charged.
We have three types of friends in life: Friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime. There are not many words that can describe the phenomenal tour of David Dudi Califa, “The Hungry Tourist”.
Today we finished five days in Dubai of amazing food, flavors, cultures, colors, and most of all – amazing people. It was my first time in Dubai, and there were so many different things I heard about this location – and I imagined so many things regarding it before I came. But nothing could prepare me for “The hungry Tourist” way of showing you a location.
It takes you to places that not even all the locals know about. Dudi has local friends everywhere who join the trip, help, guide and recommend the best places in town. Food was unbelievable: in 5 days we ate so many different foods of so many different cultures that after you finish the tour and finish eating with Dudi Calfia – it will be super hard to go back and eat stuff as we ate before we meet him.
And above all – Dudi is one of a kind, a true friend that stays for life, starts from food, and ends with the best human relationship you ever meet. I highly recommend to everyone to try the Dubai tour of “The Hungry Tourist” – as Dubai is an amazing location with so much food and different cultures to show.
And me? I already booked my next trip with “The Hungry Tourist”. Thanks for all Dudi – never could have a better Dubai than with you!
I just came back from a 5 days phenomenal tour in Dubai with The Hungry Tourist, aka Dudi Califa. It was my first time there, but it was the most impactful experience I could have imagined.
Experiencing Dubai with Dudi (yes, Dudi, he is now a friend for life) is so multidimensional! I felt like I was getting to know the city from above and from deep within, getting to various hidden gems I bet even locals might not know.
The food was beyond what words could describe but what I really take home are the memories, the company, the diversity, the warm welcome, and the hospitality of Dudi and his loyal local friends, which made this trip so special.
The most memorable stop for me was also the most emotional one- our feast @Reza. I grew up on Persian food but Reza really took it to another level and brought back happy distant memories through his amazing dishes.
I Can’t wait for the next trip to Turkey!