The Ivy and Le Caprice, two bastions of London’s culinary scene, and amongst the city’s most popular celebrity haunts, have recently announced that they will be marking their international debuts by opening in Dubai. As the first of several new catering ventures are unveiled, other renowned restaurants such as Yauatcha, The Wolseley and Mahiki are also rumoured to be joining the host of other celebrated chefs and restaurateurs who have chosen the emirate as a global platform to showcase their food. And with celebrity chefs Nobu Matsuhisa, Giorgio Locatelli, Gary Rhodes and Gordon Ramsey, all contributing to Dubai’s position as the ‘cuisine capital’ of the Middle East, the emirate continues to showcase its culinary prowess.
Located at the crossroads between East and West, Dubai is a melting pot of cuisines: from classical European through to indigenous Middle Eastern dishes and food from the Pacific Rim. Furthermore, its position as one of the world’s leading destinations, both for business and leisure travel, means that Dubai has been chosen as the site for many flagship international restaurants and critically acclaimed chefs, often affiliated to one or other of the emirate’s myriad luxury hotels. For example, the Michelin starred Gary Rhodes heads up Rhodes Mezzanine at Grosvenor House, and Gordon Ramsey presides over Verre at Hilton Dubai Creek, whilst elsewhere the Burj al Arab and Ritz Carlton are also renowned for fine dining.
With each new project that is announced, Dubai becomes more desirable and yet more top restaurants are drawn to the emirate. When Kerzner’s Atlantis (located on the Palm Jumeirah) opens in the autumn, it will bring a further seventeen restaurants, bars and lounges to Dubai. Headlining these are Nobu Atlantis, whose Asian-fusion cuisine has seen it become world-renowned with a celebrity status that is matched by its famous clientele; joining Nobu will be Ronda Locatelli, a fashionably fun Italian restaurant run by charismatic chef Giorgio Locatelli, Santi Santimaria’s signature seafood restaurant Ossiano and Rostang - The French Brasserie, by acclaimed French restaurateur Michel Rostang.
And now, Richard Caring’s Caprice Holdings (whose umbrella includes J. Sheekey, Daphne’s, Bam Bou and Scott’s) have signed a deal with Tatweer to open branches of The Ivy and Le Caprice in Dubailand when it opens in 2010. Elsewhere, plans to unveil renowned restaurateur Alan Yau’s Michelin-starred dim-sum restaurant Yauatcha are in the pipeline and Piers Adam’s Polynesian-themed nightclub Mahiki, playground of the Britain’s rich and famous, including Princes William and Harry, is rumoured to be opening in Dubai in the near future. Further down the line, Dubai is also set to mark the international debut of The Wolseley when it is rolled out overseas.
Ian Scott, director of the UK and Ireland representative office for the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, comments that “The breadth of cuisine and fusion of flavours and cultures is important as a means of promoting the versatility of Dubai. And it is testament to the host of exciting new developments that so many of the world’s top Michelin-starred chefs are competing to open restaurants in the emirate. With a thriving culinary scene that already boasts almost five hundred restaurants within its luxury hotels, it is hoped that as the emirate’s reputation continues to grow, more top eateries will be drawn to Dubai.”
Dubai boasts the world’s finest gastronomic delights: from hobnobbing in Celebrities at The Palace to sipping sake in Creekside at the Sheraton Dubai, or simply grabbing a bite of baklava from a street-side souk. Dubai’s ability to cater for all tastes means that visitors are spoilt for choice and really can expect the best.