It is hard to believe that approximately fifty years ago a big desert with nomadic Bedouins was in place of the modern United Arab Emirates. The prosperity of this region is explained by discovering oil deposits there. Nowadays the United Arab Emirates is an amazing country with its own culture and traditions. One of the largest parts in the service sector of the United Arab Emirates economy is the hospitality industry. It is developing rapidly in this country. The current hospitality trends are represented by hotels, restaurants, airlines, tour operators, resorts, and cruise ships. As the United Arab Emirates belongs to those countries that are mostly attended by tourists, a large amount of hotels, restaurants, and theme parks appear there. This fact influences the current hospitality trends. Luxury hotels have been opened this year, and they provide all amenities to the tourist. Special attention should be paid to a large variety of restaurants that attract citizens and tourists with a wide choice of food.
The main food trends in the United Arab Emirates were formed due to a specific climate and geographical location. Emirati families ate foods available to them. Fish, lamb, goat, and dates were standard (King 2008). Several varieties of grilled fish, including grouper, mackerel, and mullet, have traditionally been eaten in the region (Darraj & Puller 2009). The oil boom resulted in a lot of immigrants coming to the United Arab Emirates, and they brought their own culinary traditions. This fact explains a huge amount of dishes from different cuisines.
Almost all dishes are added varied spices like onion, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and herbs. Olive oil is primarily used for preparing foods. One of the unique flavors of traditional cooking was imparted by dried limes (King 2008). All of these reach Arab cooking traditions have remained until nowadays, and such dishes are submitted in modern Dubai restaurants.
As Dubai is a growing city, the restaurant industry is also developing swiftly there. A good economic situation and population increase have an influence on expanding the number of restaurants. International food and restaurants are plentiful, and it is an opportunity for people to choose dishes from the Arab or international cuisine, such as Italian, French, Chinese, and Indian (Darraj & Puller 2009). It is worth to admit that restaurants offer dishes at low prices.
The latest research shows that consumers’ top favored cuisines are Indian, Lebanese, Chinese, and American, consecutively (Hamdan 2015). Nowadays people prefer quick service restaurants, and fine dining is not popular. Craft and artisan foods also attract customers, which are looking for unique and fresh ingredients. Restaurants in Dubai are different and propose a rich menu to visitors, which can find their proper dishes. The Cocoa Room that has recently opened in Dubai offers only breakfasts. This restaurant has a long list that includes dishes with eggs, sandwiches, pancakes and homemade doughnuts. Busaba Eathai is a restaurant that offers various salads, soups, chargrilled dishes, curries, and rice dishes.
The local food trends are determined by many factors such as political and cultural life, economic situation, and individual preferences. Food availability depends on the political factor. Dubai is a tourist-oriented city; that is why, for satisfying tourist tastes a lot of various foods are available. It is forbidden to eat pork in Dubai according to its citizens’ cultural and religious beliefs. Economic circumstances affect the food trends too. Because income levels rise, more foods are available to people. Individual preferences, habits, and family customs also have an influence on the current food trends.
The United Arab Emirates is heavily influenced by Lebanese dishes. Typical ingredients are beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, rice, nuts (pistachios), dates, yoghurt and spices
(Benesh 2008). Meat dishes are various in Dubai and mostly represent the Arab cuisine. Ja-sha, Je-shed, Saloona, and Fogga became popular in 2015. The menu of many restaurants contains these tasty dishes. Their rich flavor impresses both citizens and tourists. Vegetables are widely used in Arab cooking. Restaurants offer to taste such dishes as Fig-aa, Fa-la-fel, and Dhal. Fig-aa is prepared with wild desert truffles that are gathered amidst brackens in desert areas of the United Arab Emirates. Among popular diary dishes in Dubai, there are Laban, Chammi, and Robe. Chammi is prepared in an unusual way. This cottage cheese made by skimming the cream off fresh laban, then putting it into a churn from animal skin (Benesh 2008).
Traditional Arab coffee, called kabwa, is offered to a guest as a symbol of hospitality and is also an important component of midday meals (King 2008). A specific method of preparing coffee with spices gives exotic flavor to this drink. The top best dishes in Dubai in 2015 are mutton achar handi, pan-seared scallops, rice cheong fun, pink diamond oysters, ryoog yerana, koshari, shaksouka, carrot cake, and smoked peppered mackerel spread (Ten best dishes in Dubai 2015). Vegetables and seafood are commonly used to prepare them.
A delicious milk and honey dessert is also popular in Dubai. On paper, Greek yoghurt and sumac panna cotta with a side of honey and saffron pashmak seem a simple arrangement, but once plated, it becomes a towering treat, panna cotta both tart and creamy, with dense Turkish pashmak on the top adorning a dessert glass (Ten best dishes in Dubai 2015).
People put efforts to have a healthy lifestyle. It is the reason why nutrient food will dominate next year. Predictably, dishes prepared with vegetables or seafood will be a food trend next year. There will also be clients’ preference for fresh, seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables bought from selected farms only (Boghos 2015). The use of heavily processed foods will be reduced in cooking.
Another reason for changing food trends is the willing to eat some new dishes. Restaurants add to their menus dishes from different cuisines, among which Mexican and Asian ones are gaining popularity. Fish and meat such as Dover sole, oxtail and ossobucco have experienced resurgence (Boghos 2015). It is trendier to try different types of fish like turbot, halibut, and wild sea bass. Therefore, people’s preference for high quality ingredients in 2014 is a trend in 2015 that will also continue next year. Restaurants should diversify their dishes due to citizens’ and tourists’ tastes.
Dubai is one of the most developed cities in the United Arab Emirates. The hospitality industry is rapidly growing there. Luxury hotels and different restaurant and theme parks are opened for satisfying tourist requirements. The number of tourists increases every year, and it has caused the hospitality trends discussed in the report. Dubai restaurants offer many dishes that do not only represent Arab cuisine, but foreign as well. The current food trends depend on the politic, cultural, economic situation, and individual choice. Many Arab dishes are popular among citizens and tourists. However, the most preferred cuisine in 2015 is Indian, Lebanese, Chinese, and American. Nowadays many people intend to have a healthy lifestyle, and one of its main components is nutrient food. This decision makes dishes that consist from fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood very popular among citizens and tourists. Such food trend is inherent into the Arabic cuisine this year and in the nearest future.