The culture of eating out is ever-evolving and has drastically changed over the years, especially as the pandemic hit. What lies ahead?
Yes, the year 2022 is drawing to an end already, and with everything else that has evolved in the year, can dining and entertainment be behind? We’ve sampled NFT meals, embraced cloud kitchens, indulged in clean eating, and more. But now we want meals that up the experience quotient of dining out. We speak to experts in the region, who share their predictions for 2023.
Premium experiences will be the key
“With a more premium experience comes the expectation of premium dining for the guests. Venues must keep this in mind. In 2023, I feel many places will begin to focus on this element,” said Jacques Geagea, director of operations (Nightlife Division), DREAM Dubai, Address Beach Resort, JBR. Jacques added, “It is important to complete your meal with great entertainment. This gives the customer an all-round exceptional experience if done correctly. Especially since guests plan a night out where they know entertainment is at play.” DREAM brings magic and fantasy to life with spectacular 3D visual mapping, captivating performances, and acrobatic dancers alongside exquisite Mediterranean cuisine and bespoke beverages.
In 2023, people will wish to have even more pleasant emotions and impressions. And those projects that can meet this demand will be successful, coming up with unusual mixes of different activities.
Yulia Maksimovich, CEO, Host Theatre
The right mix
"In 2023, we must cut out the white noise and focus on the fundamentals of a great dining experience. Ask ourselves, why are we going out? For food? The experience? For the family to have fun together and make memories? From there, the puzzle can form to fit what you are looking for out of the restaurant," said Andrea Strim, General Manager, Grand Millennium Business Bay.
Ever since the pandemic, dinner shows have gradually replaced the nightlife scene in Dubai. For 2023, I think this will be a continued trend not only here, but worldwide. As more and more restaurants introduce this aspect, nightclubs will also intensify their entertainment to keep up with the competition.
Jacques Geagea, Director of Operations (Nightlife Division), DREAM Dubai
Appeal to refined palates
"With the arrival of many talents and concepts from different parts of the world to the country, people’s palates are becoming more sophisticated and discerning," said Lynn Lin, co-owner, Electric Pawn Shop, a counter-culture Asian Mediterranean restaurant, The H Dubai Hotel. She added how in terms of cuisine, there is a continuously growing trend for Asian-inspired venues that focus on lesser commercialised cuisine such as Thai, Indonesian, Korean etc.
We are focusing on the dining experience where food is the hero and the rest complement this. Multi-sensory gastronomy experience is great now and again, but we want to go back to the traditions of great food, and an incredible dining experience.
Andrea Strim, General Manager, Grand Millennium Business Bay
Being recognised as a great restaurant is no longer limited to the “luxury” segment. People are now more attentive when it comes to the overall dining experience — considering all factors including quality, vibe and price. In response to that, I think that smaller-scale, high-end but casual dining restaurants will gain a stronger hold in the Dubai market.
Lynn Lin, co-owner, Electric Pawn Shop, The H Dubai Hotel
Arts and creativity at the fore
“An essential factor that will influence the development of the entertainment industry next year is that people in Dubai want to see even more projects in art and creativity. We realised this by collecting feedback. With all of Dubai’s beauty, there is still not enough intellectually and artistically affluent leisure. And this will be just the direction that will develop,” said Yulia Maksimovich, CEO, Host Theatre, a brand that specialises in creating theatrical excursions, suite parties, and customised theatrical events. Yulia added, “Art spaces and galleries (which guests have already visited after the pandemic) will have to find new ways to attract the old audience, which means they will come up with unusual experiments and create collaborations with other market players.”