Skift Take

Dubai gets a dedicated episode on 'Somebody Feed Phil'; right at the time that Dubai Tourism is going big on food.

Dubai’s booming restaurant sector has its own 50-minute episode in a Netflix show out Friday: The seventh season of ‘Somebody Feed Phil,’ a travel show where Philip Rosenthal (creator of the sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’) tours restaurants across major global cities.

The episode opens with a shot of the Palm Jumeirah island, followed by the government-owned hotels Atlantis The Royal and Atlantis The Palm.

Rosenthal’s first meal is a superlative one: “One of the most expensive burgers in the world” at “one of the world’s tallest restaurants,” he explains. That particular meal was at Atmosphere, a restaurant on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, where he has a burger wrapped in gold leaf.

The shot was organized by local PR and the international comms team of Dubai Tourism, according to a Linkedin post from one of the representatives involved.

The episode goes on to showcase more affordable eats in the city, as well as a range of local dishes. High prices in the city have been a concern, but Dubai Tourism noted the range of affordable options and called it “a marketing issue” at the Skift Global Forum East 2023 in December.

The emirate already has a dedicated show on Netflix called ‘Dubai Bling’ – a reality show following socialites living it up, now in its second season. The show has mixed reviews.

Dubai Tourism Backs Gastro-Tourism

Gastronomic tourism is one of Dubai’s newest branches of travel, and one the city is immensely focused on nailing. For years, luxury hotels and high-end shopping got all the attention of travelers. But by 2022, Dubai leaders began to hone in on gastronomy. That year, food guides Gault & Millau and Michelin Guide both entered Dubai, as did the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants, which included 18 Dubai restaurants on its inaugural list.

Michelin Guide Dubai was brought to the city through a partnership between Michelin and Dubai Tourism in the summer of 2022. By November of that year, UAE capital city Abu Dhabi also partnered with Michelin through its tourism department.

In October 2023, Abu Dhabi put $100 million behind its own Culinary Investment Fund (ADCIF) to attract more top chefs into the emirate. The money is being used to “co-invest” with local investors in global restaurant names, brands and culinary schools to set up in the city.

Experts state that Dubai’s restaurant boom has been driven by its tourism success story. As more and more travelers fly in from all over, the city has become a melting pot of cuisines.

In the episode, Rosenthal visits Atlantis The Palm, dining at Ossiano, considered one of the best restaurants in the city. Rosenthal says in the scene: “Our dinner starts with wine…expect this wine is alcohol-free, because it’s a Muslim country.”

Ossiano does have a license to serve alcohol, as do many restaurants within Dubai’s five-star hotels.


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Tags: Dubai Tourism, hospitality news, hotel news, netflix

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