As a direct impact of the advances in the culinary industry, hotels have to not only keep up, but stay ahead of the game in order to satisfy each and every diner.

Hilal pinpointed, "Spearheading the growth in Dubai's food and beverage industry, the city is introducing a world-class portfolio of dining options and entertainment, and therefore hotels have to ensure they attract the right food and beverage offering for the guests with growing expectations."

Hotels are quick to identify the latest up and coming food trends, as Patmore explained, "With the evergrowing popularity of brunch in the city, in 2016, JW Marriot Marquis Hotel Dubai launched its biggest brunch yet, the Wanderlust Brunch at the Garden, [with 10 live stations and 360 dishes]."

Moreover, Sam Jones, complex sales director, Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, drew attention to the importance of collaboration with food experts, such as its participation in FooDiva's Dine Around Dubai tours and its dedicated programme of hosting renowned international guest chefs to create bespoke dinners.

Following the launch of packages to increase average length of stay as well as a huge demand from groups requesting stays on a full board basis, Deere outlined, "Due to these offers, we have seen a rise in hotel guests dining in our hotel restaurants, particularly Benihana, a unique Teppanyaki dinner and show concept."

Although novel dining concepts are attractive, travellers also seek genuine, local gastronomy that offers a true taste of the destination.

Committed to offer guests an authentic experience, Riad abi Haider, general manager, Manzil Downtown Dubai, said, "All the dining outlets are incredibly different and unique in their own ways, but the real focus is on bringing people together to enjoy traditions and flavours inspired by the region."

Meanwhile, eager to please the most seasoned of diners, Armani Hotel Dubai offers seven food and beverage concepts for its guests, ranging from a formal restaurant to a vibrant lounge bar, illustrated Kirby, who further acclaimed, "Dubai offers the most cosmopolitan selection of dining options in the region [...]."

Importantly, as a destination popular among a broad range of nationalities, with 2016 seeing significant arrival increases among key source markets such as Saudi Arabia, the UK, China and South Asia, up six percent, 20 percent, 20 percent and 13 percent, respectively, hotels strive to please all palates.

Elaborating on this idea, Soubra outlined, "Our restaurants, like our hotel, aim to cater to every guest, therefore our dining options have been created to suit a wide variety of nationalities and occasions."

FULL STEAM AHEAD

When taking into consideration that Dubai welcomed a total of 14.9 million overnight visitors in 2016, a five percent year-on-year surge amidst a challenging environment, the destination is on track to reach its 2020 target, with industry professionals expressing their confidence in this regard.

Vanden Auweele enthused, "Dubai will continue with its unprecedented growth in the years ahead."

The extension of existing retail centres and launch of new malls such as First Avenue in Motor City, alongside the augmented calendar of shopping and dining events, are only going to support Dubai in achieving its goals.

Soubra added, "The expansion of the malls that is currently taking place will attract more vendors from around the world, thus guaranteeing more visitors and hotel guests.

With this, comes demand for wider variety of food offerings as well.

Hotels in Dubai really have an easy job [...]."

Ultimately, whether visiting for a taste of the fine life, an exhilarating experience of a lifetime, or an insight into authentic Arabic heritage – all possible within Dubai's malls – as Bahl concluded, "Travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to food and shopping."