Dubai Event Festival Street Food Uncategorized

My first week in Dubai!

February 22, 2015


I’m in Dubai! As ecstatic as I may sound right now, the feeling that I’d probably describe through this post is that of being overwhelmed. Leaving India has possibly been one of the most difficult steps of my life. Yes, I did leave Salalah when I was 17 but then I was just a kid, with stars in her eyes about Bombay – the city of dreams. Bombay turned out to be the best phase of my life – I met my best friends, married the love of my life, lost family, gained family, had pets and also started my career there! But, life has its ways, twists and turns and here I am, back in the Middle East to a place that seems both familiar and strange.

It’s been almost a week since I first arrived here, not yet recovered from having to leave a whole lot of loved ones behind in India, and then I saw it – the desert, the tall buildings, cement, glass, bricks, mortar, and people that I would be calling home for a long time! How many people – foreigners, people of all nationalities – Indians, Pakistanis, Britishers, Aussies, Lebanese, and hardly any Emiratis! It is going to take some time for me to not continuously stare at the gorgeous Arab women in their swaying abayas above stilettos, or gape at the bulky and oddly fascinating Africans. I’m possibly going to take even longer to get used to the various accents and names around me. But, then that’s the charm and beauty of a country like the U.A.E.


The simple bun at Pappa Roti! I love bread and this is possibly one of the most warming, comforting breads I’ve eaten!
I’ve seen very little of Dubai as of now – nothing touristy yet – I guess I have a few years to cover them all. But, I’ve eaten out and how. While my absolutely wonderful friends are convinced that I miss Bombay, I find myself craving Arabian, Turkish, Lebanese and Pakistani food so much more. Soon – its only been a week!

One of my epic moments in the past week was the Middle East Food and Travel Blogger Conference that my friend Renita – another Bombay food blogger – informed me about. The conference is part of the ongoing Dubai Food Festival. While the location was quite far off, Fatema – one of my closest friends and who’s house I’m currently at – happily drove me there early in the morning and I was surrounded by the food bloggers from the UAE – Indians, Africans, Pakistanis, and Brits, Aussies, Americans, etc. The blogger conference was quite an eye-opener to the world of blogging in a more seasoned market and its allied careers in the UAE. More on that in my next post (I have actually penned down my takeaways from the conference for you all).

The international crowd at Street Nights
Then, we went to Al-Quoz where the Street Nights were being organized as part of the Dubai Food Festival. Much like the Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai – but oh so much better. The Street Nights was a melting pot of cultures, food, art and articrafts.
The guys from Fume, plating up!
I tried some wonderfully tender pulled beef brisket with coleslaw which was lip smacking.
Pulled beef brisket with slaw
And the smoked salmon sandwich with wasabi mayo, which lacked flavour for me.
Smoked salmon sandwich with wasabi mayo
Both were got from Fume Restaurant. We also had some amazing chicken wings from another stall and a brie, turkey ham and chilli jam panini from the Panifico food truck, which sounds better than it tasted. And then, we captured the street art and were on our way back home!
This spray-painted graffiti was absolutely riveting. The look in her eyes!
Its just been a week and I’ve found the food scene so exciting! I can’t wait to explore the older areas of Dubai – the Creek, Deira, the beautiful souks, the spices and the rest of the traditional food scene. I shall keep you’ll posted!

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  • Roxanne Bamboat February 22, 2015 at 18:58

    I love it ! I love your excitement and enthusiasm.. looking forward to all your Dubai posts ! 🙂

  • Rhea Mitra Dalal February 23, 2015 at 03:16

    The Food and Travel Blogger conference must have been an experience – how exciting that you were able to go! Looking forward to a more detailed post about it 🙂

  • Shanti February 23, 2015 at 05:53

    Thanks Roxy :*

  • Shanti February 23, 2015 at 05:54

    Rhea, thank you! It was extremely interesting and such a contrast from the scene in India! Will soon be putting up a detailed post.

  • Nomsville February 23, 2015 at 06:11

    Welcome to Dubai! 🙂 this place has some of the best food, & the food blogging community here is very nice and helpful. Im sure you’ll love it and fit right in. Good luck with the move 🙂

  • Shanti February 23, 2015 at 06:50

    Thank you 🙂 I hope so!

  • mrkk08 February 25, 2015 at 08:42

    Welcome to Dubai! Look forward to your post on the Food & Travel Blogger conference, I missed attending this one.

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