Eating out, especially the Friday brunches, is an integral part of the lives of many who live in Dubai and as the economy has improved over the past couple of years’ people are now eating out more often than before.
According to a study by audit, tax and advisory services company, KPMG, UAE residents have increased the frequency of dining out with the majority opting (66 percent) eating dinner out at least once during the week.
The numbers are substantially up so much that the so called eating out market continues to be one of the strongest performing sectors in the UAE with many residents now eating out more frequently and spending more than they were a year ago, as per the survey.
The findings show the average spend on eating out per person in the country is AED 120, which is a decent price to eat in a good place, given the number of offers available on discount websites such as Groupon and Cobone and the growing popularity of discount voucher books.
Respondents noted that the type and quality of cuisine along with level of service were the most important factors when selecting a restaurant.
Perhaps surprisingly, respondents indicated that cost was a far less important factor, suggesting consumers are prepared to pay more for the right experience.
Fine dining is still an option that people choose for special occasions but as income levels go up and the deals that restaurants offer it’s not just limited to anniversaries and birthdays. More people are now going for brunches and buffets at five star hotels, many of which are priced under Dh200.
Despite the surge seen in fine dining, casual dining restaurants, quick service restaurants and food courts are the most popular F&B choices for UAE residents.
The survey respondents were drawn from a mix of Emirati and GCC nationals, Arab, Asian and Western expatriates.
Over 70 percent of respondents indicated they were influenced by opinions of friends and family and over 40 percent read an online review before visiting a restaurant for the first time.