In just under three months, a 1.5 million square foot temperature-controlled indoor theme park the size of around 28 football fields is going to open near Global Village smack bang in the middle of Dubai.
And while yes, we’re excited about the rides at IMG Worlds of Adventures the food will be important to us considering we’ll likely spend the entire day there after stumping up Dhs300 for a ticket.
There will be 16 stand alone restaurants and 12 kiosks in the park, with 2,129 seats for people to eat at. All of the concepts are homegrown, and the food will be made on-site at the park.
IMG decided to invest heavily in the food part of the park after interviewing 2,500 people in the region about what aspect was most important for them. The first thing people care about? The rides (obviously). Tied for second equal? Food and queue times. This means what you can eat is more important than ticket price and customer service.
So, here are some of the spots you’ll find in the park…
Iron Man fans this one’s for you – this seafood and steak fine dining restaurant is the park’s flagship restaurant (there will even be a chef’s table). Think lobsters in tanks, steak tartare, New York cheesecake – and all in a space inspired by Tony Stark’s apartment.
The head chef is Daniel Anelka (who has worked at the Burj Al Arab, Atlantis and in Doha with Alain Ducasse). The team told us a meal in Tony’s Skydeck would come to about Dhs250 per person, and that the restaurant will be in ‘Stark Tower’ and will have glass windows that look out onto the theme park.
While it won’t be licensed, there will be a bar area serving mocktails and bar snacks. It will be open for dinner on weekdays and lunch and dinner on weekends.
Are you the type of person who sits in Marvel films until the end of the credits to see the ‘nugget’? Well then you’ll recognise Downtown Shwarma (above) which is where Thor, The Hulk, Captain America et al sit down and have some cheap meat at the end of The Avengers movie.
The IMG Downtown Shwarma will be modeled almost entirely on the one in the movie (just with cleaner floors). There will be four types of shwarma in the joint – including a traditional doner kebab, as well as a Lebanese-style pickles and garlic job.
This was one of the last concepts added to the park, and the IMG team told us that it’s inspired by the samosa and chai carts that have sat along Dubai’s Creek for decades.
The chef there is currently experimenting with different doughs, with frying, steaming and baking the samosas, and the flavours will range from vegetarian to chocolate. Yum.
In the Marvel zone, this Pan-Asian restaurant is modeled on a downtown New York Chinese restaurant.
More IMG food facts
– The full F&B team is made up of 515 people, and there will be 32 chefs in the commissary, which is the main kitchen where all of the bread will be baked, the chocolate will be made, the ice cream churned, the sauces prepared and more.
– Robert Stokes is the Head of Culinary at IMG (he was the Chef de Cuisine at the Burj Al Arab for six years, as well as the Executive Chef at the Al Badia Golf Club). He said making everything from scratch is important to him so that, for example: “we know what’s in the bread, but we also know what’s not in it. We can control the salt and sugar, and know that there are no E-numbers going into it.”
– “Part of our food promise is portion control,” Stokes explained, saying they won’t have hot dogs that are 45 cms long that “kids will never finish”. He noted that this will minimise excess waste too.
– The team of chefs have had to come up with 700 dishes (there are 221 chefs in total).
– Behind the scenes there’s a whole room that’s sole purpose is just to make the chocolate for the park. Amazing.
– The chefs are currently testing out all of the dishes on IMG staff at the headquarters near the park.