Love ‘em or love to hate ‘em, millennials do get it right – on occasion. Research has proven, time and time again, that this demographic would rather spend money on experiences (as opposed to material things) due to their ability to create long-lasting memories and connections with new people. And experts agree with their train of thought.
With this in mind, Savoir Flair is suggesting that you cross off buying panettone, chocolate gift boxes, cheese hampers, and pricey truffle oil from your Christmas shopping list, and gift the foodie in your life a unique dining experience instead. Here are six suggestions to get you started.
'Offbeat Dubai Desert Safari' by Unseen Trails
If She's New to Dubai
A trip to the pristine sands of Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) is always a yes, particularly when guided-tour company Unseen Trails is involved. As the first nature-focused desert drive of its kind in Dubai, the seven-hour ‘Offbeat Dubai Desert Safari’ features an exclusive route through the reserve jointly led by food tourism company Frying Pan Adventures and the falconers from Royal Shaheen, making it the perfect gift for anyone who’s new to the region.
Your foodie friend will be given the opportunity to meet with DDCR rangers, photograph falcons, plant the national tree from Goumbook’s Give a Ghaf program to give back to the reserve, and dine on a wholesome picnic basket curated with local favorites by Baker & Spice. What’s more is that a regional food expert will suggest interesting ingredient pairings, such as raw tahini with date molasses as an exotic twist on the classic PB&J.
'Dinner in the Sky' at Skydive Dubai
If She's an Adrenaline Junkie
A three-course feast with a side of safety harness? Enter: Dinner in the Sky, the perfect dining experience for a foodie who doesn’t have a fear of heights – or one who’s determined to conquer it. This adrenaline-packed concept has guests enjoying their meal (options to choose from include lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea) while being suspended 50 meters up in the air. With the concept appearing in over 40 countries around the world, Dubai’s Skydive Dubai is the newest location to host this novelty dining experience.
To buy a gift voucher, click here.
Cooking Classes at Top Chef
If She's an Aspiring Chef
If you have a friend who’s perpetually experimenting in the kitchen – and you’re always happy to play the guinea pig’s role – the gift cards at Top Chef are a brilliant no-brainer. The cooking studio in Jumeirah hosts classes for adults covering everything from grilling and culinary art to bread-baking, pastry-making, and more. There are also classes designed specifically for children and teenagers, in case their offspring is just as interested in food.
To buy a gift card, click here.
‘Culinary Abra Tour’ at Madinat Jumeirah
If She Loves a Bit of Luxury
Madinat Jumeirah is a full-fledged destination in its own right, with the picturesque resort housing a 1,000-seat amphitheater, a luxurious spa, a traditional marketplace-inspired souk, and seemingly countless dining options. The ‘Culinary Abra Tour’ takes diners on a journey through the serene waterways that meander the property, with pit stops at three of its iconic restaurants: American steakhouse The Hide, Chinese restaurant Zheng He’s, and buzzy Mexican eatery Tortuga – definitely one for the sybarite in your life.
To make a booking, call (+971) 04 432 3232.
Dining in the Dark at Noire
If She Likes the Element of Surprise
It’s said that not being able to see what you’re eating creates a heightened state for your other senses, such as smell and taste, which is why the concept of dining in the dark has proven so popular worldwide. If you have a foodie friend who likes an adventure and has yet to try it, treat her to a dinner at Noire in Fairmont Dubai. The culinary experience entails dining on gourmet cuisine in complete darkness, relying on scent and texture to navigate the meal, while being served by waiters wearing night-vision goggles.
To buy a gift voucher, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (+971) 4 311 8316. Once you’ve made the payment, you can pick up the voucher from Fairmont Dubai’s reception or have it sent to your friend via post or e-mail.
'Le Petit Chef' at World Trade Club
If She's Young at Heart
If you’ve befriended a foodie with a playful side, a night at ‘Le Petit Chef’ at World Trade Club has to be the definitive gift to give her. This unique concept utilizes cutting-edge 3D visual technology to give diners a front-row view of Marco Polo’s journey along the Silk Road – and his culinary findings – with a 58mm projected chef narrating the story.
The six-course dinner (with vegan and vegetarian options on offer) takes place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, covering the finest spices and ingredients from the likes of India and China. And setting the tone? Everything from the scents and music to the props and table patterns that evolve as the meal goes on.
To make a booking, click here.