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Etisalat Beach Canteen returns to Dubai with a UAE National Day theme

The National logo The National 4 days ago Janice Rodrigues
Beachside dining popup, Etisalat Beach Canteen returns to Jumeirah Beach. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National © Provided by The National Beachside dining popup, Etisalat Beach Canteen returns to Jumeirah Beach. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

Etisalat Beach Canteen, the much-loved beachside culinary pop-up, is back in Dubai.

After it was cut short in 2020 owing to the pandemic, the event has returned this year, with an exciting new twist – it’s celebrating UAE’s Golden Jubilee.

Organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), the free-to-attend event opened to the public on Thursday and continues for 17 days, concluding on December 11.

During this time, visitors will be able to find a number of food trucks and kiosks located at Jumeirah Beach (behind Sunset Avenue). This year, 39 vendors will be taking part, with 26 being new to the festival.

Scroll through the gallery above for a look at some of the kiosks and dishes available.

Here’s what you can expect from Etisalat Beach Canteen 2021:

Cool themes and 'foodie' lanes

Baqaala Lane at Etisalat Beach Canteen 2021. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National © Provided by The National Baqaala Lane at Etisalat Beach Canteen 2021. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

This year, Etisalat Beach Canteen is celebrating the UAE's National Day with colours of the UAE flag carefully interspersed throughout the event. The venue has been divided into different zones, each cleverly named to trigger a bout of nostalgia.

Customers will be able to find their favourite food at Baqaala Lane, satiate the sweet tooth at Halawa Corner, or pick up sweet and savoury treats from Snack Souq. There’s even The Dukkan – a kiosk selling UAE-themed merchandise, suncare products, sunglasses and apparel.

Live entertainment

Etisalat Majlis Stage to enjoy live performances. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National © Provided by The National Etisalat Majlis Stage to enjoy live performances. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

The Etisalat Stage Majlis will be hosting a series of live performances and traditional entertainment such as the traditional Arab group dance known as Al Ayyala, Al Harbia, authentic Emirati folk arts, Melodica musical performances (featuring both adults and children), among different acts.

Other performances include a show by public speaker Mo ElTorky, The Great City Parade led by lovable children's characters, various conventional Arab dances and musical displays, live tunes from around the world and a Mindful Mom and children's yoga workshop with Sandy Zanella. There are bean bags interspersed on the sand in front of the stage for those looking to catch the entertainment.

Food, food and more food

There are 39 kiosks and food trucks serving everything from traditional to fusion foods. Photos: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National © Provided by The National There are 39 kiosks and food trucks serving everything from traditional to fusion foods. Photos: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

There are 39 vendors selling everything from tacos and burgers to fusion dishes (think Chips Oman sushi from Moshi or chicken popcorn waffle cups from Slider Box) to traditional Arabic dishes.

Also expect a mix of international and home-grown brands. Some of the vendors include CZN Burak, House of Pops, Pulled, GOAT, Slider Box, Mini BBQ, Moshi, Dibba Bay Oysters, Torrija (a brand specialising in French toast), Mihbash (for bubble tea), Pinza, Sugargram, Pink Burger and SMK.

Fun and games

A Modesh bouncy castle is part of the Yalla Fun Zone for children at Etisalat Beach Canteen. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National © Provided by The National A Modesh bouncy castle is part of the Yalla Fun Zone for children at Etisalat Beach Canteen. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

A new addition to Etisalat Beach Canteen is “Game Bustan”, an area that brings carnival vibes to the beachside pop-up. For the first time, there will be a range of games for adults, from a shooting station and bull ride to “wipe out”, with prizes for the winners.

The youngsters won’t feel left out either thanks to the Yalla Fun Zone, which is back again, featuring a range of activities. There’s bungee jumping, electric bump cars, an inflatable park, a Modesh bouncy castle, trampoline, zipline and an arts and crafts station to keep children entertained.

Special events and activations

Celebrity chef Burak Ozdemir will be launching a mobile game at Etisalat Beach Canteen. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National © Provided by The National Celebrity chef Burak Ozdemir will be launching a mobile game at Etisalat Beach Canteen. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

As a National Day-themed event, celebrating the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, there’s a range of special entertainment and events planned within.

Guests heading to the venue on Thursday, December 2, will be able to enjoy fireworks at 9pm. Meanwhile, popular children’s characters Modesh and Dana will be leading The Great City Parade. There will also be activations such as face painting and a “Splash & Dash” setup by Oo La Lab that allows visitors to make their signature scent.

Finally, CZN Burak, the restaurant by celebrity Turkish chef Burak Ozdemir, will also be hosting a pop-up. The chef is also entering the world of mobile gaming, and launching CZN Burak – The Game at Etisalat Beach Canteen.

Open daily, until Saturday, December 11; Sunday to Wednesdays, 1pm-11pm; Thursdays, 1pm to midnight; Fridays, 10am to midnight; Saturdays, 10am to 11pm; free entry; Jumeirah Beach, behind Sunset Mall; www.beachcanteen.ae

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