Are Dubai diners shunning Chinese, Italian food?

Interest in Chinese food fell 63% in Dubai when compared to January, according to Google Trends data

Interest in Chinese and Italian food has plummeted amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, according to Google Trends data.

According to food website Chef’s Pencil, global interest in Chinese cuisine fell by 33 percent compared to January, while interest in Italian cuisine fell 24 percent.

In Dubai, interest levels for Chinese food – based on Google searches for restaurants and recipes, for example – fell 63 percent. Only Spain and Japan saw higher drops, at 73 percent and 96 percent, respectively.

No Dubai specific data was provided for interest in Italian food, which saw drops of 96 percent in Japan, 43 percent in Spain, 25 percent in France and 13 percent in the US.

Chef’s Pencil noted that the drop in demand is “possibly a fear that restaurant employees have visited their homeland and brought the virus back with them. Or the virus has been brought in with the food products themselves.”

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