The term “locals” in Dubai was always used to refer to native Emiratis. But only decades (the federal unification of the Emirates took place in 1971) into welcoming expats from all backgrounds, this very young city has begun embracing these cultures as part of its own. Pallavi Sangtani was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates and over the last 30 years has witnessed Dubai grow as a centrestage for various cuisines as well as its culinary standards evolve continuously. Growing up as a third culture kid, she travelled the world in search of new faces and flavours, but the road always led her back home. “I’m glad to be living in Dubai now more than ever as the UAE stands on the cusp of a dining transformation,” explains Sangtani who has worked on transforming food and beverage technology for the first half of her career. When she’s not working for tech startups, the passionate food storyteller writes for the Forbes Travel Guide and food publications across the UAE. Walk a mile in her shoe and discover a Dubai you never knew existed.