If you are a foodie living in UAE, you must have had this dilemma. I know I have had this.
Both Entertainer and Zomato Gold have buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers in several restaurants. Further, both services are subscription based and you may want to subscribe to only one.
The Entertainer is an app-based discount publisher. It has buy one get one free (2 for 1) offers for restaurants, leisure attractions, spas, hotel accommodation and more across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe. UAE is the largest market for its service.
In Dubai, Entertainer offers the following options
Dubai Fine Dining 2019 – BOGO in several fine dining restaurants
Dubai 2019 – BOGO in casual restaurants and other offers in spas etc
Cheers Dubai 2019 – BOGO for drinks
Fitness 2019 – Discounts and offers on gym etc.
Dubai Body 2019 – Discount and offers on spa treatments etc.
Please note that Entertainer has also partnered with VISA, Du and several other companies to offer a very thin and free version of its BOGO plans. This version includes very few restaurants and other services which are useful.
Zomato started of as a restaurant search and discovery service in India (think Yelp) in 2009. Since then, it has expanded geographically and also introduced food delivery and Zomato Gold – a subscription service which offers discounts on food and beverages.
At present, Zomato operates in 24 countries. After India, Middle East is the one of the largest markets.
Entertainer and Zomato Gold – The Showdown
While both services are different, their USP is common – dining discounts. The challenge is dining is a personal choice – my favorite restaurants will never be same as yours. Therefore, to do an unbiased comparison, I have taken the top 120 restaurants in Dubai. Please note that this list is from Zomato (the search and discovery arm is independent of Zomato Gold). Each of these establishments at least has a hundred reviews so this should be free of personal bias.
Note: If the size is too small please click on the image to expand and zoom. You will have to hit back button to come back to this page.
Purely in terms of number of restaurants, there is hardly any difference. Entertainer is offering Cheers Dubai 2019 free with Dubai 2019 or Dubai Fine Dining 2019 packages. So each of Dubai 2019, Dubai Fine Dining 2019 and Zomato Gold covers about 38 establishments out of Top 120. However, there are some key pointers:
In favor of Zomato Gold
- Zomato Gold is a single service which offers discounts in both casual and fine dining establishments
- It can be subscribed as a quarterly service (from AED 80). Entertainer is an annual subscription
- It can be used in other emirates including Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Entertainer requires a separate subscription for Abu Dhabi
In favor of Entertainer
- Dubai 2019 package also includes some hotel offers, spa treatments and even attractions such as Ferrari World
- Entertainer has a more active social media presence including several articles about how to maximize your benefits
- In my personal experience, some establishments are reluctant to honor Zomato Gold. Have never had such an issue with Entertainer
Both Dubai 2019 and Dubai Fine Dining 2019 cost AED 295 for a full-year service. The average saving per usage will be AED 40 for the former and AED 80 for the latter. Zomato Gold costs AED 80 for 3 months and AED 200 for 12 months.
There are some great deals which would cover your subscription cost immediately. So these apps make sense not only for residents but also for tourists. Here are my personal favorites
- Dubai 2019: BOGO on Kaleidoscope, Atlantis the Palm. You can save up to AED 200 on the buffet. It has practically unlimited choices
- Zomato Gold: Kitchen6, JW Marriott Marquis. Another great buffet restaurant where you can save up to AED 200.
- Dubai Fine Dining 2019: Ewaan, Palace Downtown. One of the best Middle East focused buffet restaurants. You can save up to AED 345 on its Friday brunch.
If you wish, you can use my referral codes for The Entertainer and Zomato (ABHI4405H). You can get 20% discount on Zomato Gold with my referral code.
This is probably the most effort I have put in a post :). Hope this helps.
I plan to expand this further to cover about 250 restaurants in the near future. Further, I would like to include credit cards offering dining discounts – particularly Emirates NBD and Citi.
Any thoughts or suggestions?