Abu Dhabi unveils Emirati Cuisine Program to promote regional dishes

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Emirati Cuisine Program
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The Culture and Tourism Department of Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has introduced the ‘Emirati Cuisine Programme’ (ECP) initiative to improve the Emirati food offerings in Abu Dhabi’s hotels while raising the profile of local cuisine and promoting Emirati culture and traditions.

While the initiative will focus on raising the number of regional dishes being offered at four- and five-star hotels in the emirate, more hotel categories will be incorporated into the program in the following years.

Hotels that participate in the ECP initiative will be provided with a series of incentives, training courses, and promotions towards offering authentic Emirati dishes on their menus. DCT Abu Dhabi has roped in acclaimed Emirati chef Khulood Atiq to train hotel chefs with a series of virtual remote training videos to ensure that the food meets the standards of authenticity and quality of true Emirati cuisine.

Ali Hassan Al Shaiba
Ali Hassan Al Shaiba
Executive Director
Tourism and Marketing
DCT Abu Dhabi

“Food is an intrinsic part of every culture. It can tell the story of a nation and express cultural identity in a way that transcends words. The inspiration to create the ‘Emirati Cuisine Programme’ came from DCT Abu Dhabi’s desire to give visitors the chance to experience the beauty and hospitality of Emirati culture through food.”

“This initiative is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to promoting Emirati culture in line with the packed calendar for the 49th UAE National Day celebrations. Hotels are a crucial consumer touchpoint for any destination, and by making more Emirati food available at hotels, we are aiming to make our cuisine more accessible to visitors, no matter how long or short their stay is.”

“We have been in touch with several of our hotel partners in the Emirate and observed a high level of enthusiasm amongst them to provide visitors with more authentic Emirati experiences. Up to 50 chefs from hotels across the emirate have expressed interest to be a part of the training series. There is a great appetite for authentic cultural experiences around the world, and we wanted to make sure that Abu Dhabi would be amongst the first destinations to address that desire and give travelers what they are looking for.”

Online courses 

Chef Atiq will host a series of exclusive online cooking training videos to launch the program with many more online initiatives and promotions to showcase authentic Emirati cuisine and traditions to global audiences expected to be featured in the Emirati Cuisine Programme.

Chef Atiq will guide and show participating hotels chefs how to cook their very own authentic Emirati dishes, at their respective establishments. DCT Abu Dhabi will host these videos in its media library with exclusive access for participating Abu Dhabi hotels.

DCT Abu Dhabi will be announcing participating hotels that will be serving new authentic Emirati dishes. The hotels will also be featured on a dedicated ECP website.