Abu Dhabi launches new Emirati Cuisine Programme
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Abu Dhabi launches new Emirati Cuisine Programme

Abu Dhabi launches new Emirati Cuisine Programme

The programme aims to increase the number of local dishes offered at top hotels in Abu Dhabi via incentives, training courses, and promotions

Gulf Business

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the launch of the ‘Emirati Cuisine Programme’ (ECP), to bolster indigenous culinary offerings across Abu Dhabi’s hotels.

The programme aims to increase the number of local dishes being offered at top hotels through a series of incentives, training courses, and promotions. It will also raise the profile of local cuisine, and elevate Emirati culture.

Hotels can participate in ECP by offering authentic Emirati dishes on their menus. The programme will target four- and five-star hotels in the emirate, during its first year, with more hotel categories being incorporated in subsequent years.

As part of the programme, DCT Abu Dhabi will oversee the training of hotel chefs through a series of virtual remote training videos, led by acclaimed Emirati chef Khulood Atiq, to ensure that the food meets the standards of true Emirati cuisine.

“Food is an intrinsic part of every culture,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “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.

“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 travellers what they are looking for.”

ECP will feature a series of online initiatives to showcase authentic Emirati cuisine to global audiences, including a series of online cooking training videos, hosted by Chef Atiq, to show participating hotels chefs how to cook their very own authentic Emirati dishes, at their respective establishments.

The videos will be available on DCT Abu Dhabi’s media library with exclusive access for participating Abu Dhabi hotels, official news agency WAM reported.

“I am proud to be a part of the Emirati Cuisine Programme and to work alongside the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi,” said Chef Atiq. “What makes this programme special is its unique virtual platform that allows us to train the chefs while adhering to Covid-19 social distancing measures. I will be hosting the training sessions from my own kitchen and will be in direct contact with all the chefs to guide them and answer their inquiries.”

Within its first year, ECP will see several offers taking place across Abu Dhabi to promote Emirati food to residents and visitors. DCT Abu Dhabi will also be announcing participating hotels who will be serving new authentic Emirati dishes.

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