If you’re craving a taste of unique Emirati food, there’s never been a better time to be in Abu Dhabi.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has announced the second phase of its Emirati Cuisine Programme, and it’s all about making the country's dishes more accessible.
The first phase of the initiative, which launched in 2020, enlisted 30 hotels in the capital to offer authentic Emirati dishes on their menus, giving them certification for serving local cuisine in the process.
A further 20 hotels will be added to the programme in its second phase, with restaurant staff trained virtually by Emirati chef Khulood Atiq.
Filming for the classes will be held at Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas, with Atiq set to teach participating chefs classic recipes such as luqaimat and machboos.
The full list of the hotels joining the second phase of the programme is yet to be revealed.
“The success of the Emirati Cuisine Programme demonstrates the appetite for more authentic Emirati experiences across the capital,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.
“We hope that more and more people taste delicious Emirati dishes for the first time to learn about the ingredients and experience the flavours and beauty of the country, where they are always warmly welcomed.”
The second phase will also introduce fusion recipes inspired by the UAE’s diverse population across the programme's hotels, blending Emirati cuisine with other cultures.
Participating restaurant Fouquet’s at Louvre Abu Dhabi, for example, will serve up Franco-Emirati creations such as local tiger prawn fritters, confit of lamb shoulder with khameer bread, and saffron-infused dry fruit tartelettes.
Osmo Lounge at Hilton Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, will offer fusion Emirati desserts: think sweet sticky luqaimat cream puffs, light fluffy gahwa tiramisu and saffron milk cake.
Fine-dining Indian restaurant Punjab Grill in the Venetian Village at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal has launched a four-course tasting menu for Dh350. Standout dishes include the Emirati-spiced Gulf shrimp, samak machboos and Hyderabadi oonth ka kebab (Bani Yas Farm camel meat skewers and wheat porridge).
The second phase of the Emirati Cuisine Programme will run until the end of December, while the fusion dishes at participating restaurants will be offered until Tuesday, November 30.
More information on the Emirati Cuisine Programme is at visitabudhabi.ae