The second Mena's 50 Best Restaurants list will be announced at a grand ceremony in Abu Dhabi on January 30.
The UAE capital has been selected as the host city for a second time, following the release of the debut Mena list by the World's 50 Best group at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers in February.
Scroll through the gallery above to see the UAE restaurants that were part of Mena's 50 Best Restaurants list 2022
Speaking to media at 11 Woodfire restaurant in Dubai on Thursday, William Drew, director of content for the World's 50 Best group, said: "The follow-up Mena list will shine a further spotlight on the Mena region, its diverse cuisines and culinary culture, with the aim to be a positive force for gastronomy and gastro-tourism across borders.
"The restaurants are chosen by a panel of 250 anonymous voters from across the Middle East and North Africa, who get to select seven restaurants each."
Next year will also see a line-up of foodie-friendly events in the lead-up to the awards ceremony, including a dinner hosted by Italian chef Massimiliano Alajmo, Singaporean pastry chef Maira Yeo and Japanese chef Hiroyasu Kawate. The 50 Best Signature Sessions will end with the popular #50BestTalks, which will be held a day before the awards ceremony.
From the debut list, 19 restaurants from the UAE made the cut, as well as five each from Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, four from Egypt, three from Morocco and Jordan, two from Bahrain, and one each from Kuwait, Tunisia and Qatar. Six restaurants in Israel were awarded.
Dubai restaurant 3 Fils won top honours, followed by Zuma in Dubai and OCD Restaurant in Tel Aviv.
While it remains to be seen which restaurants make the cut next year, Drew says it is not uncommon for at least 75 per cent of the restaurants to appear on the list in consequent years — at least in other parts of the world.
However, with new restaurants opening weekly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we wouldn’t be surprised if the 2023 list offered foodies and gastro-tourists a whole new range of options to add to the bucket list.
Scroll through the gallery below to see all the restaurants on Mena's 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list