We’re spoilt for choice by the foodie offerings in the UAE, and a new initiative in Abu Dhabi is set to cater to the region's growing appetite for communal dining experiences.
Al Qana, the popular waterfront destination in the capital, has announced a partnership with supermarket chain Grandiose, to launch a “community-minded gourmet dining concept and food hall”.
The exact date for the opening is yet to be revealed, but it will most likely be in the fourth quarter of this year.
Visitors can expect a culinary hub, with everything from a cafe to a bakery, plus a deli and cheese section. It will "invite visitors on a culinary journey, sampling food and flavours from the city, country and region, with an emphasis on the fresh and organic supplies".
The opening will coincide with Grandiose’s new store launch in The Community Place in Al Qana. This will be the brand’s fourth store in Abu Dhabi, and will cover a total area of 1,200 square metres, including the food hall.
Olivier Latour, chief executive of Grandiose Supermarkets, said guests will find “a perfect balance of local and international flavours” within the new venue.
Stuart Gissing, general manager at Al Qana, said the launch is in line with the rising trend of food halls in the region. "The blend of setting up a supermarket and food hall is a trend that has grown in popularity over the past year in the UAE and the world.
"The food hall complements the plethora of other unique local and dining experiences Al Qana has to offer to become a foodie location of choice in Abu Dhabi and affirms our commitment to continually develop and introduce new and fresh ideas to the market.”
The Botanic Atrium, another food hall, is also set to open in World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi this year.
In Dubai, numerous food halls have popped up over the last year, including Depachika, which launched in Nakheel Mall, and South Market food hall in the Dubai International Financial Centre.
The newest kid on the block is Time Out Market Dubai, which opened at Souk Al Bahar in Downtown Dubai in April in partnership with Emaar. The indoor culinary destination offers visitors some of the best views of the Burj Khalifa and easy access to The Dubai Mall, and spans about 4,000 square metres, making it the largest food hall in the emirate.