UAE National Day: Emirati chef, 13, creates in-flight meal for Etihad Airways

Aysha AlObeidli's culinary creation will be served on flights to Abu Dhabi over the 50th National Day weekend in December

Aysha AlObeidli, 13, has created an in-flight dessert to be served on Etihad flights this UAE National Day. Photo: Etihad Airways
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One of the youngest chefs in the UAE has been busy creating a new Emirati-themed dessert that will be served on Etihad flights this December for UAE National Day.

Aysha AlObeidli, 13, who studies at the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA Dubai) and was the winner of KidZania’s Minichef competition in 2018, has been dubbed "the youngest Emirati chef".

She has partnered with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, to design her own version of a traditional Emirati dessert that will be served to travellers on flights in and out of Abu Dhabi.

Crafted in the UAE's flag colours of black, red, green and white, the chef's chebab pancakes will be served to children flying Etihad on the UAE's 50th National Day on December 2.

With more than 116,000 followers on Instagram, AlObeidli is something of a local personality, especially in the culinary world.

In a YouTube video released by Etihad, she can be seen creating and cooking the dish alongside two of the airline's culinary team.

“Hi, I’m chef Aysha and today I present to you my own twist on the Emirati chebab, the chebab pancake, to welcome the world to Abu Dhabi,” says AlObeidli in the video.

“I make dishes from around the world, but they’re all inspired by the flavours of this nation.”

The project is part of Etihad's celebrations for the UAE's 50th anniversary.

“We’ve taken the UAE’s 50th anniversary to our heart and challenged ourselves to work in conjunction with Emirati talent to showcase the unique spirit of the UAE to the world,” said Amina Taher, vice president for brand, marketing and sponsorships at Etihad Airways.

“As the second phase of our year-long UAE 50 celebration, the project aims to raise the profile of the UAE as a hot spot for culture and art.”

Emirati artists, ice-skaters and authors in the spotlight

Also set to feature as part of the initiative are five other talented Emiratis, including an author, ice-skater, artists and musical performers.

Next up on Etihad's social media pages will be Abdulla Lutfi, an artist who has created five works in his trademark black-and-white style, each of which features a different date in the history of the country.

His work will be on display in Abu Dhabi later in the year.

Multi-award-winning Emirati painter Abdul Qader Al Rais, meanwhile, will produce a unique piece in his abstract style, combining geometric shapes with Arabic calligraphy for the series.

Zahra Lari, the five-time Emirati national champion figure skater and the first Emirati skater to compete internationally, will showcase her sport in an instructional video, and children’s author and illustrator Maitha Al Khayat will share some of Etihad's stories with younger generations.

A fifth and final showcase will follow one of the airline's own cabin crew, with their talent still to be revealed.

The campaign follows the airline's earlier initiative this year which kicked off the golden jubilee celebrations. The Legacy of a Nation project asked Emiratis and residents living in the UAE to share their memories.

More than 1,000 stories and photographs were shared with the airline, and 50 selected entries can be viewed on Etihad’s website.

Updated: August 24, 2021, 10:05 AM