Abu Dhabi to grant long-standing shops and restaurants special status

A network of ‘places of cultural significance' will be promoted to tourists and visitors

Restaurant staff run a pop-up stall at an outdoor night market. Courtesy: DCT Abu Dhabi
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi is to grant long-standing shops, restaurants and cafes special status in recognition of their contribution to the emirate.

A network of 'places of cultural significance' will be promoted to residents and tourists as part of the Urban Treasures campaign.

Up to 20 establishments, which must have opened before the year 2000, will be recognised every year by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.

They will take their place as part of the interwoven history of Emirati society

A campaign for nominations by the public will run from January 24 to February 24 via the website Abu Dhabi Events along with social media channels using the hashtag #urbantreasures.

Officials will review and evaluate all nominations against criteria.

The Urban Treasures initiative was launched alongside Weekends at Al Hosn, which are running from January until April 2020 and which feature a series of nostalgic social, cultural and artistic activities.

“As part of our commitment to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the emirate, we focus on places and projects that have contributed to the cultural and urban identity of Abu Dhabi, and played a significant role in capturing the essence of the different communities residing here,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of the tourism and culture department.

“This initiative has been launched to help the most long-established eateries and shops in Abu Dhabi thrive, whilst at the same time recognising their significance as cultural touchpoints that resonate with the public as intrinsic parts of how they remember the emirate.

"The selected establishments will be showcased and each will have their profile’s increased, which will hopefully increase footfall. They will also take their place as part of the interwoven history of Emirati society, preserved for future generations so that they can understand and appreciate fully the history of their homeland.”

Winning establishments will be named as Urban Treasures with the winners announced at a ceremony at the end of the Weekends at Al Hosn season.

The establishments will feature on the Visit Abu Dhabi and Visit Al Ain websites and promoted as places for tourists and residents to seek out.