The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has inked an agreement with the Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification, which is led by Rabbi Levi Duchman, to launch the Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project.
This project will officially certify the emirate’s hotels for serving kosher meals. The move closely follows the announcement that F&B outlets at hotels are to include kosher food options on their room service and restaurant menus.
The agreement will see Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry obtain access to free kosher certification services for one year. This initiative paves the way for Jewish tourists from various nationalities to visit the emirate, following the UAE’s historic peace accord and the normalisation of relations with Israel, and will also serve to open up a host of new opportunities for the emirate.
Speaking on the development was executive director of tourism and marketing, DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba: “One of the distinguishable aspects of Abu Dhabi culture is the diversity and inclusivity that tourists can experience in all aspects of their visit, from international cuisine offerings to cultural artefacts from all around the world.
“This new agreement aligns with DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision to become one of the most diverse and hospitable destinations in the world. The Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project provides the opportunity for citizens and residents in the UAE to experience new food items, as we look forward to welcoming Jewish tourists from around the world to our city,” he added.
The certification demands all hotels and F&B outlets across the capital designate an area in their kitchens for kosher food preparation, as well as labelling kosher menu items with a clear, recognisable symbol that denotes ‘kosher’. The UAE capital’s flagship, Emirates Palace, has already become Abu Dhabi’s first hotel to have a Kosher certified kitchen to serve Kosher food.
Founder and executive director, Emirates Agency of Kosher Certification, Rabbi Duchman said: “It has been a great privilege and opportunity for our community to work together with DCT Abu Dhabi on this unique Kosher initiative here in the capital. We are excited to be part of history as we assist the hotels to provide kosher options that will strengthen tourism. This initiative is all part of the Abu Dhabi Government vision for the emirate to be a home for all people of all cultures and religious backgrounds and a true beacon of light to all of our neighbours.”
The Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification (EAKC) was established earlier this year, making it the first legal entity responsible for Kosher certification activities in UAE. The organisation assesses food products and services to ensure compliance with kosher cuisine standards.