The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has officially launched the ‘Emirati Cuisine Programme’ (ECP).
This exciting new initiative will work to enhance Emirati food offerings in Abu Dhabi’s hotels, raise the profile of local cuisine and promote Emirati culture and tradition. More specifically, the programme will boost the number of local dishes being offered at top hotels through a series of incentives, training courses and promotions.
Hotels are able to take part in the ECP by featuring authentic Emirati dishes on their menus. During its first year, the programme will target four- and five-star hotels in the UAE capital city, with more hotel categories to be incorporated in the years to follow. DCT Abu Dhabi will oversee the training of hotel chefs through a series of virtual training videos led by acclaimed Emirati chef Khulood Atiq, to ensure that all Emirati dishes served are authentic and of high quality.
Enthusing on the initiative was executive director of tourism and marketing, DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba: “Food is an intrinsic part of every culture. It can tell the story of a nation and express cultural identity in a way that transcends words. The inspiration to create the ‘Emirati Cuisine Programme’ came from DCT Abu Dhabi’s desire to give visitors the chance to experience the beauty and hospitality of Emirati culture through food.
Al Shaiba explained that the ECP initiative is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to promote Emirati culture in line with the packed calendar for the 49th UAE National Day celebrations.
“We have been in touch with several of our hotel partners in the Emirate and observed a high level of enthusiasm amongst them to provide visitors with more authentic Emirati experiences. Up to 50 chefs from hotels across the emirate have expressed interest to be a part of the training series. There is a great appetite for authentic cultural experiences around the world, and we wanted to make sure that Abu Dhabi would be amongst the first destinations to address that desire and give travellers what they are looking form,” Al Shaiba added.
ECP will feature a series of online initiatives and promotions to showcase authentic Emirati cuisine and traditions to global audiences. To begin with, a series of exclusive online cooking training videos will be introduced, hosted by Chef Atiq, to show participating hotels chefs how to cook their very own authentic Emirati dishes. The videos will be found in DCT Abu Dhabi’s media library with exclusive access for participating Abu Dhabi hotels.
Meanwhile, within its first year, the ECP will announce offers across Abu Dhabi to promote Emirati food to residents and visitors alike.