Abu Dhabi Culinary Season generates “huge revenue” for the F&B sector


January 17, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has revealed the recently-concluded Abu Dhabi Culinary Season saw high participation and generated huge sales across the campaign.

After pledging to send domestic diners on ‘A Journey Through the Senses’ from November 1st to December 15th, Abu Dhabi Culinary Season served up a menu of creative dishes and experiences by Abu Dhabi-based chefs, limited-edition menus at myriad restaurants, and a number of exclusive offers and promotions by community groups and industry heavyweights.

“While mindful of the wider situation affecting the domestic hospitality sector, Abu Dhabi Culinary Season remains a truly unique proposition for UAE residents, with strict safety measures across participating food and beverage outlets aiding the delivery of a safe and eclectic series of activations and experiences,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“In addition to magnifying the variety of culinary offerings available in the emirate – from our world-class fine dining scene, to the hidden culinary gems dotted around the capital – the Season offered a dedicated platform for homegrown and international talents working in Abu Dhabi to engage diners and culinary aficionados with workshops and exclusive activations.”

A marquee partnership with Marriott International and the industry giant’s More Cravings campaign cemented Abu Dhabi Culinary Season’s position in the hospitality space, with big plans underway for the 2021 edition.

“Abu Dhabi Culinary Season highlighted the capital’s hidden foodie gems and its vibrant culinary scene, and we are thankful to support DCT Abu Dhabi as food and beverage is one of our most important business segments,” says Sandeep Walia, Area Vice President of the UAE for Marriott International. “MoreCravings.com, our dedicated dining platform with over 90 restaurants and lounges in Abu Dhabi, has showcased memorable experiences in casual cafés, exquisite destination restaurants or bustling bars across the city to promote Abu Dhabi’s incredible culinary offering to residents and visitors alike. We look forward to many more innovative partnership opportunities with DCT Abu Dhabi.”

The latest instalment in the Chef’s Table series, held under the theme ‘Art On A Plate’, saw participating restaurants’ head chefs draw artistic inspiration from the likes of Antonio Vivaldi, Pablo Picasso and the legendary Manchu-Han Imperial to tell stories of art through food.

The three-day Chef’s Table Special Edition also enjoyed a hugely successful and sold-out inaugural outing during Abu Dhabi Culinary Season, with Chefs Khaled Alsaadi, Bethany Kehdy and Greg Malouf guiding diners through nine unique courses at FAE Café.

Elsewhere, 22 homegrown independent restaurants marked Abu Dhabi Culinary Season with an innovative Hidden Gems Scavenger Hunt, which supported homegrown businesses and saw hundreds of Abu Dhabi residents scour the city in search of the best casual dishes and new eateries.

“It was our privilege to host the Hidden Gems Scavenger Hunt this season. We learned a lot about food, brought community members together and gave people the opportunity to widen their culinary horizons. We believe impact will be ongoing as many of the partner restaurants are reporting that Best Bites community members continue to visit following the Season,” said Rachael Partington, Managing Director at Best Bites UAE.

Furthermore, the #AbuDhabiLovesCoffee initiative powered by The HUNTR, saw 20 cafés offer limited-edition items in a series of workshops focussed on brewing techniques, latte art, barista classes, and caffeine-based documentary screenings. The initiative culminated in almost 2,000 additional cups of coffee sold across participating outlets.

The Season’s Sweetest Things promotion also offered dessert connoisseurs the chance to enjoy an array of experiential sweet treats, with delicious deals and offers available at some of the city’s top eateries, including Yamanote, Sanderson’s and Keki. During the two-week activation, a total of 3,600 dessert dishes were sold.

In addition, talented chefs and culinary power players were celebrated during Chef Studio in The Galleria Al Maryah Island’s Central Kitchens area. The programme saw daily masterclasses focussed on some of Abu Dhabi’s most loved dishes, including Patrani Macchi by Punjab Grill’s chef Sandeep Ail, Maki acevichado by COYA’s MJ De Guzman; and Crepe Suzette by Fouquet’s chef Hugo Sipp.

“It was an honour to have had the opportunity to host a session at the Chef’s Studio this year. After a challenging period for the industry, it was hugely encouraging to see enthusiastic chefs and home cooks come together to learn and inspire each other,” said Nikita Gandhi, the former MasterChef India champion and Abu Dhabi Culinary Season masterclass host. “I hope to continue being a part of the Chef’s Studio in coming years and see more and more Abu Dhabi residents and tourists share their passion for food and cooking.”

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