Following the overwhelming positive response from consumers and stakeholders to the Emirati Cuisine Programme, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is launching its second phase.

The programme was launched in 2020 with the aim of making Emirati food more accessible to visitors and residents by training hotel chefs to prepare and serve authentic dishes.

In the initial phase of the cultural campaign, 30 hotels in Abu Dhabi gained certification in Emirati cuisine. Now, more than 20 other hotels will participate in the second phase, with their chefs being virtually trained by Emirati culinary talent Chef Khulood Atiq. Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas will host the filming of the classes, in which Chef Khulood will teach authentic Emirati recipes including favourites such as the luqaimat dessert and machboos.

“The success of the Emirati Cuisine Programme demonstrates the appetite for more authentic Emirati experiences across the capital,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “We are delighted to see such immense interest from the public to explore this exceptional culinary journey, as well as the industry’s support in making this the success that it is. We hope that more and more people taste delicious Emirati dishes for the first time to learn about the ingredients and experience the flavours and beauty of the country, where they are always warmly welcomed.”

Inspired by the UAE’s diverse population, the second phase of the programme will feature new fusion recipes that intertwine Emirati cuisine with classic dishes from other cultures. The culinary experiences will be created by chefs from some of the emirate’s favourite restaurants, such as Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi at Louvre Abu Dhabi, Punjab Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal, and OSMO Lounge & Bar at Hilton Yas Island.

In one example, OSMO is launching a hybrid creation that combines a classic brownie recipe with Emirati dates, complemented with a crumble made from traditional batheetha.

“Emirati cuisine is very dear to my heart as its rich flavours bring back nostalgic memories of growing up in the UAE,” said Chef Khulood. “Each dish has a story, and every bite brings with it a feeling of comfort and excitement that I wish to share with many people around me. I’m honoured to be part of this campaign, and to familiarise residents and visitors with my culture through their taste buds. I hope to see more of the Emirati cuisine around the world, and for it to receive the recognition it deserves.”

The second phase of the Emirati Cuisine Programme will run until the end of December, while the fusion dishes at participating restaurants will be offered for a limited period of three months until 30 November 2021.

For more information on the Emirati Cuisine Programme and the fusion dishes offered, visit