The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has officially unveiled at a special ceremony the 15 recipients of the 2021 Urban Treasures Award — the establishments considered historically significant across Abu Dhabi and proudly identified as part of the city’s vibrant cultural and urban scene.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s new initiative has been developed to award establishments the prestigious Urban Treasures accolade each year, recognising cafes, restaurants, bakeries, tailors, fabric stores, perfumeries, jewellers, photography studios and more, all of which have in some way contributed to Abu Dhabi’s cultural and social narrative for more than 20 years.

The establishments selected for the 2021 Urban Treasures Award were: Al Aqsa Sweets, Al Ibrahimi Restaurant, Al Raiqa Date and Fruit Trading, Al Safa Carpet, Al Sultan Markets and Bakeries, All Prints, Corniche Automatic Bakeries and Markets, Jashanmal National Company, Bu Tafish Restaurant, Tripoli Sweets, Lebanon Flower Bakery, India Palace Restaurant, Al Dhafra Restaurant, Malik and Shaheed Shops, and Zahrat Lebnan Cafeteria and Restaurant.

The Urban Treasures Award ceremony, which took place at Cultural Foundation saw the longstanding businesses which enhance the quality of life in the emirate formally recognised. These establishments play a significant role in the collective memory of the local community, with these businesses attracting a client base that spans generations, with their services remaining vital to daily life in Abu Dhabi.

DCT Abu Dhabi awarded the selected establishments with physical and digital branded kits which highlight their contributions to the community, allowing them to benefit from a higher profile to promote their businesses to residents and tourists.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “By recognising and rewarding our economic, social and cultural ‘treasures’, DCT Abu Dhabi is ensuring the sustainable development of the emirate for both current and future generations. Only through these meaningful investments into our communities can long-term prosperity be achieved and social integration promoted. The Urban Treasures 2021 establishments come from every sector and showcase the best qualities and attributes of our historically important businesses, demonstrating the values and aspirations we seek to instill throughout the emirate.”

In support of the emirate’s broader strategic aims such as the protection of Abu Dhabi’s modern heritage. The initiative also supports tourism efforts targeting visitors who want an ‘off the beaten track’ experience, with the establishments to be promoted to residents and tourists who wish to explore the hidden cultural gems of the city.

The Urban Treasures nominees were evaluated by a special committee, which reviews each establishment in accordance with strict criteria. Residents will be able to nominate their favourite businesses for the honour each year through an online call for nomination.