Abu Dhabi bids to boost Emirati hospitality
Abu Dhabi, September 26, 2013
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has launched an education initiative aimed at encouraging the emirate’s hotels to embrace traditional cuisine in their F&B offerings and deliver authentic visitor welcomes.
Heading the programme is TCA Abu Dhabi’s Emirati cuisine consultant Chef Khulood Atiq – the UAE’s first female celebrity chef – who is working with Abu Dhabi’s four- and five-star hotels, instructing F&B staff on how to correctly prepare Emirati dishes for an accurate representation of local food.
Chef Khulood is working with each hotel on a case-by-case basis to see how, and what, is currently being prepared, ensure it meets the right criteria and suggest additional menu items that meet an individual property’s particular guest demands.
Chef Khulood will also instruct hotels to greet guests with dates and Emirati coffee upon arrival, on correct local beverage preparation and serving style.
“For many visitors to Abu Dhabi, sampling our famed hospitality and experiencing authentic Emirati cultural traditions are high on their agenda. This initiative will give stakeholders the tools and knowledge to deliver these important touch points, so they are genuinely representative of our traditions,” said Nasser Al Reyami, director of Tourism Standards, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Under the scheme, which starts this week in the UAE capital, Chef Khulood will also draw on her vast knowledge of Emirati fare to teach staff the background of the many dishes, where they originated and their context within Emirati culture, which can then be passed onto the visitor, helping to create a more informed and engaging experience.
“Many Emirati dishes have a story attached to them, and being able to tell this is as critical as being able to prepare the dish correctly,” said Chef Khulood, whose best-selling cookery book, ‘Sarareed’, is widely regarded as a definitive guide to Emirati cuisine.
“Emirati cuisine is rich in history and in taste, these two ingredients combined are what makes the dishes so appealing to visitors, and will be a core focus of our educational initiative going forward.”
The programme will also be rolled out to all other properties in the near future. Chef Khulood will also follow up after the training sessions to ensure that recipe integrity is being maintained, as well as offer additional cuisine suggestions based on feedback, to expand the overall F&B offering.
TCA Abu Dhabi and Chef Khulood will run a special training programme prior to Ramadan, to inform hotel chefs on the right preparation and presentation techniques for authentic seasonal dishes during the season. – TradeArabia News Service