Abu Dhabi launches kosher food certificates as it chases more Jewish tourists

Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi signs agreement to launch the Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project

The UAE capital’s flagship Emirates Palace has already become Abu Dhabi’s first hotel to have a kosher certified kitchen to serve kosher food.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed an agreement with the Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification to launch the Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project.

The deal officially certifies the emirate’s hotels for serving kosher meals and follows an instruction to F&B outlets at hotels to include kosher food options on their room service and restaurant menus after the UAE and Israel agreed to normalise relations at a ceremony at the White House in September.

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The new agreement allows Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry to have access to free kosher certification services for one year and paves the way for Jewish tourists from various nationalities to visit the emirate following the UAE’s historic peace accord.

The certification demands all hotels and food and beverage outlets across the capital designate an area in their kitchens for kosher food preparation, as well as labelling kosher menu items with a clear, recognisable symbol that denotes ‘kosher’.

The UAE capital’s flagship Emirates Palace has already become Abu Dhabi’s first hotel to have a kosher certified kitchen to serve kosher food.

Kosher is a term used to describe food that complies with the dietary standards of traditional Jewish regulations.

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“One of the distinguishable aspects of Abu Dhabi culture is the diversity and inclusivity that tourists can experience in all aspects of their visit, from international cuisine offerings to cultural artefacts from all around the world,” said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, executive director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“The Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project provides the opportunity for citizens and residents in the UAE to experience new food items, as we look forward to welcoming Jewish tourists from around the world to our city.”

Rabbi Duchman, the founder and executive director of the Emirates Agency of Kosher Certification, said: “It has been a great privilege and opportunity for our community to work together with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi on this unique Kosher initiative here in the capital. We are excited to be part of history as we assist the hotels to provide kosher options that will strengthen tourism.

“This initiative is all part of the Abu Dhabi Government vision for the emirate to be a home for all people of all cultures and religious backgrounds and a true beacon of light to all of our neighbours.”

The Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification was established earlier this year, making it the first legal entity responsible for Kosher certification activities in UAE. The organisation assesses food products and services to ensure compliance with kosher cuisine standards.

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