And The Winners Are | FACT Abu Dhabi Magazine Dining Awards 2015

It’s time to recognise and celebrate the best in the food, beverage and hospitality industry right here in the UAE capital.” Shabana Adam 

Last week it was the inaugural FACT Abu Dhabi Magazine Dining Awards and this event was almost too exciting for words! I really don’t know what I was more excited about, being asked to be on the judging panel for the ‘Best’ in category or being invited to the awards night itself at the very trendy hotspot, Iris restaurant and lounge at Yas Marina.

PicCollage-2I LOVE FACT Magazine, if you follow me on social media you will already be well aware of that, so when Editor-in-cheif Shabana contacted me to be part of the event I was overwhelmed with surprise and excitement. Fact is a monthly lifestyle publication launched in the capital last June following its success in Bahrain and Qatar and basically it’s just too cool for school. Non-gender specific, the magazine covers all things arts and culture, fashion, dining, hospitality, technology, motoring as well as the capital’s latest events all wrapped up in a contemporary design with arty photos and a different quirky cover for each issue (this may be a little weird, but it smells good too!).

FACT Magazine is designed and edited to attract city dwellers from the local and expatriate community and bring something different to the coffee table that other weekly publications may not offer. Fact also gives space to promoting local artists and musicians, encouraging the development of the capital’s urban art and music scene. The publication is available online but I prefer buying and reading each addition the old fashioned way and I’m building up quite a collection!

So back to the awards evening, much like the magazine itself the evening had a informal and contemporary feel without the pomp of a formal dinner or a long drawn out ceremony. A brief intro and welcome from CEO Greg Hughes (who reminded me of Heston Blumenthal) was followed by a short FACT film documenting the fun three of the magazine’s staff had on their road trip visiting 147 of the 150 nominees all in one-day, with their antics captured throughout on Instagram (see a selection of the photos below).

PicCollage-7The awards celebrated Abu Dhabi’s ever growing and competitive dining scene with categories for restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and lounges across our fair city. The ‘Best’ in category was selected by an independent panel of UAE bloggers (including little old me) and industry experts and the ‘Favourite’ was chosen via public votes. Fifty-two awards were given out in twenty-six categories, announced on the large screen to the packed outdoor terrace full of industry professionals, hoteliers and even of the chefs themselves (great to see them out of their whites and enjoying the recognition they deserve). The Best and Favourites appeared on screen and the winners then collected their trophies from the back of the bar and had their photo taken in front of the Fact wall, job done and time to party and shmooze 😉

PicCollage-6It really was a fabulous event and I met some lovely new people, really what’s not to like about an outdoor party with a great atmosphere set against the backdrop of the illuminated Yas Viceroy Hotel and a marina full of beautiful boats. The awards also celebrate a great debut year for FACT magazine in the Abu Dhabi media marketplace. As Abu Dhabi is brimming over with dining choices I have shared the list of FACT winners below so that next time you need a recommendation, stuck for ideas of where to take your visitors or just need to grab a good cup of coffee, you can try something new from this list or maybe just spot some of your favourites who are honoured at the awards 😉

Market Kitchen Trader Vic’s
Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi. Beach Rotana
Frankie’s Pappagallo
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
Beach House Safina
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas Saadiyat Beach Club
Bord Eau Brasserie Angelique
Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
Catalan Etoiles
Rosewood Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace
Li Beirut Mijana
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
Sayad Fishmarket
Emirates Palace InterContinental Abu Dhabi
Hakkasan P.F. Chang’s
Emirates Palace Yas Mall
Sontaya Cho Gao
St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi
Benjarong Silk & Spice
Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche
Spice Mela Peppermill
Rosewood Abu Dhabi Eastern Mangroves Promenade
Sho Cho Koi
Souq Qaryat Al Beri Saadiyat Island
Caramel Restaurant & Lounge Redstar Bistro
The Collection, Saadiyat Island Various Locations
Chamas El Sombrero
InterContinental Abu Dhabi Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort
The Foundry Rodeo Grill
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Beach Rotana
Pepper All Day Dining Al Wahda All Day Dining
Novotel Al Bustan Grand Millennium Al Wahda
Jones The Grocer The Chocolate Gallery
Various Locations Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
The Library Alba
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
McGettigans Cooper’s Bar
Al Raha Beach Hotel Park Rotana
Jazz Bar & Dining Stills
Hilton Abu Dhabi Crowne Plaza Yas Island
The Coffee Club Tim Horton’s
Yas Mall Various Locations
Bentley Bistro & Bar The Cheescake Factory
The Galleria Yas Mall
Nahaam The Pool Deck
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara
Friday Brunch at Origins Bubbalicious Friday Brunch
Yas Viceroy The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
Silk Route Friday Fairmont Brunch
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Stratos Asia De Cuba
Le Royal Meridien St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche
Catalan Bentley Bistro & Bar
Rosewood Abu Dhabi The Galleria
Yas Island

Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved. Photos two and three used courtesy of Fact Magazine/Instagram.

5 thoughts on “And The Winners Are | FACT Abu Dhabi Magazine Dining Awards 2015

  1. I love Catalan, so it’s great to see this restaurant getting some well deserved recognition. Thanks for the full list, a few places still to try.

Leave a Reply