“Abu Dhabi Food Festival is designed to bring together the creative minds of renowned chefs and culinary enthusiasts from around the world to our emirate.” Mubarak Al Shamisi
A celebration of all things culinary will take over the capital as this year’s Abu Dhabi Food Festival (ADFF) returns to delight resident and visiting foodies for the next nineteen days. ADFF was officially launched last night at an exclusive event held at the Emirates Palace and promises to be a jam packed festival full of foodie fun and gourmet experiences. The festival, organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), will be held emirate wide starting today (5th December) until 23rd December and will include Gourmet Abu Dhabi, Street Feast and the inaugural SIAL Middle East trade fair.
Themed dinners, international street food trucks, meet and greets with Hollywood actors and celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and cookbook signings, live entertainment and family mall activities with well-known children’s characters will make up the extensive programme of food related events in Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and Al Gharbia.
The SIAL Trade Fair, the fastest-growing food, beverage and hospitality event in the region will kick off this year’s ADFF today until 7th December at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Hosted by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority the event highlights the production, distribution and supply of food & beverage products for professionals from a variety of sources. SIAL will also host the inaugural Abu Dhabi International Date Palm Exhibition (ADIDPE), the world’s only dedicated business to business (B2B) event for date palm fruit.
From 8th – 23rd December Gourmet Abu Dhabi will offer one-off food experiences including three dinners hosted by international chefs; MasterChef Australia co-host and judge Matt Preston, Michelin starred chef and restaurateur Graham Elliott and MasterChef Australia contestant, celebrated patissier and croquembouche ambassador Adriano Zumbo. Gourmet Golf makes its welcome return, the golf-themed event will be held at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf & Spa Resort on 15th December. The amalgamation of fine dining and luxury will take place at the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab in the Rub’ Al Khali desert with three separate Desert Experiences. The Observation Deck at 300 on the 74th floor of the Etihad Towers Hotel will host the Sky Experience with Chef Elliott preparing a special dessert for the Afternoon Tea event on 17th December. A five-star dinner aboard a traditional Dhow will see guests cruise along the Corniche as part of the Sea Experience taking place on the penultimate evening of this year’s ADFF.
Hollywood hotties John Cusack and Jesse Metcalfe will join guests at three special Gourmet Abu Dhabi dining experiences. If you remember Metcalfe from his days as the heartthrob gardener in Desperate Housewives then I suggest you book yourself dinner at Catch at the Nation Riviera Beach Club on 9th December. Twelve lucky fans of High Fidelity and Being John Malkovich star Cusack have the opportunity to share a gourmet meal with him at the Emirates Palace’s Presidential Suite on 16th December and at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi on 17th December. Other Gourmet Abu Dhabi featured events include a ‘Fast Cars, Slow Food’ bbq with a collection of supercars at Emirates Palace, High Teas that will showcase cutting edge fashion and delicious treats and culinary demonstrations. Several of Abu Dhabi’s top hotels are running restaurant promotions with special menus throughout the duration of the festival – click here to see the list of participating venues.
Sixty street food trucks from near and far will gather for the UAE’s biggest food truck festival, Street Feast. The trucks will offer visitors over one hundred and fifty different food options including classics such as burgers, hot dogs and pizzas as well as a special emphasis on South American and African cuisine. Street Feast will take place at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain from 8th to 10th December and on the Abu Dhabi Corniche from the 15th to 17th December. Additional Street Feast events will be held at the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, Abu Dhabi Airport and on Maryah Island as part of their Winter Wonderland.
If you are a fan of all things gourmet and gastronomic, love a celebrity chef or a tinseltown leading man, perhaps you just love international street food or trying new and exciting experiences be sure to check out this year’s Abu Dhabi Food Festival as there really is something to satisfy everyone’s taste and budget.
Abu Dhabi Food Festival 2016
When: 5th – 23rd December 2016
Where: Emirate wide – Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and Al Gharbia
Read more about food festivals in Abu Dhabi in previous posts British Food Truck Invasion – Street Feast 2015 and British Street Food Trucks Welcomed Back To The UAE
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Additional photo used with courtesy of www.abudhabifoodfest.ae