The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has signed an agreement with the Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification, which is led by Rabbi Levi Duchman, to launch the Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project, to officially certify the emirate’s hotels for serving kosher meals. The move comes after F&B outlets at hotels were instructed to include kosher food options on their room service and restaurant menus.
The new agreement allows Abu Dhabi’s hotel industry to have access to free kosher certification services for one year. This initiative paves the way for Jewish tourists from various nationalities to visit the emirate, after the UAE’s historic peace accord and the normalisation of relations with Israel was signed, and will also serve to open up a whole host of new opportunities for the emirate.
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.
“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 HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “This new agreement aligns with DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision to become one of the most diverse and hospitable destinations in the world.
“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.”
“When Abu Dhabi welcomes people from across the world, we will make sure that our guests will have the ultimate comfort and be fully welcomed. Therefore, if our guests require kosher food, we will make sure we have kosher of the highest quality available. This is something beyond tolerance – it is much deeper and more special - that makes Abu Dhabi so special. Our team here at EAKC will continue to work closely with all food establishments, to assist and enable them to serve kosher food at the highest and best quality possible.”
The Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification (EAKC) 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. Businesses can apply online to undergo kosher assessment by EAKC’s Rabbinic Coordinators via EAKC’s official website: www.eakc.ae.
Abu Dhabi’s move to promote kosher cuisine was created with the purpose of providing Jewish visitors and residents with the opportunity to observe reverence and adherence to religious tradition comfortably. This initiative aligns with the UAE government’s vision to promote religious tolerance and create a welcoming environment for people of all religions and backgrounds within the UAE.