Organised by the Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the 2018 Abu Dhabi Food Festival (ADFF) is set to return with events and promotions taking place across the capital between 6th – 22nd December. Thousands of visitors and food gourmands from across the emirate are expected to visit, cementing Abu Dhabis position as an emerging culinary hub and celebrating international cuisine.
Over the years, ADFF has successfully received both residents and international visitors alike to enjoy from the cooking of some of the best chefs from around the world. This year, the Abu Dhabi Food Festival is honored to have Mexico as the official Guest of Honor; the country will present a variety of its cuisine and chefs to be celebrated throughout the festival.
Given the significance of food in Mexican culture, cuisine has something of a soft diplomacy role in the UAE and the wider region. Commenting on the upcoming festival, her country’s position as its guest of honour and the ever-growing popularity of Mexican food, HE Francisca E. Méndez Escobar, Ambassador of Mexico to the UAEsaid: “I want to express my deepest gratitude to the government of Abu Dhabi for the privilege of participating as the Guest of Honour at the 4th edition of this prestigious food festival. Mexican cuisine is well-known around the world and since 2010 it has been included on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Today, you can find Mexican food products in more than 160 countries around the world, in Abu Dhabi alone there are six Mexican restaurants.”
HE Saif Saeed Ghobash said: “more than 1,500 Mexican nationals currently call the UAE home, and we want the people of Mexico and the UAE to learn more about one another. Food specifically is an especially powerful means of building ties between people, and so this year’s strong Mexican presence at ADFF will encourage an exchange of cultures, which is one of our key mandates at DCT Abu Dhabi”, he added.
SIAL Middle East, the leading annual food, beverage and hospitality event will be held in Abu Dhabi, during ADFF and has grown to attract 1,000 exhibitors from almost 50 countries. Held between 10th-12th December, it is expected that more than 20,000 visitors from all over the world will come to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where the Mexican pavilion will be showcased for the first time as the guest of honor for ADFF
Another standout promotion will be the citywide ADFF Scavenger Hunt Competition by Traceberry app which is an exclusive augmented reality scavenger game, users of the app can enter for a chance to win prizes worth 1,000,000 AED such as mall vouchers, electronics and fine dining opportunities. Entrants simply need to download the Traceberry app to chase and catch “quiz berries” around different event locations of ADFF and participating restaurants in the city.
This year’s festival goer will see for the first time ‘World of Food Abu Dhabi’, presented by DCT Abu Dhabi in partnership with Purple Kitchen Events coming to Um Al Emarat Park between 13th -17th December, where visitors will be able to take a culinary journey through more than 10 countries, sampling a mix of signature taster dishes cooked to perfection and served by international chefs directly to the public. Three Michelin star chefs have been confirmed to attend. Moreover, the event will emphasize family fun, and include live music, competitions, cake decorating demonstrations, cooking shows and kids activity areas. Admission will be free for all visitors.
In partnership with Time Out Abu Dhabi, the popular Abu Dhabi Restaurant Week will be coming to the capital, during 6th-15th December, a magnificent celebration of all things culinary. The festival gives diners a range of offers, so they can explore global flavours cooked up by world-class chefs via specially crafted three, four and five course menus.
Festember will be another sought after pop culture event taking place between December 5 – 9 at the Waterfront Park, next to Louvre Abu Dhabi during this year’s ADFF. Festember is an art, lifestyle and entertainment platform for showcasing local and regional entrepreneurs, businesses, innovative concepts, ideas and emerging brands. Festember has become the stage for presenting emerging brands and the leading annual event catalyst for new ideas.
In 2018, Festember will be at the forefront of creating unparalleled experiences for its visitors, comprising new international food and beverage vendors and entertainment, including Gastro Garage, Chick’nCone and The Barrel BBQ. The latter is returning after its great success at last year’s Abu Dhabi Food Festival. Tickets will be priced at 25 AED for children, 75 AED for adults and there will be a single ticket which can be bought for the entire family for 125 AED.
The food festival this year will also visit Manarat Al Saadiyat, witha MAS Vegan Market that features an array of inventive takes on vegan cuisine from UAE’s vegan hotspots, along with activities promoting a holistic and healthy lifestyle, such as Yoga and Reiki sessions, as well as food photography sessions which teach attendees how to create aesthetic and enticing images of food that can be used for advertising, cookbooks, or other media. Manarat Al Saadiyat is also hosting an Open Talk featuring Dr. Habib Al Mulla, along with a book signing titled “My Journey to the World Restaurants”, with film and documentary screenings taking place throughout the Food Festival. Art studio workshops will also be on offer to this year’s attendees with activities where Art Studio will adapt its drop-in workshops on these dates for adults, juniors and children.
Not all of the action will be focused on central Abu Dhabi though, as between 6th – 8th December, Yas Links will also be hosting Big Grill, which will celebrate the art of cooking with fire and smoke bringing cooks and pitmasters from all over the UAE, as well as a live concert. The three-day event will feature lessons from Grill Masters on their techniques, recipes and secrets of the trade.