A sumptuous celebration of food will be served up in the emirate from December 2016 with the return of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival (ADFF). Running right across the emirate from December 5th to 23rd, the festival will incorporate Gourmet Abu Dhabi, Street Feast and, for the first time, the SIAL trade fair, the fastest-growing food, beverage and hospitality event in the MENA region. Spread over 19 days and taking in three weekends, ADFF will attract both residents and visitors alike to enjoy not only cuisine from some of the best chefs on the planet, but also some of the most scrumptious street food available anywhere in the world today.
MasterChef Australia star Matt Preston, acclaimed Michelin Star chef, restaurateur and global TV personality, Graham Elliot and Adriano Zumbo, star of Zumbo's Just Desserts, will be delighting food fans with pop-up restaurant appearances, 'Meet & Greets’ and cookbook signings during the festival.
ADFF will also feature unique events such as 'desert', 'sea' and 'sky'-themed dining experiences, a Gourmet Golf event, a 'Fast Cars, Slow Food' barbeque and live music, as well as a multitude of mall activations that will delight both families and children. The event will also have a full range of activations and promotions in the emirate's hotels, restaurants and malls. Main attractions on the menu include cooking demonstrations, 'Kitchen Missions' featuring Dora the Explorer, the Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob Squarepants, with live music, chocolate carving, unique barbeque events as well as celebrity-hosted 'high tea' events.
SIAL, which is being held from 5th to 7th December in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), has grown impressively in the Middle East since its inception, with the 2015 edition having over 25,000 sqm of space for exhibitors, which is 20 per cent more than the previous year. The event, which is being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, will also feature a number of new initiatives this year including SIAL World Summit, Global Chefs Challenge Semi-Final, SIAL Innovation World Champions, Regional Barista Championship and The Mercurys Awards.
"With this year's Abu Dhabi Food Festival we are strategically positioning Abu Dhabi as a global culinary capital through a comprehensive and accessible top-level festival celebrating food and food preparation," said HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. "We believe the combination of the best culinary and entertainment aspects of our already established food festival will sit perfectly alongside the business focus of the SIAL trade fair, and this is another example of TCA Abu Dhabi taking a strategic lead in implementing cooperation between both governmental and private partners. We are confident that working with ADFCA on this Festival will add value to the total culinary experience on offer to visitors, and we’re looking forward to achieving a successful festival together."
The Gourmet Abu Dhabi strand of the festival, which was launched in 2009, will feature exceptional food experiences with celebrity chefs in a variety of world-class venues from 8th to 23rd December. It will also include a golf-themed event, with the return of Gourmet Golf, a barbeque event, featuring collection of supercars, as well as 'High Tea' events, which will combine cutting edge fashion and some spectacular desserts.
"By bringing together all the ingredients for a sensational experience, the annual Abu Dhabi Food Festival is geared to bring food fans from around the world to our emirate. And it is another example of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to becoming a year-round destination," said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism Sector, TCA Abu Dhabi. "The addition of SIAL to the already impressive menu of events means that we believe the 2016 edition of the festival will be the biggest and best yet!"
Street Feast is also on the menu once again, promising a fantastic culinary experience for all. More than 60 food trucks will feature across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain with over 150 different food options to choose from, which will make it the biggest food truck festival in UAE. The event will take place in Al Ain from 8th to the 10th December at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, and on Abu Dhabi Corniche on 15th and 17th December. In addition, there will be a children’s entertainment area, international street performers, graffiti artists, an outdoor cinema and live stage performances.