The inaugural Abu Dhabi Food Festival, running February 5th-21st, will launch with the region’s first Street Feast as a caravan of international and local food trucks serve up excellent cuisine from around the world across the emirate.
The new concept makes up one of three courses of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, which will also incorporate the annual Gourmet Abu Dhabi event, running from February 11th-20th and the new Emirati Kitchen, being held from February 5th-7th.
This year’s expanded festival has evolved from the highly successful Gourmet Abu Dhabi which was launched in 2009 with the dual aims of raising F&B standards within the emirate and promoting Emirati hospitality and traditions.
Street Feast will run over three successive weekends and take place in Madinat Zayed, the largest town in the Western Region, on February 5th – 7th, at Al Mubazzarah Park in the emirate’s second city and heritage heartland of Al Ain from February 12th-14th and along the Corniche in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi city from February 19th-21st.
Ten international traders will be coming all the way from the UK especially for this event and be joined by numerous Emirati street food vendors who will be representing the best of this exciting new food movement, serving a diverse range of dishes reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of the emirate.
Among the vendors from the UK will be ATE Street Food specialising in slow cooked meat sliders; Indians Next Door offering lamb raan curries in a naan wrap, and Yogusensi with its freshly squeezed fruit bar. Emirati vendors will include SALT, the UAE’s first burger truck; Jones the Grocer with a wide variety of local and international food and Desert Chill – for ice cream lovers.
“Street Feast is a new concept to us here in Abu Dhabi and in fact across the region and is just one direction we are taking to ensure that we stay on top of the latest culinary trends and set new standards of excellence. Partnering with Real Food Festivals, with its wealth of expertise in delivering successful events, ensures we have all the right ingredients for an amazing event,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which is behind the Abu Dhabi Food Festival. “This will be an ideal way for all the family to try different foods and dishes, both traditional Emirati dishes and international cuisine, at very affordable prices alongside a range of fun activities and street entertainment,” he added.
Bringing more than a decade of experience in running street food festivals across the UK to the emirate, Real Food Festivals, a division of Food Market Events Ltd, is responsible for arranging some of the largest and most popular food events held in Britain.
The London-based company has been responsible for the annual Real Food Festival, attracting 400 exhibitors and 25,000 paid customers as well as the Real Food Festival Southbank Centre in London in 2012 which attracted 150 exhibitors and 300,000 free entry visitors.
“The UK, and particularly London, has been at the forefront of a global street food revolution that has swept across cities, transforming the way we eat and improving the quality and excitement of what is available. We are truly excited to be bringing over some of the best examples of UK street food traders to join with and add their experience to a new breed of exciting Emirati street food trader beginning to emerge in the region,” said Philip Lowery, Director, Food Market Events Ltd.
“It is clear that there is a real demand for further development in this more informal dining sector and we are delighted to be joining forces with TCA Abu Dhabi to deliver this. We see great opportunities within the region and as well as creating these events we are looking to extend our activities in Arabia by opening a regional office to further this,” he added.
As well as the food, visitors will also be entertained by teams of international chefs sharing their culinary skills and a live music stage featuring contemporary and traditional Emirati artists
Street Feast on Abu Dhabi Corniche will also attempt to set a new world record by creating the world’s longest shawarma. The current record is set at 42.6 metres, but Fatafeat chef Andrew Mitchell plans to smash that by creating a shawarma 100-metres-long with the help of 300 volunteers.