Abu Dhabi has such an incredible food scene that is forever changing and just getting better and better.
And although it’s quite literally our job to follow all the new restaurant openings, there’s often so much going on that it can be hard to keep up.
We’re sure that, like us, the list of restaurants that you still want to visit isn’t getting any shorter.
So this is one reason why the Taste of Abu Dhabi is such a great idea.
Held from November 8 to 11, this foodie festival lets you sample dishes and beverages from loads of the city’s best eateries in one place.
There’s also brilliant live music and chance to meet, bake and cook with some of the world’s top celebrity chefs.
Here’s our guide to arguably the city’s tastiest weekend.
A long list of celebrity chefs from around the world will be appearing at the festival.
Gary Rhodes, Sanjeev Kapoor, Eric Lanlard, Reza Mahammad, Jenny Morris, Mohammad Orfali, Tarek Ibrahim, Fathima Ahmed, Hattem Mattar and Anthony Pichon will all be putting on cooking demonstrations and sharing their top tips in the Crate & Barrel Chef’s Theatre.
Think you’ve got the cooking skills to rival the experts? Well the Al Ain Farms and Kibsons Cooking Challenge is the perfect way of testing your creative culinary prowess.
With chances to win brilliant prizes throughout the weekend, plus the opportunity to cook alongside the festival’s amazing
line-up of celebrity chefs, this really is your chance to shine.
All you have to do is sign up 30 minutes before each session takes place and get ready to knock the judges’ socks off.
Eat around the city
If your skills are in eating food rather than preparing it, you’re in for a treat.
The event is offering us the chance to taste more than 48 signature dishes from some of the city’s best restaurants.
These outlets include Roberto’s Italian Restaurant, Hickory’s Restaurant and Bar, Nolu’s, Leopold’s of London, Dai Pai Dong, Sushina, Burger & Crab Matsu, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Limo, COYA and a special pop-up edition of Gary Rhodes’ restaurant Theatre by Rhodes. Visit this eatery and you’ll also be able to meet the man himself.
Dance it off
While you’re busy nibbling your way through all the different foodie offerings, you’ll be entertained by three full days of fantastic live music.
First up on the bill is the former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle. Now, we’re sure that you all know who this girl band are. Don’t pretend that you’ve never danced along to their many catchy tunes such as Sound of the Underground, Love Machine and Jump. We know that’s a lie.
Nicole is also joined by the 2017 Britain’s Got Talent singer Sarah Ikumu as well as The Bootleg Beatles, who will be bringing a bit of the Fab Four to the capital and performing all the legendary band’s biggest hits including Hey Jude, All You Need Is Love, Yellow Submarine and Ticket to Ride
The UAE’s biggest-ever bake off competition is coming to Taste of Abu Dhabi on November 10, and this year it has a very special carnival theme.
The winner will be rewarded with a place on the Baking and Pâtisserie Course at the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) in Dubai. Worth Dhs25,000, this is an exceptional opportunity for any wannabe baker. If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next bake-off champion, all you need to do is send a detailed description and picture of the cake you would like to enter into this hotly contested competition.
Roll it out
If baking is your thing, make sure you grab an apron, roll up your sleeves and head to the Jif Big Baking Tent. Here you’ll get the chance to perfect your baking skills with the help of master pâtissier Eric Lanlard.
The London-based chef has presented numerous baking shows for the UK television network Channel 4, and also appeared on some of Britain’s biggest food shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef: The Professionals. His masterclasses are open to all, from baking experts to those who have never picked up a rolling pin before. It’s never too late to start.
Omar Orfali, Gary Rhodes, and Robertos’ chef Andrea Falcone will also be running their own baking classes.
Go on a steak out
One of the many new features at this year’s event is the barbecue steakout tent.
Hosted by master chef Tarek Ibrahim, special guests Anthony Pichon, Hattem Mattar and Mohammad Orfali will also be sharing their best barbecue tips as guests take part in a series of live challenges.
Using premium halal Aussie beef or lamb, participants will get the chance to perfect their grilling skills just in time for those garden parties you’ll be throwing over the winter.
Local Harvest are this year’s partners of Taste of Abu Dhabi, and it’s great news for us foodies. Throughout the weekend they will be putting on a colourful farmers market, selling fresh vegetables and produce from the city’s farms.
You’ll be able to meet the farmers themselves, find out about the vast range of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs that are available right on our doorstep, and perhaps most importantly, pick up lots of free samples.
Kids will also be able to learn how to grow vegetables and plants for themselves. They can then take home their planted vegetable seeds and watch them grow.
Show yourself some love
When you need a breather from all the eating, you can always retreat to the wellness pavilion.
Here, experts from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi will be providing health check-ups, Nayomi Beauty Salon will be offering its most luxurious beauty services, and Organic and Real will be selling its extensive range of health products.
Something for all ages
Anyone under 12 is very lucky indeed. Not only is their entry to the festival totally free, but they’ll also be able to take part in a range of cooking and baking classes that have been designed just for kids. In addition to this, there’ll be a vibrant kids’ zone full of arts and crafts, inflatables and face painting.
Get the VIP experience
If you want to really make the most of the event, you can always splash out and treat yourself to a VIP ticket. After all, this weekend is all about indulging isn’t it? These passes get you fast-track entry into the festival, unlimited access to the Cleartrip VIP lounge, plus the opportunity to get up close and personal with the festival’s headline bands and artists.
VIP entry also includes three complimentary drinks and three food vouchers to spend at any of the outlets, all for Dhs230.