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Abu Dhabi launches investment fund to bring in top global restaurants

The fund will also support building and establishing a culinary school.

Abu Dhabi launches investment fund to bring in top global restaurants
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

Abu Dhabi has set up a new $100 million culinary investment fund to help entice prominent global restaurant brands to make the capital their new home. 

The Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund, announced by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi, will support the building and establishment of a culinary school. The school will also aid in the sector’s recruitment, training, and other staffing resources. It will introduce two new degree programs focusing on maritime sustainability and food security. 

The fund is part of the ministry’s ambition to elevate the culinary scene and create new dining experiences, said Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi. 

“This fund, in combination with the culinary school, will ensure that Abu Dhabi appeals to even more visitors around the world, who can experience increasingly diverse and high-quality dining in the emirate, centered on our tradition of Emirati hospitality,” he said. 

To be qualified for the fund, brands or chefs must be recognized by leading award committees and global culinary guides with operations in more than one country. 

Applicants should offer a premium casual, lifestyle, or fine dining experience without having an existing presence in the region. They would be keen on their debut in Abu Dhabi – with one year of exclusivity to the city.

Financial subsidies are available for landlords and hotel companies. 

The first two recipients of the new Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund will be announced in the coming months. 

Abu Dhabi recently launched its first Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi, which listed 42 restaurants and awarded three establishments with one Michelin Star for their high-quality cooking and four with a Bib Gourmand for culinary excellence and value. 

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