DUBAI- In line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai World Hospitality Championship revealed the establishment of UAE Hospitality Federation to position the UAE as a world leader in providing high-level hospitality services especially in terms of excellence, quality and creativity.
The announcement was made during a Press Conference and Suhoor gathering held yesterday evening (Wednesday, July 23, 2014) at Za’abeel Palace Hospitality.
The Federation aims to make the local hospitality sector competitive in the international arena and develop the skills and capabilities in the hospitality and culinary sectors while providing them with the best training in accordance with the global standards. The Federation will also facilitate the exchange of experiences and ideas regarding international cooperation and communication.
H.E. Ahmed Bin Hareb Al Falahi, General Manager of Za’abeel Palace Hospitality and the President of Dubai World Hospitality Championship, said: “The development of UAE’s hospitality sector is inevitable as the country is poised to attain regional and international excellence at all levels. The local hospitality sector is gaining momentum on an international scale as it keeps pace with the latest developments while maintaining UAE’s traditions. The establishment of the UAE Hospitality Federation embodies the vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, who aims to highlight the hospitality sector’s pivotal role in attaining sustainable development and positioning UAE as a leader in global hospitality arena.”
“The UAE is steadily moving towards positioning itself as a leading regional and international tourism hub. Thus, the hospitality sector plays an important role in strengthening the UAE’s tourism sector. We assure that the Federation will support all efforts aimed at promoting the local hospitality and culinary sectors in the global business sector, media and tourism stakeholders,” Al Falahi added.
Al Falahi continued: “The UAE Hospitality Federation is an essential goal of the Dubai World Hospitality Championship. In order to enhance the hospitality services in accordance with the highest international standards, we have to strengthen the education sector, establish national brands specializing in hospitality, support the industry to gain a foothold in the regional and international markets, and offer professional trainings to UAE nationals. The trainings will enhance their creative skills, enabling them to compete globally while promoting UAE’s traditions.”
Investment in Emiratis
Ahmed Sharif, Vice-President of DWHC, said: “The UAE Hospitality Federation is the first of its kind in the region. It is a new major achievement added to the UAE’s bright history, while reflecting its interest and commitment to invest in Emiratis. Since it is the first global event that celebrates the antiquity of the UAE’s local heritage, we have been keen to encourage Emirati talent by forming an elected Emirati cooking team, which will represent the UAE in all international competitions. Headed by Chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi, the team comprises seven of the UAE’s well-known chefs, including Chef Ali Salem.”
“In the first season of the DWHC, we surprised our audience with The Dream Team, which consisted of the most famous and talented chefs from across the world who had met for the first time on a single platform of the Dubai World Hospitality Championship. This provided an opportunity to visitors to take a quick overview about the latest trends in the culinary world and at the same time, learn about the latest innovations and cooking styles from around the world. However, in the second season, which begins on October 30, 2014 and ends on November 3, 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre and organized by Za’abeel Palace Hospitality, we have decided to form an Emirati team with an aim to encourage our nationals who are familiar with the art of the UAE cooking. The UAE Hospitality Innovators Team comprise the winners of gold medals in the previous competition and will receive special training at the headquarters of the tournament in order to prepare them for far more exciting competitions fought by chefs in the first season,” added Sharif.
DWHC consists of five competitions, including International Competition, Hospitality Sector Competition, Emirati Competition, Gulf Products Competition, and Gulf Exhibition. Majid Saqr Al Marri, Director of Hospitality Sector & International Competition, said: “The 2nd edition of DWHC is characterized by the participation of the GCC states and Arab countries will include activities and competitions in cooking and hospitality that will highlight the UAE and Gulf heritage and culture. The event aims to introduce the rituals and traditions of hospitality and cooking in the UAE and Gulf states and preserving them for future generations. In total, 12 teams will be participating in the International Competition representing the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco”.
The Hospitality Sector Competition has witnessed a remarkable rise in the number of participating chefs. Al Marri said: “The Hospitality Sector Competition has a huge turnout as it is the most important event that enables chefs to achieve new milestones that will be registered in their names. About 400 chefs participated in this competition last year, but the second season of DWHC will see the participation of 1000 chefs, who work in hotels and restaurants in the UAE. It will be a chance for them to show their technical and aesthetic capabilities in 21 categories, including ice craving, sugar sculptures, chocolate sculptures and wedding cakes.
As for the Emirati Competition, Al Marri pointed out that it consists of four categories: Traditional Cooking, Professionals, Amateurs, and Kids Category. He said: “The Traditional Cooking will provide a special platform to highlight the UAE society and will test the talents in the outdoor traditional cooking, using wood and embers at the Heritage Village. The candidate team will prepare famous Emirati traditional dishes selected by a special committee which will also judge these dishes later on, based on the local style of cooking and the real flavours of the Emirati taste.”
The Professionals category will provide the participants with the opportunity to review their experiences and their creative skills in preparing the appetizers, main meals and traditional sweets.
The Amateur category is for males and females between the ages of 15-27 years old and kids category between the ages of 7-14 years old from Dubai.
Under this category, the competitors will have to prepare sandwiches, decorate cakes and biscuits, and creatively arrange the dining table.
The Gulf Exhibition will include participants from the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.
The event will showcase homemade products which contain a mixture of real appetites and flavours such as Alatchar, vinegar, Arabic Ghee, coffee, and Arabic spices, among others.
In addition, Oud and homemade perfume and aromatic products, which reflect distinct sensory skills and tastes, will be featured.
Through this exhibition, the participants will have the opportunity to display a variety of their aromatic products such as Oud and fragrances that reflect creativity and the spirit of Arab hospitality.
The event has been specially developed to support the Gulf’s outstanding talents and encourage them to put their products in the markets.
The Gulf Products Competition consists of two categories, namely Innovative Products and Hospitality Equipment Utensils. Al Marri said: “The contestants in the first category will have to prepare sandwiches, desserts, cakes, biscuits, and other innovative varieties. Every competitor would choose his top three food creations for arbitration at the event’s venue. The second category of the competition will highlight the contestants’ creative skills in decorating hospitality kits and utensils of Delal and cups and dishes as well arranging the table, tablecloths, trays, and waiters’ clothes, among others. Their creations will be put on display for the jury and visitors’ viewing.”
Tareq Majjan, Director of the Technical Committee and Projects, talked about the layout of the tournament halls. He said: “The second DWHC will occupy 25,000 square meters of prime space and four halls of Dubai World Trade Centre, namely Sheikh Saeed Hall 1, 2 and 3, and the Arena Hall which has the capacity to welcome 10,000 visitors a day. Eight kitchens have been set up for the Emirati Competition, eight kitchens for the Hospitality Sector and another eight International Competitions. As for the Heritage Village, it will accommodate sea-life, desert and mountainous environments, with its area expanding to 3,500 square meters from last year’s 1,600 square meters. The space allocated this year doubled due to the increased number of activities, reaching a total of 115. The activities include traditional crafts, folk arts, heritage contests, poetry readings, popular games for children, traditional theater, and local cuisine. Meanwhile, there will be two key theaters. The first one is located in the main hall with a capacity of about 2,500 people, while the second will be at the Heritage Village. Each hall has studios for television and radio channels. Aside from the 400 stands allocated for exhibitors from the UAE and the Gulf States, 64 shops for hospitality exhibition featuring the commercial sector and local and global trade companies will be set up.”