The new rules regarding kosher food were handed out by the DCT Abu Dhabi…

Following the UAE’s historic peace accord and the normalisation of relations with Israel, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) has asked hotels in the emirate to start making sure Jewish visitors can be accommodated comfortably.

A circular issued by the DCT in September states “all hotel establishments are advised to include Kosher food options on room service menus and at all food & beverage outlets in their establishments”.

Additional instructions include: “To seek Kosher certification for handling kosher meals; to designate an area in all kitchens for Kosher food preparation; and to label Kosher menu items with a clear and visible label/reference with a recognisable symbol that denotes ‘Kosher’, as per acquired certification.”

What’s kosher?

‘Kosher’ is the term used for food that ticks off the list of requirements prescribed by Jewish tradition. This includes aspects of food provenance, preparation and restrictions on certain food types or combinations of food types.

In a bid to formalise the new inclusive food rules and to make them more transparent, the DCT has coauthored an agreement to launch an Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project.

Making it official

It’s in collaboration with the Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification (led by Rabbi Levi Duchman) and will enable official kosha certification for the emirate’s hotels.

Speaking about the announcement, His Excellency Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi said: “One of the distinguishable aspects of Abu Dhabi culture is the diversity and inclusivity that tourists can experience in all aspects of their visit.”

“The Abu Dhabi Hotels Kosher Certification Project provides the opportunity for citizens and residents in the UAE to experience new food items, as we look forward to welcoming Jewish tourists from around the world to our city.”

Rabbi Duchman, the Founder of the Emirates Agency of Kosher Certification, said: “It has been a great privilege and opportunity for our community to work together with the DCT on this unique Kosher initiative here in the capital.”

“We are excited to be part of history as we assist the hotels to provide kosher options that will strengthen tourism. This initiative is all part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s vision for the emirate to be a home for all people of all cultures and religious backgrounds and a true beacon of light to all of our neighbours.”

Taking flight

This week. on October 21, Etihad will make the first-ever passenger flight from any GCC nation to Israel.

An outbound flight from Israel already made the three and a half hour journey from Tel Aviv into Abu Dhabi on October 19 on a 787 Dreamliner.

Speaking on the launch day of the inaugural trip His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Today’s flight is a historic opportunity for the development of strong partnerships here in the UAE, and in Israel, and Etihad as the national airline, is delighted to be leading the way.”

Images: Provided