And Abu Dhabi will host the first-ever awards ceremony…

If you’re a food fan, it’s likely you’ll already be aware of the good work carried out by 50 Best in celebrating the world’s best restaurants.

The annual ranking services has already branched out into regionally specific lists, with Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (launched in 2013), followed by Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.

And there’s one for bars too. In fact Dubai’s Zuma made 2020’s The World’s 50 Best Bars (ranked 23rd, not too shabby, trendy DIFC haunt Galaxy Bar also featured at 67) list.

Today we learned that in recognition of the rapidly expanding, innovative, and diverse gastronomy in the MENA region — a new list would be launched: Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants.

The 2022 round-up will be the inaugural edition, with a special awards ceremony held in Abu Dhabi in February of that year. And we can’t think of a more fitting country to kick it all off, with a proud local tradition of gastronomy and cities offering a rarely matched diversity of world food.

In partnership with Abu Dhabi Culinary and the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT), there’ll be a week of foodie festivities between February 4 and 11 2022.

Events that will include a series of dining experiences showing off world-renowned chefs, and top regional talent. There’ll also be series of live Chef Masterclasses and Food Talk with industry luminaries. Not unlike the programme of events Abu Dhabi Culinary is now hosting all year round.


Fancy sizing up the competition? Other countries competing for the 50 top spots include Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Israel; Iran; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Morocco; Oman; Palestine; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syria; Tunisia; and Yemen. 

Special Awards

There will be special awards dished out on the night too. These traditionally include the ‘One To Watch Award’ — an accolade for a rising-star of the regional restaurant world; and we’re also likely to see a MENA’s Best Female Chef Award.

Images: Getty