Abu Dhabi launches $100mln Culinary Investment Fund to bring iconic restaurants

Editorial | | Reading Time: 3:41 minutes

Dubai: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced a new $100 million Culinary Investment Fund that will help introduce iconic brands to the UAE capital. In addition, the fund will support building and establishing a Culinary School to aid with recruitment, training, and other staffing resources in the sector. The school will offer an established core curriculum and introduce two new degree programmes that focus on maritime sustainability and food security.

The newly launched, Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund (ADCIF), is an incentive for world-class culinary brands to enter the emirate and will further elevate the culinary scene by co-investing with local asset partners and incentivising top chefs, top restaurants, and culinary educational institutions, to enter the market and make Abu Dhabi their new home.

H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism, DCT Abu Dhabi said: “The Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund is part of our ongoing commitment to elevate the culinary scene across the emirate and create new dining experiences. There is no better time or place to bring best-in-class chefs, restaurants, and hotel brands to the capital. 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, centred on our tradition of Emirati hospitality.”

The main requisites for successful fund applicants are brands or chefs recognised by leading awards committees and global culinary guides, with a multi-regional presence – operating in more than one country. Applicants should offer a premium casual, lifestyle, or fine dining experience, without yet having an existing presence in the region and would be making their debut in Abu Dhabi – with a one-year period of exclusivity to the emirate.

Abu Dhabi’s dining scene has recently been making headlines around the world, welcoming the MICHELIN team to launch the first-ever MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi. The guide details 42 restaurants across Abu Dhabi, awarded three establishments with one MICHELIN Star for their high-quality cooking and four with a Bib Gourmand, acknowledging culinary excellence and value. In addition, Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 – the regional food awards ranking – returned Abu Dhabi in 2023 after a hugely successful 2022 event.