Dubai: 50 Best will launch the highly anticipated Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, with the awards being held in Abu Dhabi in February 2022, shining a spotlight on the region as a culinary destination.
The launch of the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants will mark the first time since 2013 – when both Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants were established – that 50 Best unveils a new regional restaurants list and awards programme.
The event programme will be hosted in the UAE capital in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi from February 4 to 11, as part of the Abu Dhabi Culinary Calendar, with the gala awards ceremony taking place on Monday February 7. The inaugural list of the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants will be revealed in a live countdown, along with a series of special awards, culminating in the announcement of The Best Restaurant in the Middle East & North Africa 2022. The ranking will reflect the best restaurant experiences collated from 250 voters, made up of anonymous restaurant experts from 19 countries across the entire region.
50 Best organisation works in partnership with a series of respected regional figures in gastronomy, known as Academy Chairs, who are selected for their independence, integrity and extensive network. Each MENA Academy Chair in turn puts forward a range of passionate food-lovers, whether they be chefs, restaurateurs, food writers or simply well-travelled gourmets. The overall Academy of voters will be gender-balanced and spread across the MENA region; and their votes are cast securely and confidentially.
Dubai based Claudia de Brito, a Portuguese-Cape Verdean, born in Singapore and raised in the UAE will oversee the Gulf region, recruiting expert voters from across UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. De Brito’s professional journey has been as nonlinear as her background. She started her career in TV sales then moved into film journalism before settling on hospitality as her field of expertise. She has covered F&B in the region for close to a decade as the editor of leading publications, including Caterer Middle East.
Now a freelance writer, content creator and hospitality consultant, she is based in the UAE and This launch marks a critical step in 50 Best’s continuous drive to inspire people to travel, explore and seek out new culinary adventures, putting the spotlight on up-and-coming chefs and food trends, and showcasing the subtlety and complexity of various cuisines from around the world.
The inaugural Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants event programme – including the awards ceremony and unveiling of the list – provides a unique opportunity to unite chefs, gourmets, and food and travel media from all over the region at a captivating celebration of cuisine and hospitality, while also promoting the culinary strength and diversity of the region as a whole to a global audience.
Highlights for the programme in Abu Dhabi will include the thought-leadership forum #50BestTalks and a series of collaborative dining events featuring leading chefs from across the world, as well as the best regional talent.
Other events will include a series of live Chef Masterclasses, a Chefs’ Feast showcasing the finest produce and cooking from the United Arab Emirates, and the awards ceremony and countdown itself. Key events in the programme will be open to food-loving consumers on a ticketed basis, with further details revealed in due course.