Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism has instructed all hotels to include kosher food options on their room service and restaurant menus.
The step comes after the UAE’s historic peace accord and the normalisation of relations with Israel, which was announced on August 13, and described in a joint statement by the UAE, US and Israel as a “a courageous step towards a more stable, integrated and prosperous Middle East.”
Next week, US President Donald Trump will hold a signing ceremony on September 15 for a ground-breaking Middle East agreement normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE.
In a circular issued on September 8, 2020, the tourism department emphasised that local authorities are committed to ensuring "certain foods" are available for all visitors and tourists in Abu Dhabi.
"All hotel establishments are advised to include kosher food options on room service menus and at all food and beverage outlets in their establishments," according to the circular.
It further clarified that all the hotel establishments should seek kosher certification for handling kosher meals, designate an area in all their kitchens for preparation of kosher food, in addition to labelling kosher menu items with a clear and recognisable symbol.
What is kosher food?
Kosher food is a term used to describe food that complies with the strict dietary standards of traditional Jewish law.
According to kosher tradition, any food categorized as meat may never be served or eaten at the same meal as a dairy product.
Furthermore, all utensils and equipment used to process and clean meat and dairy must be kept separate, even when they’re washed.
Kosher requires the ritual slaughter of the animal and the prohibition to eat pork. Shellfish and crustaceans are also prohibited, and fish can be eaten only if they have fins and scales.