Expo City Dubai opens with stunning visuals on Al Wasl dome
File image Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan

COP28 UAE will offer the first 1.5° C-aligned menu at a COP conference, as part of its objective of making the conference carbon-neutral.

More than 90 food and beverage outlets will showcase a diverse range of cuisines, including a unique 100 percent vegan food truck park and Alkebulan, the world's first African dining hall.

It is anticipated that 250,000 meals will be served every day of the 12-day event.

Strict rules

To ensure menus are climate-conscious and sustainable, COP28 mandates caterers to minimize waste, use sustainable packaging, provide training, and recycle where possible. COP28 is working with Expo City Dubai, Dubai World Trade Centre and Erth to ensure F&B vendors are supported as much as possible in achieving the challenging Sustainable Catering Strategy.

The COP28 Catering Team has been working with Nutritics to support F&B vendors by providing access to its platform to enable vendors to calculate the carbon and water intensity of menu items.

Caterers have been asked to ensure that at least 50 percent of food served falls within sustainable limits for carbon and water intensity, as well as aligning with UAE guidelines on macronutrients.  By providing carbon-conscious choices and supporting information, delegates will be able make informed eating choices at COP28.

Visitors will have an abundance of choices in the Blue and Green Zones, and reservations are now open for select restaurants, via Eat App.

Blue Zone reservations can be booked from 30 November to 12 December and require the necessary accreditation for Blue Zone access.

Those with a Green Zone Pass can make a reservation for a restaurant in the Green Zone from 3 to 12 December.

Selected restaurants in the Green Zone

Assembly Mezze & Skewers: Chef Athanasios Kargatzidis, the mastermind behind Baron, Lebanon's top-ranked restaurant in the MENA's 50 Best Restaurants guide for 2022 and 2023, is proud to bring Assembly Mezze & Skewers to COP28.

Alif CafÃ: This proud Expo 2020 Dubai-born brand is a farm2table-led concept, which champions organic and sustainable produce and carbon-neutral techniques.

PXB: Located in the Terra pavilion across three floors, PXB offers a plant-based menu, spanning everything from all-day brunch specialties such as buckwheat pancakes and date syrup, to mains like katsu curry, loaded burritos and Asian noodles.

The Four Food Truck Parks: Combining brands such as Dubai-founded burger joint Pickl, Mexican hotspot Taco Club, Asian street food specialists Baofriend, homegrown authentic Vietnamese restaurant Vietnamese Foodies and much more. It will also offer a pop-up cart from Dubai community coffee shop Spill the Bean, hailed by The Financial Times as one of the world's best independent coffee shops.

Expo City Farm: This will make its debut as part of COP28's Green Zone, featuring both indoor and outdoor spaces growing crops, fruits and vegetables.

Q Coffee: More than just a coffee shop, the concept is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Women's Economic Development program. Organized in partnership with Sustainable Growers, it has helped provide financial independence to over 724,000 women, and consequently uplifted 2.8 million children. Q Coffee is a celebration of Rwandan culture, heritage, and coffee, and offers tastings and workshops in coffee making and fair-trade practices.

Hideaway: The spirited sibling of London's Hide by Chef Ollie Dabbous will make its UAE debut and is proud to bring its modern British and Mediterranean cuisine to the Green Zone.

Reform Bar & Grill: This gastropub will serve up signature British comfort foods.

Tost: Acclaimed Emirati chef Faisel Nasser will offer the ultimate winter comfort foods through his new concept Tost. Specializing in soups and loaded cheese toasties, it will be the ideal fuel for a busy day at Expo City Dubai.

Selected restaurants in the Blue Zone

PXB & Partners: This is a whole food truck concept dedicated exclusively to 100 percent plant-based food, starring five of the world's leading vegan restaurants: Farmacy, Roots & Rolls, Chuck Chick, Wild and the Moon and Floozie Cookies. Other casual Blue Zone food trucks that require no reservations include vegan ice cream brand House of Pops and Emirati dessert specialist Legaimat by Al Fanar.

Gup & Shup: Rohit Ghai will offer his contemporary take on authentic Indian street food through Gup & Shup, his brand-new concept at Expo City Dubai.

Philly Jawn by Ghostburger: Bringing an all-American twist to the event with its special COP28 menu of towering smash burgers and sandos.

AJEENÃ: Chef Faisel Nasser will keep the flavors of the Levantine region alive at AJEENÃ. The vibrant venue will invite COP28 guests to experience a taste of authentic Middle Eastern mezze.

Yamanote Collective: This will be the first all-day-dining concept from UAE-born Japanese bakery Yamanote Atelier, and the eighth branch of Vietnamese Foodies.