Dubai: The second edition of The Dubai World Hospitality Championship (DWHC) is back this year, mainly aiming to promote Emirati hospitality and cuisine locally and internationally.

The championship, which is being held under the directives of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, and is organised by Zabeel Palace Hospitality in cooperation with the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) and The Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG), will take place from October 30 to November 1 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

In a press conference yesterday at Zabeel Palace Hospitality, it was announced that the championship this year will consist of four competitions — an international competition, Gulf products competition, Emirati competition and hospitality sector competition, including a photography competition which will run during the three-day championship.

The photography contest, being held in cooperation with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum International Photography Awards (HIPA), will complement the DWHC, and there will be six winning photos with awards worth thousands of dirhams.

Ahmad Bin Hareb, president of the DWHC, said that the number of participants this year hadexceeded their target and that out of the 3,385 people who applied, 2,588 qualified and 532 of them will compete in the Emirati competition.

“The DWHC truly embodies the art of Emirati hospitality, which is considered an inseparable part of the traditions and culture of the UAE. We will continue to preserve and promote Emirati hospitality and culinary art with hopes of bringing it to the local and the international scene,” he said.

Ahmad Sharif, Vice-President of DWHC, announced that there will be 12 teams from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab countries taking part in the international competition. The main countries taking part in this category are the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

“Seven renowned chefs and culinary professionals from each country will be representing their nations. The contest includes preparing a buffet for 45 visitors, and there will be a jury from the WACS, who we have collaborated with, to judge them. We are looking forward in particular to reviewing the skills of the Emirati chefs who have the potential and the qualifications to compete on the international level” he said.

He added that the Emirati competition will be aimed at promoting local products across a global level, as well as promote Emirati creative talent in the culinary arts.

“This competition is divided into four categories. Teams of Emirati professional chefs and amateurs will prepare authentic traditional Emirati dishes and the goal here is to mainly promote Emirati food and make it known to others,” he said.

The Gulf products competition will feature 50 participants from five countries from the GCC. Bin Hareb explained that it is aimed at showing support for the Gulf region’s outstanding talent “and further encouraging them to put their products in the market.”

Speaking about the photography competition in more details, Ali Bin Thalth, general secretary of HIPA said that the two categories for this contest are the “Our Hospitality” category which will demonstrate the aesthetic side of Emirati hospitality and “Our Legacy” category which will demonstrate the beautiful imagery that expresses the Emirati legacy.

“For those wishing to participate, they must know that the competition is only for two days, October 30 and October 31. They must take the best two photographs on those days where the DWHC is being held, and then they must register their names on the same day the photograph is taken on,” he said.

He added that the winners will be announced on November 1. First place winners for the “Our hospitality” category will receive Dh30,000, second place winner will get Dh20,000 and third place winner will revive Dh10,000. The same awards will be given to winners in the “Our Legacy” category.

Among the organisations collaborating with DWHC is the Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of the Establishment, said that they were pleased to cooperate with DWHC “because it shares [their] vision to nurture young national talents and provide the necessary support for them in order to be able to launch quality projects”.

The debut edition of the championship will host a culinary museum and a model heritage village displaying traditional handmade products and offering popular Emirati food for sampling. The event will offer free access to the public.