Winners of the Urban Treasures Awards standing for a group photo at a ceremony organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi on Thursday Image Credit: DTC

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) honoured the winners of the Urban Treasures Awards for this year.

The initiative, now in its second edition, pays tribute to establishments that have left an indelible mark on Abu Dhabi’s cultural landscape.

During a ceremony held at the Cultural Foundation on Thursady, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, presented the awards to 15 outstanding businesses chosen from various corners of the emirate.


The recipients include Abu Al Afwal Cafeteria, The Green Branch, Al Masaood Jewellery, Chhappan Bhog, Badie Optical, Cairo Textile Showroom, Al Almain Restaurant, Al Arab Restaurant, Abu Kaabi Kabab Restaurant & Grills, Lebanese Roaster, Al Sultan Restaurant & Grill, Sunlight Electronics, Gulf Bride Salon, Cool and Cool Flowers, and National Tailor Stores.

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The Urban Treasures initiative, which seeks to honour establishments that have thrived for two decades or more, sheds light on the city’s iconic small businesses, including cafés, restaurants, bakeries, tailors, fabric stores, perfumeries, jewellers, photography studios, and similar ventures.

By elevating the profile of these cherished “treasures” and ensuring their preservation for future generations, the award aligns with DCT Abu Dhabi’s Modern Heritage Initiative, which aims to safeguard the emirate’s recent history.

Exceptional local establishments

Al Mubarak said: “We take great pleasure in celebrating this esteemed group of exceptional local establishments in Abu Dhabi. These long-standing institutions are not merely businesses, they are an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s narrative. They have witnessed the city’s growth and have contributed to the character and vibrancy of our neighbourhoods. They hold a special place in the memories of citizens and long-term residents. Through the Urban Treasures accolade, we both express our gratitude for their significant social impact and extend an invitation to residents and visitors to continue engaging with these businesses and ensure their sustained prosperity.”

The nominations for Urban Treasures 2023 were opened to the public in October of last year and received an overwhelming response of 460 submissions. The committee meticulously reviewed each establishment based on a set of criteria, leading to the selection of this year’s remarkable winners.