Food table
Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pexels

Dubai: By the end of October, residents and visitors in Dubai will get to know which of the restaurants in the emirate offer the safest food while being the most sustainable and socially responsible.

Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department has announced that it will recognise the winners of the DM Food Elite Programme at a ceremony on October 21.

The programme will honour restaurants in Dubai that have consistently demonstrated leadership in food safety excellence combined with commitment to sustainability, nutrition and social responsibility.

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As first reported by Gulf News in January, the “DM Food Elite” title will be awarded to top three restaurants in three categories.

Category 1: Top three stand-alone casual and formal dining restaurants

Category 2: Top three restaurants that are a part of a hotel

Category 3: Top three quick service food outlets and cafeterias

“This will be a unique recognition of excellence for restaurants that do a remarkable job in various aspects,” Sultan Ali Al Taher, director of the Food Safety Department at DM, told Gulf News.

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According to him, the elite restaurants will be those that adhere to the highest levels of food safety and nutrition standards and implement environmental sustainability, social responsibility, innovation, and digitalisation in their operations.

Al Taher said elite restaurants must have a well-established food safety culture as an integral part of the wider organisational culture that integrates into its vision and mission and a food systems approach inclusive of nutrition and sustainability.

Once the winners are declared, consumers will be able to opt to patronise the elite restaurants that commit themselves to the highest standards in all these aspects.

Timeline revealed

In its latest updates about the programme, the municipality has revealed the timeline for its first edition.

Registration of entries will be open until July 15, the civic body has said. “All relevant information including evidences of certification must be completed within that date.”

To be eligible to register, the food business must have received an “A” Food Safety Rating in the calendar years 2022, 2023, and 2024. Additionally, the food business shall not have any critical or major violations from any regulatory inspections.

According to the Food Safety Department, onsite and remote assessment for Stage 2 will be carried out till August 30. Subsequently, the finalists’ presentation and jury evaluation will take place in September 2024.

Winners will be selected after an extensive evaluation process by independent assessors and winner announcements and recognition ceremony will be on October 21.

Exceptional establishments

“Dubai Municipality is dedicated to creating a sustainable food system that prioritises food safety and sustainability. This programme honours exceptional establishments which emphasises environmental sustainability, social responsibility and innovation,” Jehaina Al Ali, manager of Applied Nutrition and Awareness Section at the Food Safety Department, said in a video promoting the programme.

She said these efforts play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life in Dubai, which is home to over 26,000 food establishments.

DM Food Elite programme was launched by Dubai Municipality during the 17th edition of Dubai International Food Safety Conference, which was held in December 2023. The award ceremony for the winners will be held during the 18th edition of the conference that scheduled to be held from October 21 to 24.