The “Michelin Guide” arrives in Abu Dhabi in November


The Michelin Guide officially arrives in Abu Dhabi.

Less than three months after 11 restaurants in Dubai received Michelin stars, the guide is expanding its reach in the United Arab Emirates to include Abu Dhabi.

The list of restaurants will be announced in November, officially under the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023.

It is not yet known whether the capital will offer a selection of Bib Gourmand establishments, one, two or three stars. A Michelin star is awarded to restaurants for “quality cuisine that is worth a detour”, two Michelin stars for “excellent cuisine that is worth a detour” and three Michelin stars for “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special trip”.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the chefs’ predictions on which restaurants in Abu Dhabi deserve a place in the Michelin Guide

Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list refers to restaurants that offer “good-value three-course meals”, that is, places where diners can enjoy several courses for less than one certain amount (which varies depending on a city’s cost of living).

“All over the world, our inspectors are constantly on the ground to follow the evolution of the culinary scene and this is also the case in Abu Dhabi; our inspectors have been working in the field here for more than six years”, Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, says The National.

Its emphasis on “local and casual dining” might suggest that Abu Dhabi will have a number of Bib Gourmand entrees and regional cuisine will take center stage.

“Our inspectors are monitoring changes in restaurant quality. They have found some very creative restaurants owned or operated by renowned chefs, as well as a growing number of local and casual restaurants offering a great dining experience at an affordable price, including Oriental Cuisine.”

The Abu Dhabi roster is not finalized and will only be finalized shortly before the roster is released. “It’s a never-ending process,” says Poullennec. In a message to restaurateurs in the capital, he joked that they should “be careful” as inspectors are still on the ground and will be “among their regular guests”.

“Our inspectors are always open-minded, we don’t have a set number or quota, so they assess the quality of restaurants, whether they’re upscale or local and casual, so they can shine a light on the most successful teams. talent and restaurants,” he says.

When asked what differentiates Abu Dhabi’s food scene from that of Dubai, Poullennec replied cautiously: “It’s too early to tell, but each destination adds its own personality to the global food scene.”

The Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi was announced at an event on Tuesday, held at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. When asked if hosting the event at a Jumeirah venue suggested we might see hotel chain-run outlets on the list, Poullennec replied: “That means absolutely nothing, our inspectors are fiercely independent”.

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said of the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi launch: “Abu Dhabi offers an incredibly rich and diverse culinary scene, representing flavors from around the world.

“Therefore, we are proud and delighted to discover the first edition of Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi this November, which will reinforce our growing reputation as an emerging center of culinary excellence. By sharing Abu Dhabi with the world in this way, we can also introduce a range of inspiring, exciting and restorative experiences that visitors can find at their own pace.

The selection of the guide will be made according to the Michelin methodology applied throughout the world, based on its set of five universally applied criteria:

  • Ingredient quality
  • Mastery of the kitchen
  • Harmony of flavors
  • The personality of the chef through the kitchen
  • Consistency over time and across the menu

Like the Dubai Guide, it will be digital, meaning the full selection of restaurants will be available for free on the Michelin website and app. When asked if a merged guide to the United Arab Emirates was a possibility, Poullennec says the app flags Michelin restaurants based on your location. So the listings will, for now, remain separate, but the app will have a more holistic restaurant recommendation approach.

Updated: 07 September 2022, 05:44


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