EAKC representatives guided the AFOCH team through the certification process, providing consultation on implementation of a designated kosher certified kitchen, selection of kosher certified food, procurement of relevant ingredients and a guide on kosher catering.Kosher, meaning fit or proper in Hebrew, is a term given to foods which have been properly prepared to meet the strict religious dietary requirements of Jewish people. Abu Dhabi began establishing official kosher certification services shortly after the historic UAE-Israel peace treaty in September.
As per Circular 65 from Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), all hoteliers are advised to include kosher food options on their menus.The rules around kosher catering are extensive and complex, demanding many F&B venues to learn an entirely new set of practices. The rules cover where/when ingredients are sourced, the cleaning process of fruit and veg, the slaughter and preparation of meat, the fish used, the avoidance of mixing meat and dairy and many other guidelines.
To ensure all these rules are respected, venues must have a separate area for kosher food preparation.
CEO of Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel Shaikha Al Kaabi said, “We want to emphasise that our eagerness to serve kosher cuisine to guests who prefer it springs from our respect for cultural diversity. The UAE is a land of tolerance and pluralism and we want our cuisine to reflect the national ethos.”
She continued: “We anticipate the demand for kosher cuisine to grow substantially and are excited to meet the requirements of this special segment with the setting up of a dedicated kosher kitchen to provide an authentic culinary experience.”To date, EAKC is the only UAE based kosher certifying agency and was founded by Levi Duchman, Rabbi of UAE.
Duchman said: “Creating the kosher kitchen goes beyond tolerance; it demonstrates hospitality and a true concern for the welfare and comfort of all visitors and residents. On behalf of the Jewish community in UAE, I am especially grateful for the help of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi, Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel staff, and to the entire team at Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification who made this dream a reality here in Abu Dhabi.”