A guide to the 50 best restaurants for the MENA region debuts in 2022

And Abu Dhabi will host the very first awards ceremony …

If you’re a food fan, you probably already know about the good work 50 Best has done to celebrate the world’s best restaurants.

Annual ranking services have already expanded to region-specific listings, with Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants (launched in 2013), followed by the Top 50 Restaurants in Latin America.

And there is one for bars too. In fact, Dubai’s Zuma made it to the World’s 50 Best Bars of 2020 list (ranked 23rd, not too shabby, DIFC trend haunting Galaxy Bar also featured at 67).

Today we learned that in recognition of the rapid, innovative and diverse expansion of gastronomy in the MENA region, a new list will be launched: the 50 best restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa.

The 2022 Roundup will be the inaugural edition, with a special awards ceremony to be held in Abu Dhabi in February of the same year. And we can’t think of a more suitable country to throw it all in, with a proud local tradition of gastronomy and cities offering a rarely matched diversity of the world’s food.

In partnership with Abu Dhabi Culinary and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT), there will be a week of gastronomic festivities between February 4 and 11, 2022.

Events that will include a series of culinary experiences featuring world-renowned chefs and top regional talent. There will also be a series of live chef lessons and culinary discussions with industry luminaries. A bit like the program of events that Abu Dhabi Culinary now organizes all year round.


Want to gauge the competition? The other countries competing for the first 50 places are Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Israel; Iran; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Morocco; Oman; Palestine; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syria; Tunisia; and Yemen.

Special prices

Special awards will also be awarded the same evening. These traditionally include the “One To Watch Award” – an honor for a rising star in the world of regional dining; and we are also likely to see the award for the best female chef in the MENA region.

Images: Getty

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