Dubai…It did not take long after the Abraham Accords were signed for kosher travelers to discover a new travel Gan Eden destination and with the passing of every day, more travel groups are organizing tours to the UAE and kosher options are increasing by the day. According to Raphy Bloom of Totally Jewish Travel, the race is on by tour operators to organize Passover programs in Dubai. The Orthodox Union is at work helping a luxury hotel establish a kosher kitchen. Beginning this month, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Manama, Bahrain, will become the first hotel in the kingdom to offer kosher certified food through the help of Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher, the world’s largest kosher certification agency.
Israeli airlines are vying for the expected surge of Israeli tourism. Arieh Wagner of Starguest Kosher Catering in London is already booking for several tours. Golan Wines will soon be available in the luxury hotels in an agreement recently signed. All this despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has still put a huge question mark on the future of most Passover programs throughout the world. Israel is still in a virtual lockdown and an uptick in cases in the US may very well doom Passover programs there.
Ophir Tours is offering a comprehensive choice of kosher tours to the UAE for groups or independent travelers. Pioneered by the Armani Hotel, options for kosher hospitality in the United Arab Emirates are expanding. There are already three kosher restaurants or food venues in Dubai: Elli’s Kitchen – a local kosher caterer supervised by the Orthodox Union (OU), Armani/Kaf inside the Armani Hotel, Dubai’s first Kosher Restaurant – an exclusive kosher venue located in Burj Khalifa and Treat Kosher – a kosher catering service. The Armani Hotel Kosher Restaurant and Treat Kosher are supervised by Rabbi Levi Duchman, Chabad Rabbi of the UAE, running EAKC – Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification, both are Glatt Le Mehadrin, Pat Yisroel meals. The Armani Hotel is the first hotel in the UAE to operate as a kosher hotel, offering kosher meals and kosher take out for Shabbat. The Palace hotel will be offering kosher Shabbat meals and the Habtoor Palace will be hosting a Glatt Kosher winter sun program. In Abu Dhabi the first hotel to offer a kosher kitchen is The Armed Forces Officers Club. More kosher hotels are expected to come soon.
The year 2020 was the first to host a public Sukkah which was built in front of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai on Thursday, October 1. The Sukkah was built to serve the guests of the Armani/Kaf kosher restaurant and the Armani Hotel Kosher guests.