September 29, 2020

Hotel Managers in UAE Know all About Passover and Kosher

London…Negotiations at all levels are proceeding for many hotels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to have Passover programs in some of the most luxurious properties in the world in 2021. According to Raphy Bloom of Totally Jewish Travel, many of the hotel managers already have experience with Passover programs from earlier stints in Europe and North America. The hotels are already in high gear to provide kosher food for the anticipated influx of large numbers of kosher travelers. The Orthodox Union is in touch with the UAE government about the certification of kosher food in the Gulf country. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Ministry issued a letter instructing “all hotel establishments” in the city to include kosher food options for guests, including by designating an area of every hotel kitchen “for kosher food preparation.” The OU already began a dialogue with Ellie Kriel (extensively reported in Kosher Today) who exhibited at last year’s Kosherfest.

Mr. Bloom told Kosher Today that several operators of Passover programs are actively negotiating with hotels in the UAE and Bahrain for the 2021 holiday. The operators, many who are still reeling from the 2020 debacle, are hoping that such a choice luxury destination will appeal to large numbers of vacationers who would otherwise stay home. Some businessmen with needs for kosher are already travelling to places like Dubai and there has even been discussion about small groups spending the upcoming Succos holiday in the UAE.

In anticipation of the launch of Tel Aviv - Dubai flights, Emirate airlines unit Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) has entered into a partnership to set up a dedicated kosher food production facility in the UAE. The partnership, with CCL Holdings will be called Kosher Arabia and is expected to begin production by January 2021. Emirates Flight Catering runs one of the world's largest catering operations, serving more than 100 airlines.

1070 Kitchen, based in London, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with hospitality provider Blue Horizon to establish a kitchen that will supply kosher food to hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. 1070 already supplies kosher food to many London hotels, including the Ritz and the Savoy, as well as several airlines, including El-Al’s lounge at Heathrow Airport. The news comes just a day after it was announced that UAE’s first kosher restaurant has opened in the world’s tallest building. Armani/Kaf sits on the ground floor of the Burj Khalifa, as part of the Armani Hotel, and will provide room service and a delivery provision throughout Dubai. It will be certified as kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Levi Duchman, UAE’s Chabad rabbi.