After 14 days of celebrating Dubai’s diverse culinary scene with Dubai Food Festival (DFF), the citywide event has shone a light on some of Dubai’s most environmentally friendly restaurants that can be experienced by foodies all year around.
Dubai’s food scene is aligned with global conversations on key sustainability topics, showcased by the recent launch of Dubai Can, a sustainability initiative by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. The initiative aims to reduce single-use plastic water bottle waste in the city by addressing various aspects such as encouraging individuals to use refillable water bottles, enabling access to free water stations that are available in multiple locations across the city and driving awareness on plastic alternatives and sustainability issues.
From local sourcing to responsibly recycling food waste and materials, here’s how some of Dubai’s restaurants and eateries are tackling the sustainability conversation in the Emirate:
In addition to sourcing ingredients locally and supporting local farmers and fishermen, this modern European restaurant has stepped up their efforts to reduce waste even further with the help of their very own Waste Officer where kitchen operations are constantly audited and refuse single use plastic from suppliers and to customers, as well as operate a demand-driven inventory. BOCA has also hosted zero-waste dinners and even written a guide dedicated to Emirati produce.
Where to find it: Gate Village 6, DIFC Near – towards DIFC Parking
Bounty Beets boasts delicious organic, gluten-free and vegan options that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The super-chic eatery with its pink hues and botanical touches promotes well through healthy eating, going green, and inspiring a positive community overall.
Where to find it: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi / Le Meridien Conference Hotel & Conference Centre
Offering an unparalleled approach to dining, Cassette do everything they can to save energy, reduce waste, and reuse. From décor that is not only inviting and practical, but is also designed with the use of sustainable materials where possible, to using offcuts for soups, sauces, syrups to ensure their ordering reflects requirements and takeaway containers that are made of 80% Bagasse— plus their cassava-made straws and cups are entirely biodegradable. Cassette also relies on local farms like New Leaf Herbs and Urban Fresh Local Produce to provide the tastiest of dishes.
Where to find it: The Courtyard – 4th St – Al Quoz
Aside from crafting delicious healthy cuisine for guests to enjoy in a serene botanical setting, Folia (which is a sustainability start-up to begin with) is continuously expanding and exploring new sustainability efforts. Some of their most recent initiatives include a partnership with the world’s first carbon negative coffee company, Tiny Footprint, to source organic and fair-trade coffee, as well as prioritizing the implementation of organics recycling in their coffee service.
Where to find it: Four Seasons Resort-Jumeirah Beach Road 2 – Jumeirah
At Hapi, all the cutlery, cups and food tubs are made from cornstarch, while recycled paper cups, tubs and boxes are used for warm food packaging. Hapi also sources packaging from Vegware, an environmentally friendly UK-based company whose products are biodegradable and compostable.
In a pledge to minimise food wastage, the café has developed a Zero Waste Menu where all dishes use food trimmings. Additionally, The café sources ingredients from local suppliers including Deena Organic Dairy and Dibba Bay Oysters.
Where to find it: Al Khazzan Park – Al Safa St – Al Satwa
Offering its guests a wide array of healthy dishes, this recycling café strives towards reducing their carbon footprint, focusing their efforts to reduce plastic waste. When visiting Kave, you’ll find tableware and ceramic vessels that are either recyclable or re-useable, this initiative is taken to raise awareness about the levels of plastic in the sea. You can also enjoy a variety of weekly craft workshops such as making guitars, giving embroidery classes, meditation sessions, bottle cutting and cycling using different tools and by using recycled pieces that make the wasted plastics ware re-useable.
Where to find it: Alserkal Avenue, Warehouse 20 Dubai
Lowe’s practices, including vegetable gardens, eco-friendly packaging and how they spin kitchen scraps into gold (their sourdough ice-cream is a must-try) has made this contemporary spot the inaugural winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award in Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, making them the most sustainable restaurant in the region.
During Dubai Food Festival, Lowe brought back their “Waste NOT” dinner series that are designed to reduce their environmental impact through the creation of a multi-course menu from would-be food scraps.
Where to find it: KOA Canvas – Legends
Projeto Acai is a healthy and ultra-vibrant restaurant chain that serves acai bowls made of fresh organic acai that comes straight from the Para state of Brazil amongst various other dishes and is fair trade certified. A portion of the revenue is dedicated to protecting Amazon Rainforest and its native people through various initiatives.
Where to find it: Dubai Marina/ Sheikh Zayed Road/ Motor City/ Dubai Silicon Oasis
Sanderson’s Cafe serves up top-tier green credentials. Not only does this forward thinking eatery offer free house-filtered water, but all their used oil is recycled and their wastewater is cleaned and re-used within the community to water plants. Produce is currently sourced from local suppliers but they’re also planning a kitchen garden in order to incorporate harvests into their dishes.
Where to find it: Sustainable City/ Al Khawaneej Walk
Soul Sante Café
A vegan café that has been created by a health and fitness expert, Soul Sante uses local organic produce to provide healthy and wholesome food that doesn’t compromise on taste in a blissful environment.
Where to find it: Shop #6, Jannah Place Nasaq Street, Dubai Marina
Raw Coffee Company
Raw Coffee Company is an artisan coffee roastery that sources premium green beans from around the world and have selected the niche specialty market looking for quality and sustainability. All their beans are ethically and directly sourced from the farmers, to ensure they and their families are treated fairly and can make a sustainable living.
Where to find it: Warehouse Next to RTA Carpark WH10, Cnr 7A and 4A Street – Al Quoz – Al Manara
For more information and a full update on DFF activities, please visit www.dubaifoodfestival.com and @dubaieats on social media channels.