70 awards were given out across 35 categories which covered over 150 venues.
More than 60,000 unique online votes were cast by the public in Abu Dhabi.
Around 400 guests enjoyed a sociable evening of five-star food and drinks at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, which was awarded Best Chinese restaurant in Abu Dhabi 2019 and Best Independent Weekend Brunch 2019 for their Hakka Brunch.
FACT Dining Awards is part of a wider initiative by FACT M.E. with annual ceremonies in Bahrain, Dubai and, too.
FACT Abu Dhabi Magazine hit a milestone with their fifth annual FACT Dining Awards, held on April 1st at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi. In another glamorous awards ceremony, the much-anticipated event was attended by close to 400 guests who turned out for an evening of great food and drinks at one of the city’s most popular hotspots, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi. The half a decade landmark heralds another successful year of operation for the publication in the UAE capital, and the largest number of guests at any FACT Dining Awards held in the UAE.
The who’s who of Abu Dhabi’s hospitality industry sipped on liquid concoctions and delicious canapes as the elegant ceremony turned lavish party attracted top GMs, F&B Directors, Chefs, Marketing and PR professionals, and selected Abu Dhabi bloggers and social media influencers. Embodying FACT’s down-to-earth and fun approach, the event was a laid-back and casual affair with lots of fabulous food, free-flowing drinks and a lively vibe, presented by none other than Radio One’s very own Chiara Glorioso. The popular Radio personality announced all 70 winners in 35 categories to roaring cheers around the venue.
Speaking after the event, Edward Smith, Publishing Director at Nans Group, said: “I can hardly believe that we are now in our fifth year with the FACT Dining Awards. The city’s food sector has grown rapidly and there are so many great new venues and well-established classics too, who we love to reward at the ceremony, which has become a highlight on the hospitality calendar in Abu Dhabi,” he added. “We are incredibly honoured to have been able to host another successful event that has well and truly become the authority on recognising the efforts of all the excellent food and beverage outlets here in Abu Dhabi.
“The turn out this year was one of the best we’ve had in the whole region, with almost 400 people packing onto the amazing outdoor terrace of the palatial Hakkasan Abu Dhabi. It was a true celebration,” he continued. “I would like to congratulate all the nominees and winners, and also give a huge shout out to all of our sponsors – without you all, this wouldn’t be possible – so keep doing what you do best and we’ll be back next year with even more surprises and venues to commend.”
The FACT Dining Awards recognises excellence in the food and beverage industry, with winners awarded based on both public vote and critics’ opinion. Each category was given two awards, the BEST and the FAVOURITE. The latter is the result of a popular choice decided through online voting, and the former is the critic’s choice decided by an independent panel of food bloggers, the FACT editorial team and industry experts in Abu Dhabi.
Some of the standout accolades included Best Newcomer which was awarded to one of the most talked about new steakhouses in the city – Oak Room at The Abu Dhabi Edition, whilst the Favourite Newcomer went to Namak by Kunal Kapur, an innovative Indian eatery at the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. Best overall restaurant in Abu Dhabi for 2019 went to Zuma once more, whilst the social hotspot Buddha-Bar Beach at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, took home the Favourite overall, attracting thousands of votes. Other notable wins included 5-star hotels like The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Rosewood Abu Dhabi and many more.
Social media was abuzz too as Abu Dhabi’s dining elite shared their photos on facebook, twitter, instagram and snapchat, with the FACT team taking readers behind the scenes of the event on their insta story (@factmagazine).
This month will also see the fifth annual FACT Dining Awards take place in Qatar at the five-star Iris Doha, Sharq Village & Spa. The FACT Dining Awards have also enjoyed nine years of successful campaigns in Bahrain, with hundreds of venues awarded for excellence over the years.