Michelin-starred chefs delight Riyadh foodies

Guests at Taste of the World, Riyadh, a six-day extravaganza featuring some of the world’s best restaurants in the capital’s Digital City, sipped mocktails while listening to live acoustic music on the Music Stage.
Updated 17 November 2019

Michelin-starred chefs delight Riyadh foodies

Taste of the World, Riyadh has been heralded as a great success by both event organizers and the 14,000 visitors that attended the six-day extravaganza in the capital’s Digital City.
Commissioned by the General Entertainment Authority, this bespoke edition of the festival, created especially for the Riyadh Season, featured 14 of the world’s best restaurants, boasting a combined 13 Michelin stars.  
Throughout the festival, the participating restaurants featured an exclusive menu of three dishes, served in taster-size portions — two of each restaurant’s signature dishes, as well as a Saudi-inspired dish that the chef had exclusively designed for Taste of the World, Riyadh. Visitors looking for a more exclusive experience were welcomed to The Taste Residence where they were treated to a four-course dining experience with Michelin-starred chefs.
Another major attraction that drew large crowds was the Fire Pit, where local star chefs Areej Al-Shareef, Abdelelah bin Jarid and Fahad Bokhari showed off their talents alongside the global superstars. Hosted by Saudi culinary star and presenter Rakan Aloraifi, spectators enjoyed cooking demonstrations, tasting sessions and a live DJ.
In another area of the festival, guests sipped mocktails while listening to live acoustic music on the Music Stage.  
Award-winning chef Shane Osborn from Hong Kong’s Arcane said “Taste of the World, Riyadh has far exceeded my expectations. I have been fortunate to have experienced many similar events around the world but this one in Riyadh is both very unique and very different to anything that I have experienced before. It is the people of Riyadh who have really made it special and welcoming.”

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14,000 - of the capital’s cosmopolitan citizens visited the six-day culinary festival, featuring 14 of the world’s best restaurants and boasting a combined 13 Michelin stars.

Pascal Aussignac from London’s Michelin-starred Club Gascon said: “The smiles of the people whilst trying my food and their inquisitive questions about the meals prepared made it truly very special. I am
very happy to be here in Riyadh and to have taken part in this exciting event.”
Saudi chef Al-Shareef said: “I am very happy to be here and taking part in Taste of the World, Riyadh. I am also very proud in being the only female Saudi chef taking part and my experiences at the Fire Pit were very exciting and fun.”
Chef Aloraifi said, “This is the first time that Taste of the World has taken place in the Kingdom and people have been very excited about the occasion, the activities and the cooking demonstrations ... Hopefully next year we will be back again and will be able to add more local touches to the program.”
Based on the overwhelming enthusiasm and fast-selling ticket sales that has greeted the Taste of the World experience, organizers said they are looking forward to announcing a 2020 event soon.


UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Updated 17 min ago

UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Umm Alqura Company for Development and Construction (UAQ) and Alinma Investment Company announced the successful completion of the launch of the Makkah Real Estate Development Funds, with an investment value exceeding SR17 billion ($4.5 billion). 

The funds are invested in seven hotel towers and two commercial complexes that will be developed within the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project in Makkah. It is one of the most significant developmental and urban development projects in the Makkah region. The project includes multiple options including housing and shopping, and provides easy mobility and means of transportation between the project facilities and the central area of the Holy Mosque.    

Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, said: “This strategic agreement is the first of several diverse investment activities designed to attract leading investment institutions. It confirms the appeal of investing in KAAR, an attractive destination for long-term investments, as well as the trust of the investment and financing community.

“This partnership also sheds light on the strength of Alinma Investment and its success in managing real estate funds, which makes it the ideal partner for implementing the project’s development and urban plan. The project aspires to become one of the modern landmarks in Makkah.”

Abuateek added: “By successfully attracting investments valued at SR17 billion, we will make progress in line with the execution plan for several diverse projects, especially since we have already reached several major milestones, including completion of the pouring and construction of all the concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro tunnels, while in addition we have completed nearly 50 percent of the bridges. Currently, we are working on completing all the unprecedented infrastructure projects that followed the demolition phase, which represent a transformation in the investment, development and preparation of the project’s lands, making it more attractive for development and creating new choices that help upgrade the quality of life for Makkah visitors and residents.”

Acting CEO of Alinma Investment Mazin bin Fawaz Baghdadi said: “We are very happy with the success of the Alinma Real Estate Development Funds together with our partner UAQ. This investment, with the large sum of capital, will play a major role in fulfilling the objectives of the finance sector, while our partnership will contribute to increasing the capacity to accommodate pilgrims and visitors through implementing urban developmental projects in the Makkah region.”

“The funds’ investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through the development of the superstructure in various parts of the King Abdul Aziz Road project in Makkah, which are: Five-star international hotels (Taj Hotel and Kempinski Hotel), four-star hotels (Hilton Embassy), three-star hotels (Hilton Garden Inn), apartments (Kempinski Residence), and two malls,” added Baghdadi.