Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have you chosen to bring the awards to the Middle East & North Africa?

Following the success of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, over the last 19 years and the establishment of both Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants since 2013, 50 Best launched Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the region as a world-class culinary destination. The inaugural Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants event programme provided a unique opportunity to unite chefs, gourmets, and journalists in celebration of the cuisine, hospitality, and talent of the region’s restaurant sector. 

Why did you choose to host the awards in Abu Dhabi specifically? 

The UAE capital has been establishing itself as a culinary force for some time, with the launch of initiatives such as Abu Dhabi Culinary Season, the Emirati Cuisine Programme, and the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, providing broader cultural and hospitality experiences for both visitors and residents alike. Bringing year-round food and beverage-inspired events to the capital as well as being home to numerous restaurants and chefs pushing culinary boundaries, Abu Dhabi offers an inspiring mix of unique, experiential and world-class dining offerings in incredible locations, and is a clear choice to be the host city for 50 Best’s new regional restaurant awards program. The city also has world-class infrastructure and great international accessibility, which will help facilitate the hosting of a successful event programme.

Which countries are included in Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants' voting?

They are: Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Israel; Iran; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Libya; Morocco; Oman; Palestine; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syria; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Yemen. 

Can a restaurant nominate itself to be on the list?

The inaugural ranking for Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants reflects the best restaurant experiences based on the votes of more than 250 voters, made up of anonymous restaurant experts (including chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and well-travelled gourmets) from 19 countries across the entire region. Members of the 50 Best organisation do not vote and do not control the composition of the list; that is the collective role of the voting Academy. This means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list. Equally, no sponsor has any influence on the voting process.

What steps can a restaurant take to be featured in Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants list?

The ranking provides an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of our experts, therefore if diners have been experiencing the outstanding characteristics of a restaurant in the region, then this will be reflected in future results. What constitutes ‘best’ is up to each voter to decide – as everyone’s tastes are different, so is everyone’s idea of what constitutes a great restaurant experience. Of course, the quality of food is going to be central, as is the service – but the style of both, the surroundings, atmosphere and indeed the price level are each more or less important for each different individual. Restaurants do not have to fit certain criteria. We therefore urge restaurants simply to be the best they can be for their customers first and foremost and not to focus on such rankings or awards, but to see them as a welcome by-product of their hard work and talent.

What does it mean to be included in Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants ranking?

It provides recognition of the dedication, passion and skill of the teams behind those restaurants. It also helps promote those establishments internationally to well-travelled, discerning gourmets, boosting the restaurants’ profiles and business.

Can a restaurant be taken off the list? 

Not until the following year – and even then it will only be the results of the voting that determines this, or if we are advised that it will be closed within three months of the list being published on 7th February 2022.