Dubai Star to accept applications from restaurants from January 2022

Rating system will recognise eateries for best practices in food safety, sustainability, quality


Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 6:08 PM

Restaurants in Dubai will be recognised for their best practices in the form of a new award, or rating system, called Dubai Star.

Dubai Municipality launched the new rating system following the International Food Safety Conference which concluded last week. Submissions for Dubai Star will begin in early January and end on April 30, 2022. Winners will be announced at the next session of the food safety conference, which will be held in November 2022.

The system is a global initiative through which restaurants will be encouraged to implement sustainable practices to produce safe, healthy and high-quality food. The best-rated restaurants will be honoured annually, said Sultan Al Taher, director of the Food Safety Department.

Speaking exclusively to Khaleej Times, Al Taher, said, "The rating system is similar to the Michelin star rating. What makes Dubai Star unique is that most of the existing ratings are either purely safety or quality and taste. However, our ratings will have multiple markers."

He added, "It is the world's first all-encompassing system. We will start with Dubai first, and eventually, it will be an international rating system for restaurants."


How will restaurants be evaluated?

Restaurants whose evaluation result will be 95 per cent or more will receive three stars. Two stars will be given to restaurants whose evaluation result will be between 94 per cent to 90 per cent.

"Restaurants whose evaluation result will be between 89 per cent to 84 per cent will be awarded one star," explained Al Taher.

He added, "Participating outlets should have a varied menu. They must serve at least more than ten different types of meals. For example, a restaurant serving only burgers or only steaks will not be evaluated." Dubai Star standards include food safety and quality, food quality standards, sustainability, and social responsibility.

"The most important criteria for rating is safety, followed by nutrition and sustainability," he explained.

Who will evaluate the restaurants?

Restaurants will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of experts, such as food safety experts, senior chefs, and those involved in health, safety and sustainability assessment.

Al Taher said the initiative aims to enhance food safety and quality, by developing food safety systems, raising standards of competitiveness among restaurants.

"It will help in enabling consumers to choose restaurants that meet their needs," he explained.

Application details for the rating system can be found on the Dubai Municipality website.

"The criteria have been made available in both English as well as Arabic. The ratings are only for restaurants and no other food establishments," said Al Taher.

Other initiatives launched by Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality also launched a set of unique initiatives in the field of food safety and nutrition such as the Green Path, Enhancing Knowledge Efficiency of Food Handlers, and Enhancing Food Transport Systems and Logistics Services through integration with RTA.

Al Taher said that the Green Path initiative has been launched to develop the imported food control system and provide smooth, proactive and integrative services.

"Through this new system, it is possible to directly release types of food according to the risk assessment system and adopt the latest technologies, such as the Internet of Things in tracking and releasing shipments," he explained.

The Enhancing the Knowledge Efficiency of Food Dealers initiative aims to enhance the level of knowledge efficiency of food handlers in food establishments. He added that this initiative has been launched in cooperation with Dubai Tourism College and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. An electronic educational platform has been established, which will be available to food traders.

"It is the first unique platform of its kind managed by a government regulator, represented by the Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality. This initiative will contribute to the promotion of food systems that are characterised by quality and innovation, and will allow the exchange, analysis and use of Big Data as an important reference for making predictive decisions in this field," said Al Taher.

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