Culinary stars of the restaurant world converged in the UAE capital last night (7 February) for a gala awards ceremony celebrating the best restaurants from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Dubai-based casual contemporary restaurant 3 Fils topped the list, being named The Best Restaurant in Middle East & North Africa 2022 and The Best Restaurant in the UAE.
Japanese izakaya Zuma in DIFC, Dubai, founded by chef Rainer Becker, claimed the number two spot; with Raz Rahav's OCD Restaurant in Tel Aviv taking third place, as well as being named The Best Restaurant in Israel.
Sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, the inaugural Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants list features restaurants from across 11 different countries the MENA region including Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait and Qatar.
The debut of the Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants marks the first time since 2013 – when both Asia's 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants were established – that the 50 Best organisation, which is owned by William Reed, has unveiled a new regional restaurants list and awards programme.
It's a great honour to announce that 3 Fils has made it to the top of the rankings at the inaugural Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants awards," says William Drew, director of content for Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants.
"It is a brilliantly executed home-grown restaurant, loved by local residents and visitors alike. There is no doubt that it sets new standards in creativity, sourcing and food presentation, coupled with a personable service style, and we are delighted to announce that it has been voted number one.
"Additionally, we are excited to see that 11 countries are represented on the Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants list, demonstrating the extraordinary diversity of cuisine in this region."
The 50 Best organisation has previously said that the Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants list is not intended as a ‘fine dining’ list, but as 'a true reflection of the greatest eating destinations across the MENA region', comprising secret local spots alongside high-profile names, established classics next to daring innovators.
The list is compiled by the Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of 250 key leaders in the restaurant industry across the region, each selected for their expert opinion of Middle East and North Africa's restaurant scenes.