UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dubai Municipality has launched the star-rated system at the 15th Dubai International Food Safety Conference (DIFSC), saying it will assess and award restaurants based on how well they apply methods that promote the use of safe, healthy and high-quality food.

Restaurants in the emirate will be reviewed and honored annually for their efforts towards implementing sustainable food safety practices. They will also be evaluated on their social responsibility and their efforts towards helping the United Arab Emirates (UAE) boost its food security goals.

“Dubai Star is the rating that guarantees international recognition. It confirms a commitment to sustainable food systems that is at the heart of Dubai’s vision for the future,” said a spokesman for Dubai Municipality in a promotional video for Dubai Star.

The restaurants were encouraged to compete with restaurants from around the world for the Dubai Star. Noted as the first global rating of its kind, Dubai Star will encourage chefs and restaurateurs to think deep about the impact their food will have not just on the customer, but on global food security as a whole.

Speaking at the conference, Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said there is a critical need to ensure a balance between safety, production and consumption. He also mentioned that sustainable food systems are at the heart of Dubai’s future vision for food safety.

During the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as Cop26 summit in the UK last week, Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said sustainable food systems are also a solution provider for the “whole climate mitigation efforts”.

“Innovation and research and development is really key in driving how you can grow foods. The UAE leadership recognized from an early stage that in order for us to be more resilient, we really need to invest more money and effort into building more sustainable food systems,” she said.

To this end, she added, the UAE leadership in 2018  launched the National Food Security Strategy and set up its governance model in the country towards a national transition.

The topics of this year’s conference which kicked off on 18th November and will culminate on 23rd November, will highlight ways to enhance the flow of food trade through the development and harmonization of food standards. In addition, it will provide a platform to present the latest methods of inspection and laboratory testing of food and proposing creative solutions to food safety challenges.

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