Top 6 hydrating fruits for Ramadan

What a blessed time of year when the glorious month of Ramadan connects with this sweet summer season. All this heat though, will tire us out quicker in fasting season.

The recommended amount of drinking water is 8-10 glasses per day. In Ramadan it will be a digestive challenge to drink vast amounts in short periods, particularly after breaking the fast. 

Top up your water shortage by eating these 6 juicy fruits per meal for bursts of energy.

1. Watermelon

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Blend watermelon chunks with ice and coconut palm sugar for a light Iftaar dessert.

Hydration rating 92%. As this fruit is mostly water and sugar it’s packed with essential rehydration salts magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium so it can actually hydrate you more effectively than water.

 

2. Oranges

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Squeeze fresh orange juice into chocolate drinks and cut up segments into fruit salads.

Hydration rating 87% water. Oranges are sweet and packed with more than 100% of the daily recommended value for vitamin C.

 

3. Berries

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Eat berries with cereal for Suhoor (morning meal) or as a parfait with yoghurt and granola.

Strawberries rank as the 4th strongest antioxidant fruit and are made up of 92% water. Raspberries and blueberries are also at their peak during the summer. Full of vitamin C, berries are known to clear the arteries, regulate blood sugar and taste awesome. Go for organic, eat a handful each day.

 

4. Figs

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Slice fruits with coconut milk ice cream/Kulfi, blend into a fig smoothie or make a fig chutney with some medjool dates for breaking the fast each day.

Known as At-Teen in the Qur’an, these summer beauties are indulgent fudgy fruits with a high-output on the health scale. They’re known to lower blood pressure, improve digestion, help with weight loss; even the leaves of the fig tree lower the insulin required by diabetics.

 

5. Grapes

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Slice into fruit salads or just eat whole. One particular mix-up is eating a single grape with a morsel of cheese and sprinkling of coffee granules. Sounds weird but tastes gooood!

These hydration gems are known for their extremely high content of Resveratrol, a substance that acts as an antioxidant and is heart-friendly. Bursting water with each bite, take your pick from purple, red, black or green. One of summer’s most delicious fruits.

 

6. Grapefruit

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Pan fry segments to caramalise grapefruit and eat with waffles. Cut a fruit in half, sprinkle with fairtrade sugar and scoop to eat with a spoon. *Warning, do not get into eyes. Ow.

Hydration rating 90% water. Sweet but zingy, grapefruits contain only 30 calories and the detoxifying limonoids, which according to research, may inhibit cancer tumours.

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

6 refreshing drinks to relish, this Ramadan

Refreshing drinks plays a big role in celebrating Ramadan, with specialty dishes and drinks served during the Muslim fasting month.

Drinks like Jellab, Amar al-Deen and Tamar Hindi are essential during the holy month. Fasters want to refill their body’s water levels after long hours of fasting. Sweets are considered part of reviving Ramadan traditions.

There are traditional drinks considered an integral part of a Ramadan meal. These are the top 6.

 

1. Amar Al Deen

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Amar al Deen or Amar Addeen is a combination of two words in Arabic: Amar (moon) al Deen (the religion). Amar al Deen is made from sheets of dried compressed apricot. In order to prepare the Apricot Drink Sharab. the apricot sheets should be soaked for several hours. It is customary to serve the drink at Iftar during the Holy month of Ramadan as it is refreshing

The best Amar Al Deen, or the dry apricot sheets come from Syria, which is a major producer for this type of product.

 

2. Tamar Hindi

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Tamar Hindi, or Tamarind, is a sour chilled drink usually sold throughout the year in several Arab countries.The drink is a sour-sweet combination, so it is better to add a dash of rose syrup for an extra drop of sweetness.

Tamar Hindi was the name given to the tamarind fruit by Arabs, the name literally translates to ‘Indian dates’.

 

3. Jellab

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Jellab is a very popular drink in the Middle East. It’s made by diluting the syrup made of grape molasses, dates and rose water with water and serving it in a tall glass with crushed ice.

The best part about it is the heap of pine nuts and golden raisins that are so much fun to fish out from the bottom of the glass with your straw!

 

4. Karkadeh

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Refreshing hot or cold with a color that is as intense as the flavor, Karkadeh is a sweet infusion made from hibiscus flower.

Karkadeh, which is a typical Ramadan drink, is also served for other occasions such as weddings.With a hearty Iftar meal the cold version is preferred.

 

5. Kharoub

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Carob juice, also known as Kharoub, is a traditional Egyptian drink, that is usually made during the Islamic month of Ramadan, made from carob molasses. Carob juice, which can be used to make sugar as well, gives the feeling of drinking a glass of thin honey.

The healthy and refreshing drink is full of fiber, protein and antioxidants, that helps Muslims go through the long hours of fasting.

 

6. Erk Soos

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Extract of the licorice plant are mixed with water to make this drink that is served in Egypt and the Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria).

The process of making it involves put the ground roots in a muslin cloth and drop water over it drop by drop all night long. As you can see it is complicated and time consuming so no body makes that at home.

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

5 Tips to help your fasting, this Ramadan

Ramadan is the one of the most predictable events of the Islamic year, yet it takes us by surprise every single time. And before we know it, our bodies are struggling with the first day of fasting. Being low on sugar, caffeine or nicotine is never a fun way to start the holy month.

Well before Ramadan starts , you can start planning ahead and coaching your body to cope with the routine fasting. 

Here are 5 tips for before and during Ramadan to ensure you are never drained of energy.

1. Ditch the Addictions

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Everyone has that yearning in the morning when you unconsciously reach out for the coffee jar, then stop half way because it’s the first day of Ramadan.

To avoid the sudden shortage and withdrawal of caffeine, start by reducing the number of cups your drink per day, and increase the hours between each. Also try to avoid drinking coffee once you wake, and increase the time you give yourself before the first cup of coffee.

The same rules apply for nicotine addiction – if you try weaning yourself slowly off shisha or cigarettes now, you’ll be better come Ramadan.

 

2. Move often

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One great way to stay focused and energized without having to eat or drink coffee is by moving. So make sure that every hour, you spend at least five minutes moving. Take a walk around the office or stretch at your desk. It will help you pump blood through your body, and you’ll get a fine boost to help you through the day.

Just make sure you don’t engage in exhausting exercise, or you will get thirsty.

 

3. Stay hydrated

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This may sound silly, because how can you stay hydrated if you can’t drink water all day long, right? Wrong.

You can make sure you’re well hydrated by eating foods, especially fruits, that are rich in juices when you break your fast or before you start your fast.

Also, it’s very important to make it a habit to reach out for water instead of sodas and coffee post iftar, which won’t really quench your thirst.

 

4. Eat foods that take longer to digest

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Since you won’t be eating for a while, you want to make sure you have enough nutrients lingering in your body for as long as possible. That’s why it’s important to include complex carbohydrates into your meals, especially at the Suhoor (predawn meal). This will help to release energy throughout the day.

 

5. Eat consciously

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With regular meals turned into huge feasts, a lot of people tend to eat much more than their body actually needs. Let alone the kind of foods they stuff their bellies with …

Avoid deep fried foods as much as possible, and limit your use of salt.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

 

RAMADAN With MARRIOTT

Experience the true essence of the Holy Month at COUNTER CULTURE CAFE, set on the ground level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites. Complete with an extensive Iftar buffet ranging from Middle Eastern treats to Indian Sub-Continent specialties, enjoy an interactive open kitchen and an elaborate dessert buffet. A tempting range of a la carte options is available for Suhoor.

AED 99 per person for Iftar (food only), from sunset to 8.30pm
Free for children below 6 years old
Suhoor is served a la carte from 9pm to 3am
Reservations are required, Call +971 4 319 4786

15 of the best Food Trucks from London are in Dubai for Eat the World DXB

Well the mother of all food truck events Eat the World DXB is landing soon and we’ve got the lowdown on exactly which trucks will be there.

The fleet of trucks have made the 4,000-mile journey from London, have safely arrived in Dubai and are warming up for the Eat the World DXB event, part of the Dubai Food Festival 2016 from 25th February to 3rd March.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Not heard of it? Eat the World DXB is a cool food event being held in Burj Park, Downtown between 25 and 27 February, and is part of Dubai Food Festival. It will be three days of 15 of London’s best food trucks (and some locals ones too) all congregated in one place, selling everything from fish finger sandwiches to ice-cream sandwiches.

Day session 12-5pm: AED30 at the door, AED25 in advance
Evening session 6-11pm: AED40 at the door, AED35 in advance

Think delicious food, live music, cake decorating competitions and happy people.

Here’s a rundown of all the English trucks that will be there…

 

What The Dickens!

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What the Dickens! was founded in 2010 by three friends Michael, Adam and Dominic who, disappointed with the complete absence of British food on the street food scene, decided to right this injustice to British food culture. Calling themselves producers of ‘uncommonly classical culinary craft’, What The Dickens! continues to resurrect and revive time-honoured British recipes at street food markets and events across London.

So put on your bowler hat, jump back in time and come and find these three besuited and uncommon gentlemen!

 

2 The Roadery

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The Roadery are creative chefs finding the magic in the ‘forgotten cuts’ of meat that deserve a place on our plates. Their British ‘Head to tail’ food is served from the hatch of a beautiful 1979 Renault Estafette van and will include low and slow cooked beef cheek Braco’s (British tacos) with a home-made blackberry hot sauce, fresh mint yoghurt, tomato salsa, coriander & pickles; a Halloumi Braco and an Earl grey panna cotta for dessert.

British Street Food Awards 2015 Finalist

 

3 The Other Side

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Fried chicken is just one of those foods. When done justice it can be so good it’s dangerous… like when the boneless thigh is brined for real depth and flavour; double breaded for extra crispy crunch; topped with a four-hour smoked honey butter and served between a potato bread bun…

It’s almost reckless that the converted Ambulance it’s served from is no longer in service.

 

4 The Crema Caravan

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The street food circuit is full of innovative savoury meals on wheels, but the same creative zeal has not been applied enough to desserts. Until The Crema Caravan entered the arena, that is.

Sourcing only the best ingredients, The Crema Caravan make creamy, rich vanilla desserts with blow-torched, burnt sugar tops; Crema Catalana & Crème Brûlée. Served from their sleek, retro Renault van these guys have mastered the art of creating the perfect brulee, and they burn to order.

Winner of the Best Dessert at The British Street Food Awards 2015.

 

5 The Cheese Truck

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Showcasing and celebrating British cheeses in one of the most honourable ways possible, Matt specialises in the humble, but irresistible grilled cheese sandwich.

Normally found trading with Alfie – a bright yellow, converted 1973 Bedford CF ice-cream van – The Cheese Truck has received many accolades for their obscenely oozing, cheesy creations.

“The cheese truck could be the best street food truck ever” London Metro

 

6 Oli Baba’s

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Holding the firm belief that we are all ‘Hummusapiens’, and wishing to spread the love and message of ‘Peas’, Oli Baba’s take meat-free Levantine cuisine and give it a contemporary street food twist. Their Halloumi Fries are legendary and come pimped up with a Za’atar Yogurt, Pomegranate Molasses, Sumac, Mint and Pomegranate Seeds.

And may peas be upon you too.

 

7 Milo & Hector’s

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Milo & Hector’s are the UK’s first ice cream sandwich truck. Their bright blue 1965 Piaggio Ape van has been installed with a freezer and fully customised to serve creamy ice-cream, handmade chewy cookies and soft salted butter caramel. With a range of flavours and combos to choose from, you can build your own ice cream sandwich creation.

 

8 Made of Dough

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Made of Dough is the story of how two food obsessed friends of Italian and Spanish heritage learnt the art of handling dough and authentic Neapolitan pizza making to become ‘London Pizza Festival 2015 Champions’.

Their pizzas mix both their culinary cultural inheritance; Italian pizzas with Andalucían influences, while Raffaella, their very British Land Rover oven truck, is a fitting nod to where it all came together.

 

9 Hix’s Fishdog

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The Fish Dog is Mark Hix and Kevin Gratton’s take on a very English dish; the classic fish finger sandwich. Using only the best fish from sustainable sources, it’s fried to a mouthwatering crispness and married with minted mushy peas and tartare sauce. Now that’s deep sea perfection.

They have been taking what they call the ‘Rolls-Royce of fish finger sandwiches’ to the food market and festival scene in and around London in a beautiful 1971 Citroen H van and now they’re coming to Abu Dhabi too. And if you’re lucky they might also be serving their amazing dog-nuts; hot cinnamon doughnuts with a salted caramel dipping sauce.

 

10 Happy Maki

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Everyone loves sushi, but this is street food sushi with a difference. We’re not talking raw fish here (that’s sashimi). Su-shi actually means ‘seasoned rice’ and Happy Maki take a novel approach to this classic dish, with fusion fillings alongside more traditional flavours of ginger, wasabi and seaweed.

Happy Maki is all about high quality, forward thinking, healthy sushi with zero compromise in flavour. Their menu is also vegan and they take sourcing seriously.Find them rolling in glorious Gloria, their vintage Renault Estafette.

British Street Food Awards 2015 Finalist.

 

11 Dixie Union

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After a stint living in South Carolina, these guys began to understand why they call the local cuisine ‘Soul Food’ and wanted to bring back some of the Deep South magic to London.

From South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama to Louisiana they found food made with such pure passion and soul that you can taste and feel it!

Ten years on and after a lot of experimenting and testing, Dixie Union have a strong pull to creole and cajun style food and will be serving up their special po-boys; the traditional fried submarine sandwich from Louisiana, with shrimp and oysters; and their take on the Philly Cheese Steak.

 

12 Crabbie Shack

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Styling his outfit on the traditional British crab shacks found along the harbour of his home town in Folkestone, South East England, Douglas Robertson-Ritchie has won plenty of affection and accolades for his soft shells crab burgers.

Deep-fried in a light batter, held within a brioche bun and dressed with the likes of harissa, avocado, fennel and almonds or pickled cucumber, coriander and wasabi lime mayonnaise, it’s easy to see why Crabbie Shack won the best of London in the British Street Food Awards.

British Street Food Awards 2015 Finalist

Winner of Best of London at the British Street Food Awards 2014

 

13 Churros Bros.

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Trading from a beautiful and iconic Citroen H Van, Churros Brothers are famous for their traditional Spanish Churros freshly cooked to order and served with Valor hot chocolate. These seriously luxurious sweet treats are 100% organic and Halal.

 

14 Big Apple Hot Dogs

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A champion of London’s street food movement, Abiye is responsible for first bringing serious quality, tasty hot dogs to Old Street in East London.

His secret recipe hot dogs have gained him legions of fans and his hot dog carts quickly spread across London and far beyond. As part of the first wave of Americana to rock London’s food world, Big Apple Hot Dogs have set the standard and led the way for the street food revolution.

 

15 Bangwok

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Bangkok is often touted as the street food capital of the world, where hawker stalls crowd every available space with an explosion of flavours. But for a taste of its vibrant street dining there’s no need to go to Thailand, because Dong is behind the wheel of a tuk tuk, armed with a wok, a big personality and cooking the perfect Pad Thai.

Winner of Best Main at the British Street Food Awards 2015

 

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

11 D.I.Y. Valentines to surprise your True Love

Why waste your hard-earned cash on flowers and candy when you can give something that truly comes from the heart?

Holidays are the perfect time to break out your craft supplies and make some thoughtful gifts for friends and family. But Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the one you love most, so it’s important to go above and beyond construction paper hearts. If you really want to wow your significant other, you’ll have to be a little more creative.

There are plenty of easy and fun projects to do to show your sweetheart that you care. Not only will a beautiful handmade gift make your valentine smile, you’ll receive plenty of hugs and kisses in return.

1. Fortune Cookie Valentines

Fortune Cookie Valentines

Use a takeout box or small plate to dress up these adorable love notes for the apple of your eye. You can write as many sweet nothings as you like.

 

2. Giant Crepe Paper Rose

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Normal-sized roses are nice, but bigger is always better. This simple tutorial not only yields gorgeous results, your loved one will be reminded of how much you care for years to come.

 

3. Celery Stamp Rose Card

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Who knew you could show your love with groceries? Perfect for kids and adults alike.

DIY stamp..how is it that so many natural fruits & veggies make for fabulous art?? Hmmm…God is GOOD!

 

4. Paper Roll Owls

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Use these cute little owls to hide love notes, or just hang them for decoration. Either way, they make a cute handmade gift for the one you love.

Great material to re-purpose & this is so cute! (you could always play with the color combos as well). Is there anything you can’t make with a toilet paper roll?

 

5. Vintage Style Message Arrows

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Be your own Cupid with these colorful and stylish message arrows. Write a short message or a whole sonnet and send it over to the object of your affection.

 

6. Paint Chip Valentines

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When you need a quick and inexpensive way to say, “I love you,” head to your local home improvement store and pick up some swatches. It’s not just easy, it’s a clever use of resources.

Walking by the paint section at Home Depot, it’s hard not to be distracted by the array of colors mounted on the walls. Sometimes you even find yourself wandering in the section, looking at the different shades, even if you have no plan to paint anything! Maybe you’re even guilty of taking some.

 

7. Chalkboard Mug

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Give your Valentine something personal and a great gift, all rolled into one. Write your own thoughtful message, Valentine’s Day drawing, or just a simple “Be Mine.”

“Naturally when I discovered porcelain chalkboard paint I had to grab some. The inventor must be some kind of genius. Now I have the most amusing coffee mug ever, and you can have one too.”

8. Personalized Tea Box

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If your significant other loves tea, why not make it all their own? Grab their favorite brand and customize it for a Valentine’s Day treat.

Make your own tea blends from herbs from your Summer garden, dry in the fall, mix and have wonderful tea-tastic 2016

9. Duct Tape Rose Bouquet

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Flowers are great, but duct tape lasts forever. A bouquet of realistic roses is stunning and ever lasting – kind of like your love. Have fun with the wide range of multi-colored duct tapes out there. Everyone loves a rainbow!

 

10. Glitter Glass Jars

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Add some sparkle to your Valentine’s Day gift with these jars. Fill them with candy, small gifts, or use them as votives to make them extra special.

 

11. Felt Envelope Valentines

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Don’t be afraid of a needle and thread to make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. These adorable felt envelopes are perfect for love notes or even wrapping gift cards.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Original blog by Andrea Romano/MASHABLE

Brilliant Stories feat. ANIOKE from the Housekeeping Department

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Anioke was cleaning one of the rooms on Thursday and coincidentally it was the guest’s birthday and while having conversation with the said guest, they realized that couple of days later was his son’s birthday as well, so Anioke took it upon him and made a personalized Birthday card and a cake together for father and son.

Now, Anioke being a Nigerian himself had the brilliant idea of writing the wishes on the Birthday card in their local language “Igbo”. The guest was moved by this wonderful gesture as it was quite emotional for him and was unable find words to express his immense happiness and was very grateful to Anioke.

The guest said didn’t expect that the hotel staff would go above and beyond their duty to do something like this.

The Birthday wishes in Igbo Language:

Igbo Letter

The English Translation:

Mr. U,

A very good morning to you, we are very happy you are in our midst, this day. We want to seize the opportunity to say a happy birthday to you and your son on this memorable occasion.

We are sure your stay with us will be a remarkable one.

Do not hesitate to let us know of any other thing you may need by dialing ‘0’ from the phone in your room.

The Award of Culinary Excellence for Marriott Regional Chef of the Year in Middle East & Africa Discipline

Chef Chandra - Marriot Harbour Executive Chef

“Congratulations to our Executive Chef, Swamy Chandrasekhara, for winning the Middle East & Africa Discipline Award of Culinary Excellence for Marriott Regional Chef of the Year! The annual awards are distributed to leading experts within the culinary field spread across all Marriott properties worldwide.

 

Known as Chef Chandra has a long standing relationship with the Marriott family beginning in 2006. In 2012, after two years with the property, he was promoted to Executive Chef of the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, branching from his dedication, passion and continuous presence of mind toward the end goals of the restaurants. He has always been vocal in motivating his team to achieve a number one position in quality of food and also plays a lead role in analyzing guest voice comments on Food & Beverage.

In the past, Marriott has awarded Chef Chandra the Rising Star Award 2012 and the Middle East & Africa Chef of the Year 2013, for his exceptional contributions. The award is a true reflection of his accomplishments and we would like to wish him all the best for his future successes.”