Unveiling a selection of the world’s finest cuisines and sustainable food concepts at COP28

Expo Dubai

TGP InternationalExpo City Dubai’s F&B management company, unveils the culinary activities, events and masterclasses that are taking place throughout the COP28 Climate Conference.

Uniting the world through delicious and sustainable food, Expo City Dubai will be highlighting the ‘sustainable stories’ behind its line-up of new world-class restaurants, homegrown concepts and returning Expo 2020 Dubai favourites. Visitors are invited to discover more about sustainable food through a whole series of events and masterclasses, including a unique, 100% vegan food truck park and Alkebulan, the world’s first African Dining Hall.

With a special focus on sustainable hospitality, guests are encouraged to sample the best of Expo City Dubai’s F&B offerings through extra efficient 30 Minute Menus. Spanning delicacies created by chefs from Michelin-starred and ‘World’s Best’ restaurants, homegrown entrepreneurs and global sustainability advocates, dining at Expo City Dubai during COP28 is an extraordinary experience.

Sustainable initiatives

Supporting the sustainable restaurant brands and events, several sustainable initiatives have been implemented across the whole of COP28. For instance, all edible food waste from the restaurants is donated to local charities, and the packaging is fully sustainable too. This includes Notpla boxes made from seaweed, and disposable cutlery made from natural materials such as date palm leaves and manufactured here in Dubai by local company Palmade.



Another highlight of the COP28 programme is the Sustainable Catering Awards, featuring a special ‘People’s Choice’ category that invites members of the public to vote for their favourite sustainable venue. Further educational opportunities will be provided through workshops, masterclasses and events hosted by Green Zone restaurants. Focused on the importance of climate change and the transformative power of COP28, more details will be shared soon.

Leading by example when it comes to sustainability in the hospitality industry, at least 50% of the food served across Expo City Dubai falls within sustainable limits for carbon and water intensity. All sticking within a carbon “budget” of 2.3k CO2e per day, every menu is created directly in line with the UAE’s national guidelines regarding macronutrients. Anticipating servings of over 250,000 meals daily throughout the 12-day event, this groundbreaking commitment positions Expo City Dubai at the pinnacle of culinary innovation and sustainable hospitality. By crafting menus in direct alignment with the UAE's national guidelines on macronutrients, TGP International not only sets a new standard for large-scale events but also exemplifies an unwavering dedication to both environmental stewardship and culinary excellence.

Quick, easy and delicious ‘30 Minute Menus’

Enabling visitors to fuel their day at COP28 UAE with a healthy and efficient meal, new 30 Minute Menus are also available at every seated restaurant across the Blue Zone, and at a selection of Green Zone restaurants from 3 December to 12 December. 

Designed to be enjoyed in half an hour or less, from being seated right through to paying the bill, each menu features a two-course meal made up of two-thirds vegan or vegetarian specialties, perfect for busy professionals and sightseers.

Says Simon Wright, Head of F&B at Expo City Dubai: “We are thrilled to be part of a culinary journey that tells the incredible story of Dubai's rapid ascent as a global culinary destination. In just a short span of time, Dubai has transformed into a melting pot of diverse tastes, reflecting the dynamism and innovation that defines this remarkable city.

Our vision at Expo City Dubai is to weave this narrative into our culinary offerings, showcasing the rich tapestry of flavours that Dubai has become synonymous with. As we introduce Michelin-starred chefs to our diverse gastronomic landscape, we are not only elevating the standards of culinary excellence but also adding another layer to Dubai's evolving story of global recognition.

With COP28 on the horizon, sustainability takes centre stage in our hospitality strategy. Our unique concepts align seamlessly with our commitment to offering not just extraordinary dining experiences but also sustainable ones. Each dish becomes a chapter in the unfolding story of Dubai, a city that has embraced the world through its culinary evolution.

Expo City Dubai is not just a destination; it's a living narrative, where the past, present, and future of Dubai's culinary journey converge. Through experiences, innovation and sustainability, we are weaving a story that invites the world to experience the true essence of Dubai's remarkable rise as a global culinary force.

Explore the Green Zone

Guests will be spoilt for choice with the delectable options on offer in the Green Zone. Ranging from Q Coffee's ethical coffees, to PXB’s healthy vegan specialties, Floozie Cookies’ gooey and delicious vegan bakes, and Assembly’s juicy Arabic grills, there’s plenty of options to delight those of all tastes.

Created by world renowned chef Alexander Smalls, the James Beard Award-winning chef and author, Alkebulan is a vibrant African food hall concept that is a must try for every guest at Expo City Dubai. A tribute to the rich and diverse culture of Africa, the food, music and design-focused concepts stars a hand-picked line up of chefs, artists, and musicians, all creatively presented under one roof. Featuring a revolving line up of talented African chefs and new concepts, it also offers a revolving programme of events and activations that are sure to interest guests of all ages and backgrounds.

Meanwhile, Chef Athanasios Kargatzidis, the mastermind behind Baron, Lebanon’s top-ranked restaurant in the MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants guide for both 2022 and 2023, is proud to bring Assembly Mezze & Skewers to COP28. Centred around the charcoal grill and championing fresh, high-quality ingredients, Assembly’s dedicated COP28 menu offers a starter of creamy hummus, followed by a choice of traditional Nepal shish and taouk shish, or vegetarian-friendly grilled eggplant or cauliflower. Brimming with the spices and fresh produce of the region, it’s the perfect place to explore the full diversity of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.

Guests are also encouraged to grab a wholesome snack, light bite or coffee from Alif Cafe. A proud Expo 2020 Dubai-born brand and a unique farm2table-led concept, Alif Cafe champions organic and sustainable produce and carbon-neutral techniques.      

Located in the Terra pavilion across 3 floors, PXB is perfect for health enthusiasts, eco-warriors and creatives. Launched by vegan entrepreneur Loui Blake, the global sustainability advocate who has just been nominated for the Sustainability Champion of the Year award at the Caterer Middle East awards, it is one of the core Sustainable Stories of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Committed to education, activation, and incredible plant-based food, PXB promotes a conscious and holistic approach to wellness. Home to a breathtaking rooftop space and a state-of-the-art studio, the sustainable, plant-based menu offers heaps of incredible options, spanning everything from all-day brunch specialties such as buckwheat pancakes and date syrup, to mains like katsu curry, loaded burritos and Asian noodles.

More tempting casual bites can be found in the four Food Truck Parks. Combining multiple brands such as the legendary Dubai-founded burger joint Pickl, SLS’s much-loved Italian Fi’lia, Asian street food specialists Baofriend, homegrown authentic Vietnamese restaurant Vietnamese Foodies and much more, it also offers a pop-up cart from Dubai community coffee shop Spill the Bean, which is hailed as one of the best independent coffee shops in the world by The Financial Times.

Adding further excitement, Expo City Farm will make its debut as part of COP28’s Green Zone, featuring both indoor and outdoor spaces growing crops, fruits and vegetables. The farm will host community workshops and cooking classes with sustainability-minded chefs and professionals, open to youth and adults alike.

Eco-minded coffee enthusiasts will adore the smooth brews from Expo City Dubai’s most exciting new coffee spot, Q Coffee. A vibrant community that's far more than just a coffee shop, the concept is a part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Women’s Economic Development programme. Organised in partnership with Sustainable Growers, it has helped provide financial independence to over 724,000 women, and consequently uplifted 2.8 million children. Q Coffee is a celebration of Rwandan culture, heritage, and coffee, and it also offers tastings and workshops in coffee making and fair-trade practices. 

Up-and-coming Palestinian-Jordanian chef Sara Aqel will be preparing her authentic pastas, pizzas and gnocchi at SAFAR throughout COP28. The driving force behind Bib Gourmand-award winning restaurant Fi’lia, she is committed to sourcing local ingredients, supporting regional talent and empowering women.

Hideaway, the spirited sibling of London’s Hide by Chef Ollie Dabbous, is proud to bring its modern British and Mediterranean cuisine to the Green Zone. Offering truffle pizzas, grilled octopus, croque madame and much more, its varied menu is filled with interesting and creative specialties.

Meanwhile, popular family friendly gastropub and an institution for the past 10 years, Reform Social & Grill will be serving up its signature comfort foods. One of Dubai’s first venues to offer a British gastropub experience and enhanced by its lively atmosphere and commitment to the community, this will be the concept’s 2nd location in Dubai.

Reform-social-and grill

Finally, acclaimed Emirati chef Faisal Nasser is offering the ultimate winter comfort foods through his new concept Tos:t. Specialising in heart-warming soups and loaded cheese toasties, the food truck is the ideal fuel for a busy day at Expo City Dubai while Floozie Cookies will also be turning heads with its decadent, 100% vegan stuffed cookies.

Venues at Green Zone will be accepting reservations from December 3rd to 12th from 11AM to 10PM. For reservations, please refer here: https://www.cop28.com/en/food-and-beverage or download the COP28 app.

Discover the Blue Zone

The Blue Zone offers just as many tempting culinary delights and features a whole food truck concept dedicated exclusively to 100% plant-based food, it stars five of the world’s leading vegan restaurants: Prunch, Roots & Rolls, Chuck Chick, Wild and the Moon and Floozie Cookies. Other casual Blue Zone food trucks that require no reservation at all include vegan ice cream brand House of Pops, and Emirati dessert specialist Legaimat by Al Fanar.

Away from the food truck park, in-demand culinary expert Rohit Ghai is offering his contemporary take on authentic Indian street food through Gup & Shup, his brand-new concept at Expo City Dubai. Guests can expect to try explosively flavoursome signature specialties such as palak patta chat and aloo tikka chat, lamb biriyani, jackfruit kofta, sarson fish tikka, chicken tikka masala, freshly baked Indian breads, sweet desserts such as saffron pista cake and much more. 

Meanwhile, Philly Jawn by Ghostburger is bringing an all-American twist to the event with its special COP28 menu of towering smash burgers and sandos, as Chef Faisal Nasser keeps the flavours of the Levantine region alive at AJEENÉ. The vibrant venue invites COP28 guests to experience a taste of authentic Middle Eastern mezze, freshly baked manakish, shawarma and regional desserts such as saffron milk cake.

On another culinary frontier, Dubai's hidden gem Bistro Des Arts, is concept that is set to capture the essence of French cuisine and culture, promises an elevated twist on authentic and traditional French dishes. While the legendary London bakery Bread Ahead returns with its delectable doughnuts and pizzas.

Further sustainable options can be found at the Emirati-inspired Al Wasl Cafe. Not only do the staff all wear sustainably sourced Panagia uniforms, but the furniture has all been handmade by local Dubai company Larch.

Championing the finest homegrown brands, the Blue Zone is also proud to present Yamanote Collective, the first all-day-dining concept from UAE-born Japanese bakery Yamanote Atelier, and the eighth branch of Vietnamese Foodies (Dubai’s favourite authentic Vietnamese restaurant). Finally, Talhan, the Expo 2020 Dubai favourite, has also made a welcome return. Offering of a mix of traditional cuisine from Turkmenistan and fusion recipes inspired by global influences, the elegant restaurant is found inside the Turkmenistan Pavilion.

For Blue Zone reservations, please refer here https://eatapp.co/dubai/guides/blue-zone-expo-restaurants.

Mons Catering is the catering partner for COP28 UAE, providing bespoke menus and catering solutions for conferences, corporations, VIP gatherings and public and private events. Based at Expo City Dubai and boasting direct access to the destination’s world-class restaurants and chefs, its extraordinary culinary experiences are available throughout COP28.  For more information, please visit www.cop28.com/en/catering-portal-landing.

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