As customers take to the skies for the UAE National Day holidays, Emirates will be celebrating the occasion by serving local delicacies, proudly crafted in the UAE to help make travel a little sweeter. Customers traveling in all classes from 2 December will be able to savor chocolates from Dubai's only bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Mirzam.
Partnering with a business like Mirzam allows the airline to offer locally-sourced sweet treats that present traditional Emirati flavors with a modern twist, all at 40,000 feet.
Customers travelling in Emirates First and Business Class will enjoy white chocolate Emirati aseeda caramels, inspired by the texture and flavors of the local dessert, as well as dark milk chocolate Emirati ragag truffles, echoing the qualities of the traditional crispy pancake. Economy Class passengers will be able to sample a taster box of bites consisting of single origin India dark chocolate, dark milk chocolate with sea salt, and aseeda caramelized white chocolate with cardamom.
Small and medium sized businesses are at the heart of the UAE economy, and are excellent innovators with strong knowledge of local tastes and trends. Over 1,600 small businesses and local suppliers have played an essential part in the airline's onboard offering and across other parts of the business, providing a broad array of products and services that have defined the signature Emirates experience over the years.
Mirzam is one example of the many local suppliers Emirates does business with each year. The airline has also collaborated with home-grown brands like Forrey & Galland, who make handmade chocolate following French traditions and Coco Jalila, known for their classic European-style filled chocolates with an Arabic flair.
Emirates' long track record of sourcing products and ingredients from the UAE has provided a local boost to small and medium sized businesses due in part to the airline's sheer volume requirements. Locally-based UAE businesses have also benefitted from showcasing their products to a global travelling audience.
One such product is the signature Arabic coffee and dates provided by UAE based business Bateel.* Emirates has been serving Bateel dates and coffee to welcome First Class customers for over 15 years. Each year, close to 5 million dates are served onboard and in lounges across its network. **
Other local products served include Mai Dubai, which provides over 54,000 litres of water onboard on a daily basis.** Emirates also works with local businesses like Barakat, which produces and delivers more than 9,000 litres of various fresh juices daily.**
Tapping into innovative products from local businesses isn't the only way Emirates helps to highlight the UAE's rich offerings to the world. On ice, the airline's award-winning inflight entertainment system, Emirates features over 36 Emirati channels and talents, ranging from Khaleeji music artists to world-renowned DJs, as well as local filmmakers. Emirates is currently screening "My Story", the TV series based on the book of the same name by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In addition, eight Emirati movies like Fe Baytina Batal and Omniyat Omri are currently on ice.
Emirates has also collaborated with the UAE Environment Agency to raise awareness around key regional environmental issues. Since early October, ice has featured two documentaries- Back to the Wild and Zayed's Antarctic Lights. The documentaries, inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed's legacy of protecting biodiversity in the wild, cover topics including the reintroduction programme for an endangered species of the Oryx, Antarctica's incredible biodiversity, and issues around climate change and single-use plastics.
Earlier this year, Emirates teamed up with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) and Al Oula Radio Network to include a host of cultural audio materials on ice to help immerse passengers in Emirati culture and promote local traditions, helping to further enhance cultural understanding.
Across its network, Emirates sources products and content for its award-winning onboard service, including crisps from Ireland, tea from Sri Lanka, olive oil from Italy, artisanal cheeses from Australia, and much more. Through these efforts, the airline brings the best of the world to its global customer base, and helps build lasting partnerships that support local communities.