Alkebulan Bespoke African Dining Room Debuts at Expo 2020 Dubai, Celebrating the Continent’s Vibrant Food and Eclectic Culture | The Guardian Nigeria News

  • Visitors can explore Africa’s rich and diverse culture through food, music and design
  • Seven renowned chefs, led by curator Alexander Smalls, bring the concept to life
  • The dining room celebrates the variety and potential of continental cuisines

DUBAI, UAE, Nov. 16, 2021 / African Media Agency (AMA) / – African dining room Alkebulan debuted at Expo 2020, showcasing African cuisine and culture through a colorful culinary lens. Capturing the essence of Africa, it takes visitors on a journey through the cultural diversities and gastronomic scenes of the continent, bringing together people, communities and nations.

Alkebulan (pronounced al-kee-boulan) – Africa’s oldest name and translating to ‘Mother of Humanity’ or ‘Garden of Eden’ – is a culinary concept curated by award-winning chef Alexander Smalls, an opera singer from classical training turned restaurateur. The Dining Room is a celebration of African cuisine, designed as a showcase for contemporary African cuisine and music from across the continent. Each counter and concept has its own unique design that honors the individuality of the region, the kitchen and the chef.

Chef Alexandre Smalls

Chief Alexander Smalls, Curator, Alkebulan, said: “African food is as diverse as the countries and communities of the continent, but it is still under-represented globally. Bringing a piece of Africa to Expo 2020 is not only a dream come true, but also an opportunity to showcase the rich diversity that makes African cuisine unique from one region to another. Food and music are both essential to our culture, and Alkebulan is a place that marries the two, welcoming visitors from all over the world to immerse themselves in our flavors and traditions.

Marjan Faraidooni, Experience Director, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Food brings people and communities together – when we need it most. In the spirit of the Expo 2020 theme, ‘Connect minds, create the future ‘, we have invited countries from all over the world to present their national dishes, giving visitors the chance to taste traditional and specialty dishes from around the world in a safe environment. We are very happy to welcome the African continent to the Expo and allow our visitors to taste new flavors and new concepts, which have not yet been seen in the United Arab Emirates.


Offering a delicious odyssey of flavors and experiences, Alkebulan will give diners the chance to experience gourmet food, street bites and fusion dishes, all in one destination. The dining room has 10 counters, each offering a different menu:

  • Afro Street Restaurant, by Coco, offers rich aromatic flavors of West African street food, with dishes such as the Ugandan-style miniature chapatti wrap filled with beef or vegetable curry
  • Bar Cane, also by Coco, satisfies sweet cravings, serving what might just be the best donuts in the world, washed down with dessert cocktails.
  • Chicken coop, by Alexander Smalls, celebrates the humble chicken in two of its best forms: roast and fried. The triple fried Tunisian baharat chicken, accompanied by a thick and creamy Belgian waffle, is not to be missed
  • Choma barbecue, another Coco creation, is inspired by the art of roasting, grilling and smoking meats, with a menu that includes the essential Zanzibar spiced rice and lamb, served with a kachumbari salad, as well as beef kebabs Kenyan style served with roasted green bananas
  • Jiko cocktails, by Tribe Hotel Kenya, brings together the flavors and spirits of Africa through shaken, stirred, mixed and strained cocktails created by talented bartender Kelvin Thaiya.
  • Penja, by award-winning pop-up chefs Pierre Siewe, Glory Kabe and Moos Gbane, promises innovative African cuisine and a world-class dining experience from Cameroon and Benin, with dishes such as rooster breaded with mustard and tapioca , fermented tandoori vegetable mayonnaise cassava semolina
  • seven seafood, by pioneering chef Kiran Jethwa, offers a contemporary take on East African seafood by using ingredients, flavors and combinations from the region to bring traditional Kenyan cuisine into the modern world
  • Bakery, by Mame Sow, offers the ultimate Pan-African baking experience, covering both sweet and savory dishes, including Ethiopian injera flatbread
  • Sweet Ophelia, also by Smalls, is an Afro-Asian wok bar that serves delicious rice, noodle and dumpling dishes, including West Africa’s favorite Cameroonian pepper fish
  • The tasty goat, by Jethwa, presents nose-to-tail cuisine of this fantastic and versatile meat, combined with the tastes, textures and flavors of modern East African cuisine.

At Expo 2020, countries around the world will showcase their national dishes, giving visitors the chance to sample traditional and specialty cuisines from over 200 different outlets.

One of the first global mega-events to take place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 invites visitors from around the world to join in the creation of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture, from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022

Chotlo pie

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of TGP International.

About Expo 2020 Dubai
From October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome visitors from all corners of the globe to participate in the creation of a new world, as it brings the planet together in one place to reimagine tomorrow.

  • With the objective of ‘Connect minds, create the future ‘, Expo 2020 will be the world’s most impactful global incubator for new ideas, catalyzing an exchange of new perspectives and inspiring action to provide concrete solutions to real-world challenges.
  • Expo 2020 will be the world’s largest cultural gathering, showcasing 182 visually striking and emotionally inspiring days, as more than 200 attendees – including nations, multilateral organizations, businesses and educational institutions, along with millions of visitors – create the largest and most diverse World’s Fair of all time
  • The sub-themes of Expo 2020 Opportunity, Mobility and Durability inspire visitors to preserve and protect our planet, explore new frontiers and build a better future for all
  • For six months, Expo 2020 will be a must-see family destination, with thousands of events, incredible exploratory experiences and free entry for children up to 18 years old.
  • The Expo is committed to building a more equitable and just world for all, while ensuring the safety of visitors by following the latest guidelines from the world’s leading experts in medicine, science and health.
  • Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, located on a 4.38 km² site adjacent to the international airport Al Maktoum of South Dubai.
  • Built with a meaningful and measurable long-term legacy in mind, the Expo site will transform into District 2020 – a model global community that will rethink the cities of the future – after Expo 2020 closes.

How to cover Expo 2020 Dubai in person at the time of the event or report the event remotely

To attend Expo 2020 or cover Expo 2020 remotely using the content and assets generated by Expo, you must be accredited.

To start your adventure with Expo 2020, make sure to:

1. Register to access our media information system, Tawassul at is regularly updated, providing the latest content, including press releases, photographs, audio and video, electronic media kit, and information on broadcast and photography operations. It also provides you with important information and updates on facilities and services such as media accreditation, visa information for accredited international media and permits. Access to other media-related systems (Media Asset Management System and Media Booking System), which will be launched in the second quarter of 2021, will only be allowed to accredited media (see below). Information on these systems can be found on Tawassul.

2. Once registered, submit an expression of interest for media accreditation to Expo 2020.In this expression of interest, please appoint an Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) within your organization who will serve as the single point of contact with Expo 2020 for media accreditation. Following this, approved media organizations will receive login information and instructions for the accreditation system to enable them to submit nominations.

For assistance, contact the Expo 2020 Dubai Media Services team at [email protected] or +971 (0) 56 689 2101.

Follow: Twitter: @ expo2020dubai | Facebook: @ Expo2020Dubaï | Instagram: expo2020dubai

About the world fairs
In 1851, the Crystal Palace was the centerpiece of the London World’s Fair, the first World’s Fair. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. The architecture, content and a theme, “Industry of All Nations”, have been combined to create a great idea of ​​nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial advancement. In recent years, participants of world exhibitions, including governments, international organizations and businesses, have come together to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, national brand and their nations as tourism, trade and investment destinations.

Universal exhibitions are organized under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organization responsible for supervising and regulating international exhibitions (“Expos”) and promoting their core values ​​of education, innovation and cooperation. Today, four types of exhibitions are organized under the auspices of the BIE: universal exhibitions, specialized exhibitions, horticultural exhibitions and the Milan Triennale.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Press office
Contact on call
Email: [email protected]
Phone. : +971 56 688 9509
PO Box 2020, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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James C. Tibbs