Alkebulan, the oldest name for Africa, translates to “mother of mankind” or “garden of Eden” and is the only name for the continent of indigenous origin. Alkebulan is a world first, celebrating the last untapped cuisine and the world’s largest hidden gem. Alkebulan The African dining hall is an exploration of the rich, diverse culture consumed through its food, music and design, and has been curated by world-renowned chef Alexander Smalls.
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Alkebulan The African Dining Hall
Commercial Interior Built
Florentina Tsakiri, Gabriel Murray, Chef Alexander Smalls
United Arab Emirates
The concept is centered around setting the table for Africa’s next generation of creators, not just in the kitchen, but on the stage, in the community, and the forefront of our most important social movements. Alkebulan serves as a catalyst for cultural progression in every form, inspiring diverse culinary voices. Part of the food hall’s larger mission is to provide new platforms for black chefs, who are wildly under-represented in the industry, and to create new opportunities to help them thrive.
As the world’s first African dining hall, Alkebulan offers a unique take on the food hall model by offering an immersive cultural experience for customers, showcasing local art, live music and retail uniquely sourced from the worlds ‘Mother Continent’. The book nook sells a curated selection of cookbooks celebrating African authors, while art exhibits are featured throughout the space. Hanging art, layered textures, fishing nets, hanging fishing boats, graffiti, and pops of colour serve as visual anchors to tell the Alkebulan story. Alongside these traditional installations and artefacts are modern incarnations of African art, such as work by the Ghanian African American quilt artist Bisa Bulter.