Inside the OU

OU Kosher in Bahrain

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Manama

In November, the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manama, Bahrain became the first hotel in the kingdom to offer kosher-certified food through the help of OU Kosher, the world’s largest kosher certification agency.

Following the signing of the Abraham Accords, there has been a surge in interest from Jewish business and leisure travelers from Israel, North America and Europe in visiting the Kingdom.

OU Kosher is consulting with the hotel on establishing a new kosher kitchen, which will be under OU auspices. Additionally, OU Kosher is helping the hotel identify a kosher culinary team member who will serve as a mashgiach, or kosher supervisor, when kosher meals are prepared on the premises.

“The Ritz Carlton, Bahrain prides itself on providing an elevated luxury experience for our guests at every touchpoint during their stay; in particular their dining experience. Bahrain is unique as it already has an indigenous Jewish population, and since the recent normalization of relations, we are seeing a greater interest from Jewish travelers, and we want to be able to provide kosher food for those who prefer this option. We chose to partner with OU Kosher because they are the leading certification agency in the world and we sought their expertise in helping us navigate the needs of the kosher traveler,” said Ritz Carlton, Bahrain General Manager Bernard de Villèle.

“The Abraham Accords has opened new destinations for kosher travelers in the Gulf that have never existed before. We are honored to have been chosen by the Ritz Carlton to assist them in providing kosher cuisine for their guests,” said OU Kosher CEO Rabbi Menachem Genack.

“We laud the efforts of the Ritz Carlton Manama to offer kosher food as this will help bring in more Jewish tourists,” said head of Bahrain’s Jewish community Ebrahim Nonoo. “Partnering with the world’s leading and most universally accepted kashrut agency ensures that more Jewish tourists will choose Bahrain as their next travel destination when visiting the Gulf.”

This article was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Jewish Action.