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Gourmet burger food truck proves a big hit in Umm Al Qaiwain

posted on 26/09/2015: 2483 views

The latest craze that has foodies from London to Abu Dhabi salivating has finally arrived in the Northern Emirates.

For the past few years food fans have flocked to food trucks – portable kitchens serving everything from kebabs to fresh organic salads. And now, the Highway311 truck is dishing out gourmet burgers for eager customers in Umm Al Qaiwain.

The truck, named after the E311, or Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Road, that links UAQ with the rest of the country, is a welcome sight on the emirate's Corniche, which is slowly being redeveloped as a tourist attraction.

"I have seen this concept around the world, so I decided to open one in my country,” said Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla, a member of the UAQ Royal Family and owner of the food truck, which is parked beside Sheikh Zayed Mosque from 7.30pm until midnight every day.

"I felt there was a gap in UAQ's market, where no one looked. I am from this city and I know everyone goes outside the city to have quality food from burger places. So I decided to serve people the best food where they are living.”

The 28-year-old gets his meat from New Zealand and has teamed up with Sugar Box to make desserts.

"If I don't sell the burgers that are already prepared, I donate them to people who I see working rather than throwing them away,” he said.

"It is not for money. It is just to have a really cool thing and a good vibe from people, and to serve them the best that I can make, as well as to develop my emirate and to show people that we have something new.”

Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, particularly at live events and festivals. A common site in the US and UK, these trucks often specialise in out-of-the-ordinary dishes cooked on site.

So far Highway311 has got a thumbs-up from customers, many of whom were surprised to find it in UAQ.

"My friends advised me to try it because it's delicious,” said Fadel Rashid, a UAQ resident. "It is a great idea to have this in UAQ, but it [the emirate] needs more services.”

Sumaya Al Zarooni, 23, said the food was better than at other restaurants that she had visited in the emirate. "They serve burgers and fries that are different than others, and there is a unique flavour in the food, especially the burgers,” she said.

Sheikh Hamad has big plans for his truck and hopes to take it on the road, around the Northern Emirates.

"My plan is to have three trucks around UAQ, with one closer to people in Salama. In winter, I will put chairs and tables in front of the truck with more lights, and I will be parked in Sharjah in crowded places,” he said. – The National -


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