Experts from the hospitality industry including Chefs from top hotel brands and leading developers will discuss the future of dining in Dubai and the wider MENA region during a special F&B themed day of talks on day two of the Vision Conference, part of 16th annual The Hotel Show Dubai, on 29th September 2015.
The day is set to start with Dubai-based master developer Nakheel, The Hotel Show Dubai’s Retail and Hospitality Partner for 2015, providing a keynote on “Shaping the face of the Retail and Hospitality landscape in Dubai”. Sanjay Manchanda, CEO, Nakheel said: “As one of the world’s leading developers, Nakheel continues to deliver a wide range of projects that are fully aligned with the Government of Dubai’s vision for 2021. Our growing range of retail and hospitality developments is set to provide new destinations for Dubai’s tourists and residents while offering extensive opportunities for new hospitality and F&B concepts.”
Nakheel has a wide range of new retail and hospitality concepts underway at various locations across the city including The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah. Currently under construction, this unique development is set to bring Palm Jumeirah alive with spectacular fountain shows, a beautiful promenade and a huge variety of waterfront spots for dining, shopping and socialising.
Christine Davidson, Group Event Director of the dmg events hospitality portfolio including The Hotel Show said: “F&B has always been a key driver in hotel revenues and guest attraction, and is always a key discussion point at The Hotel Show Dubai. With significant retail, hotel and leisure development across the whole region, the range and quality of F&B offers is growing at a pace.”
Avinash Mohan, Executive Chef at The Address Dubai Marina, taking part in “The Chefs debate” said: “Emerging F&B trends coming to Dubai include: healthcare to come in joint venture with the food industry in an innovative manner; restaurant themes revolving around more interactive cooking; interactive menus and a shift in giving experiences to engage as many senses as possible; and impossible food such as meats and cheeses made entirely from plants.” Girish Babu, Executive Chef at the Media One Hotel in Dubai added: “Generation Y is the new customer base for restaurants. In character they are social, want value for money, like social or communal eating, have high drive in exploring new concepts, and prefer healthy options. However, their priority is fast and tasty rather than quality. As a result, restaurant themes are evolving to become fast and casual with a focus on value for money, simple service and friendly staff.”
He continued: “Emerging trends in Dubai restaurants and menus include sharing options, the modernization of older classics, street food, and other cuisine from Africa, Cuba, the West Indies and Asia, where fried grass hoppers and wasp is popular. With emerging market conditions and supply becoming stronger in Asia, this scene will become more apparent and soon. Other trends in cuisine include the consumption of more green vegetables and healthier food, infused teas, smoked foods and earth, raw food or super food.”
Sanjay Manchanda, CEO, NAKHEEL
Other sessions include “New F&B projects, new territories and pioneering concepts”. Speaker Waqar Ahmed Mirza, International Commercial Director of McQueen’s Group, a British culinary institution with a school in Dubai, said: “Dubai is seeing increases in wealth and a rise in expats from all over the world. This is resulting in more demand for foreign food brands, while basic mass foods such as burgers, pizzas and chicken are moving up into the luxury bracket. The future is slice, dice and rise.” Omar El Meghawry, Deputy CEO of First Equity Partners, also contributing to this panel added: “The population in the MENA region has almost grown by 52% since the 1990’s and is expected to grow by 102% by the 2030’s, and this fast population growth is a major driver for the F&B sector. The food industry in the GCC is a highly consolidated market with three top market players Almarai, Savola and Kuwait Food Company (Americana). All segments of the food sector, except livestock, are highly monopolistic.”
Kai Schukowski, Hotel Manager, Kempinski Hotel Ajman commented: “People are hungry for a new approach and concept and are looking for variety and experiences so they’re surprised during their meal. There is a trend in hoteliers, even in luxury hotels, providing a more casual dining atmosphere and standalone restaurants, so that restaurants are attractions of their own accord.” Nicholas Couvaras, Managing Director of KROMA added: “We are definitely seeing an increase in the amount of homegrown brands entering the market, bringing fresh and innovative concepts to the UAE.”
Tahir Shah, Founder of Moti Roti, the Dubai-based pop-up Pakistani Soul Kitchen catering for the Generation Y consumer, will contribute to the panel on “F&B brands, concepts and opportunities”, he said: “Dubai’s emerging consumer is tired of air-conditioned commercial enclosures, brand shopping and fine dining. They are looking for real life, street life, culture. Restaurants now have to become social spaces with great ambiences from design, to music, to staff. Street food has finally caught up in this region, due to the popularity of food markets and festivals. Urban and street themes including industrial-chic are big in café and restaurant design and giving customers a change from formal stuffy restaurants. Dubai’s F&B scene has the potential to be greatly developed by entrepreneurs who want to contribute culture, which should be fostered. Collaboration is also hugely beneficial for the local F&B economy, whether local suppliers, or restaurants who tag together to form “super-groups” at festivals or group private catering.”
Alongside the Vision Conference, The Hotel Show Dubai 2015 has a range of local and international HORECA and food service exhibitors including Glee Hospitality Solutions, Sara Hotel Supplies, Renarte Hospitality Supplies LLC, D’un Jardin a L’autre, 1765 Gemini, Deshoulieres, Le Labo Design, Sambonet Paderno Industrie, Luigi Bormioli, Magisso, O’Cocoon Emirates LLC, and more.
The Hotel Show Dubai and the Vision Conference 2015 will take place 28-30th September 2015 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Register to attend for FREE at: www.thehotelshow.com