As more residents eat out, restaurants do brisk business, expand operations

Many eating joints have opened new outlets as clients crave for good food at reasonable prices

The UAE is witnessing opening of many new restaurants, indicating increase in the number of people eating out.

The last couple of months saw the opening of many new not-so-expensive restaurants while the existing restaurant chains are expanding their network of branches. 

Nandos, Khana Khazana, Kolkata Rolls and Kababs and Amritha Restaurant are among those chains that opened new outlets in the city.

Khana Khazana has opened a new outlet in Bur Dubai, which was inaugurated by Indian Ambassador MK Lokesh. Kumar Bhojwani, Managing Director of the chain, said he opened the outlet after realising the potential for a restaurant serving original North Indian cuisine.

“I have been in this part of the world for the past 35 years. Now I realise that many Indian customers are missing the taste of Delhi food. That necessitated the opening of Khana Khazana.”

The restaurant chain has big expansion plans in the region.

Nando’s, the international Afro-Portuguese chain of restaurants, opened its 11th outlet in Al Barsha and is going ahead with its ambitious expansion plans announced earlier. 

As part of the tenth anniversary promotions, Nando’s is starting a month-long promotional carnival at its outlets through community programmes for school children, families and other groups.

"We are thrilled to open our new restaurant in Al Barsha," said Suhail Gidwani, CEO of Nando’s UAE. Nando’s plans to open several new outlets across the UAE. 

"I want this to be a place where everyone can come and have a good time. We continue to pay attention to our customers’ cravings,” he added.

The promotions will start with a two-day food carnival at the Al Qasba outlet in Sharjah, with promotional activities focused on various communities.

While free food will be served to children visiting the Greens outlet of Nando’s on October 10 between 1 pm and 5 pm, at the Arabian Centre outlet, the restaurant will be inviting school children to enjoy a meal, while having fun with games and events like face painting. Similar activities are planned for its eight outlets in Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Qasba, Sharjah, Arabian Centre, Al Ain Mall, the Greens, Marinas, etc.

Another Indian business group from Saudi Arabia launched its first restaurant in Karama recently and the outlet was inaugurated by Malayalam actress Kavya Madhavan.

Saheed P K, director of Rolls ‘n’ Kababs Restaurant, said the non-resident Indian group will start about 40 outlets in the UAE. “This is our first Indian restaurant in the UAE and we plan to have 40 such outlets all over the UAE.”

Its maiden outlet in Karama residential area claims a menu of more than 60 items. “Kolkata Rolls ‘n’ Kababs has been a success  in Jeddah from where the management decided to launch the same concept in the UAE,” said Esaack Khan.

“Our next 7,000 square feet outlet will open in one of the city centres in Dubai soon,” Esaack said. “We have researched and finalised a unique Indian rolls and kababs menu which is well accepted in the Saudi market,” he added.

“Middle class food enthusiasts are keen to taste different menus. I have been doing interior work for Amrutha and Arya’s restaurants and a couple of other Indian restaurants in Dubai and Sharjah. The season just before Onam saw many new restaurants starting operations,” says Varghese Thannithodu, an interior designer for restaurants and hotels.

On the eve of Onam and Eid celebrations, some Indian restaurants expanded their branch network or renovated existing outlets.

“Tharavadu restaurant was very busy during the Onam celebrations period. Many community associations held their Onam fest at the restaurant in Al Ghusais. We are planning to open new branches in other emirates of the UAE,” said a senior official of the restaurant.

Indian restaurant chains like Kolam Restaurant, Rainbow, and Tharavadu did brisk business, serving the traditional Keralite Onam feast to thousands of expatriate bachelors and families.

Obviously, restaurants in the UAE are active again, indicating that more people are going out to eat.

 Image courtesy Shutterstock

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