Kuwaitis among top 10 investors in Dubai’s restaurant-cafe sector

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During the recent official launch of Open Flame Kitchen, Gastronomica’s latest restaurant concep, at the Dubai Mall

DUBAI — The number of active business licenses issued to Kuwaiti entrepreneurs in Dubai has reached 2,052, according to a report issued by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai. These business licenses have 6507 investors including 6181 businessmen and 326 women entrepreneurs.

Of the licenses issued, 1501 were commercial, 493 were professional, 45 related to industry and 13 in the tourism sector. The report was published coinciding with the official launch of Open Flame Kitchen, Gastronomica’s latest restaurant concept, recently opened in The Dubai Mall.

The report showed that 168 licenses were issued to Kuwaiti businesses in 2018, marking a growth of 35.5% compared to 2017, when 124 licenses were issued. “Restaurants” and “Café” topped the list of Kuwaiti professional activities, and today, Kuwaiti businesses are among the Top 10 nationalities investing in the sector in Dubai.

DED representatives and members of the Board of Kuwait Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates (KuwaitBC) headed by Luma Jassim Bourisly, the Chairperson of the board, officially launched “Open Flame Kitchen” restaurant in the Fashion Avenue of The Dubai Mall in the presence of Georgy John, Executive Vice President of Gastronomica Middle East, the holding company of the restaurant.

“We congratulate Open Flame Kitchen for expanding its portfolio in Dubai, which has today become one of the most sought-after destinations for brands from around the world. This will further add to the appeal of Dubai’s expansive offerings, with the city providing an ideal growth environment,” said Humaid AlAmri, Senior Manager, Service Centres in BRL.

Kuwaiti entrepreneur Bassel Al Salim, founder of Gastronomica Middle East, opened his first outlet in 2005 followed by a total of nine original dining concepts. Today, the company has 21 outlets in six countries. Headquartered in the UAE, the company has offices across all the GCC.

The brand Open Flame Kitchen was originally conceived in 2010 in Kuwait. The first restaurant, Slider Station, opened in the UAE in Galleria Mall in March 2015 and followed by Cocoa Room in August. This was followed by a Burger Boutique outlet in Sharjah in 2018.

The BRL report highlighted the distribution of the licences according to the main areas in Dubai, with Bur Dubai accounting for the most (1138), followed by Deira (914). The top sub-regions were: Burj Khalifa (336), Aayal Nasr (102); Port Saeed (93), Dubai World Trade Centre 1 (90), Al Barsha 1 (81); Mirdif (61); Al Garhoud (56), Jumeirah 1 (54); Al Muraqabat (49); and Naif (48).

The total number of activities for Kuwaiti companies in Dubai reached 6641. “Readymade garments”, “Electronics” and “Mechanical and Engineering equipment” topped the commercial activities, while “Restaurants”, “Cafés” and “Building and housing cleaning services” topped the professional activities. “Brick and stone industry”, “Publishing and printing services” and “Grinding and packing of foodstuffs” topped the industrial activities, while “Tourism activities”, “Transport, shipping and storage” and “Tourism and leisure consultancy” topped the industrial activities. — SG


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