Riyadh most likely to rival Dubai in F&B: Marriott VP of F&B
Christian Abell believes the Saudi Arabia capital is next big growth area
That’s the view of Marriott International vice president, food and beverage Christian Abell who sister title told Caterer Middle East that the past two years have seen Saudi Arabia change for the better.
When asked if Riyadh could become the next Dubai, he said: “Yes I think so. There’s obviously differences but the pace of the way it’s moving if you ask me in another two years I’ll probably say yes. Is it there now? No. In two years? 100%.”
Abell said that Riyadh is “catching up real fast” with Dubai, calling Saudi Arabia’s citizen “more liberal in the cuisine they’re eating and apportioning it to them becoming more well-travelled. He said: “They’ve seen things in London and New York and they accept it and they want it back in Riyadh or Jeddah.”
The man in charge of Marriott’s entire F&B output in the Middle East said he believes that in some respects Riyadh has already caught up with Dubai, saying “the architecture and the design is definitely there already” and said if he was to open a restaurant with his own money he would “100%” do it in Riyadh.
Cairo was another city named by Abell as up-and-coming in the region when it comes to F&B.