Half of Dubai restaurants may 'never operate again’ because of coronavirus

Says Gates Hospitality’s Naim Maadad on Caterer Middle East''s Working Through Lockdown series

Naim Maadad
Naim Maadad

Gates Hospitality founder and CEO Naim Maadad believes that 50% of Dubai’s 11,000 restaurants “will never see their operational days again” because of the impact of the coronavirus.

Speaking on sister publication Caterer Middle East’s Working Through Lockdown video series, Maadad said that as someone who has personally invested heavily in the industry, he believes survival is the only short-term goal for restaurateurs.

In the medium he said deciding what concepts are still relevant and should be re-opened will be operators’ next concern. Maadad has kept the likes of Reform and Folly closed while social distancing is being maintained in restaurants because he believes it impacts on their experience, but hopes to re-open once the rules are relaxed.

Pressed on his prediction of 50% of restaurants failing to re-open, Maadad said that while there has previously been lots of restaurant closures in Dubai, there was always a number of new openings to replace them, something he thinks will not be the case this time.

He said: “Anyone that’s entering that space of F&B will think twice because the glitz and the glamour of the F&B industry, people have woken up and said it’s not as easy as we had anticipated. The market will shrink from a service provision, let’s hope that market consumption will continue to be what it is.”

You can watch the full interview with Maadad on Caterer’s YouTube channel here.

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