Coronavirus Diaries: Dubai's The Meating Room owner Abdul Hakim

The new normal for the Time Out Dubai Best Budget winners 2018

Abdul Hakim (middle) with his fellow co-owners
Abdul Hakim (middle) with his fellow co-owners

7am: I start my day by spending time with my family for a solid hour which gets me energised for the day. Now it’s time to read emails and the news, right before I go for an outdoor workout in my backyard.

10.30am: A quick breakfast before I speak to our restaurant supervisor to discuss any immediate operational plans. We would also quickly discuss any new laws/regulations that need to be implemented in the restaurant.

12.30pm: Going to read more news, more emails, and get in touch with the wider operations and marketing team, of which 50% are working remotely. Usually by now I would be at The Meating Room going over new offers, menu items, reports and plans for the next quarter, but now we go over short-term plans on a conference call over the phone or WhatsApp. This is also when we discuss implementation of laws thoroughly.

2pm: Lunch is usually at The Meating Room, so I had down there for lunch and to check on quality control. Even though our restaurant supervisor ensures all the hygiene regulations are met, I’ll go down there to share any extra pointers and feedback on additional packaging and measures that come to mind.

4pm: I’ll have a call with my co-owners, Kieve and Jacob, to have a brainstorming session on how we can come out stronger as a company and team. We also discuss potential trainings, sourcing products and delivery methods. But it’s not all business; since all three of us have a big interest in the culinary world, we’ll talk about new flavors we’ve tried out,

7pm: Dinner time in an hour, which is when I head to the kitchen and challenge my own culinary skills. Taking inspiration from some of my favourite chefs I follow on Instagram, I get on to recreating and adding my own twist to some classic Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. 

8pm: Catching up with friends, relatives and family over zoom calls to see if everyone’s doing okay!

9pm: Wind down time. Some light reading and social media, and I am off to sleep.

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