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Dubai’s F&B feeds on Expo 2020 frenzy

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Dubai: Dubai’s F&B sector is warming up nicely for 2020... and there’s still a good 10 months to go before Expo 2020 Dubai even opens its doors to visitors. For restaurant and cafe operators - and of course, the food delivery portals - the 2020 party has already started. And it’s going to be a long one.

F&B businesses are moving into spaces at newly delivered buildings, or picking up those vacated by other businesses at older buildings. Either way, landlords are satisfied with the outcome - it’s one less empty space they need to deal with. Some suggest that the only type of businesses picking up ground floor outlets are F&B operators.

It’s clear that the F&B players want to get everything in place well before the October 20 opening date for the Expo. And these businesses want to smooth out their processes well before the first of the 25 million visitors pass through the city. (The forecasts are that 11 million plus visitors to the Expo will be travelling to the country.)

Here’s a bit of official data to chew on - two new licenses were being issued a day for new F&B services across the UAE last year. Of these, 868 were for cafes, 755 for restaurants, and 671 for “dessert-focussed” servings. The numbers represent a clear spike after a “period of slowdown”. (How many of these were for Dubai specifically will be revealed in the coming days.)

And there are new destinations opening up that can take in more of them.

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