Industry News

Middle East Restaurant Project Report 2019-2020

16 July 2018

Source: Arabian Business, Timeout Dubai, Middle East Caterer, Euromonitor International, The National,, Hospitality News Middle East, Hospitality Services SARL, Fast Casual         


The restaurant industry is one of the fastest growing sector in the Middle East and has grown exponentially over the last few years, with currently valued at US$ 13.2 billion in the UAE alone, and expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of around 8% to reach US$ 29.3 billion by 2020.

The sector is expecting to bolster on account of an estimated 25million tourists to visit the Expo 2020 in the UAE, increasing deal activity and investment opportunities in the sector.

This is due to a growing middle-class populace and young demographics who love to see new visually attractive restaurants, on-trend technology being used. Take away and home delivery also started to grow in the region, partly driven by online ordering platforms.

There is also the region witnessing phenomenon in the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) segment, concepts such as mobile food trucks and pop up kiosks especially in the UAE where operators are capitalizing on the country’s international flavour and spreading home-grown dining options.

In Saudi Arabia, restaurant industry growth is expected to accelerate as social behaviour shifts, we’ll see a rise in chains who integrate technology into their brands.

Baskin-Robbins, for example – the fourth largest QSR brand in the region announced it would be expanding delivery offerings, for instance. This creates opportunities for operators who take note of trends early, integrating change and creativity in their operations before it comes commonplace.

Franchising will become more prevalent as international brands continue to grow in the KSA. Many foreign investors prefer to enter the market with the help of local player (someone well-experienced in the local behaviours and customs of the country) and Saudi government has taken steps to encourage that growth, through incentives to franchisees and franchisers.

Middle East countries have also adopted a wealth of foodservice concepts from around the globe, with local foodservice market continue echoing the trends seen at international level at a much faster pace, ranging from fast food franchises to celebrity chef-endorsed restaurants. This is led by local operators who partnered with international brands to boost’s the destination’s local dining credentials.

Further, food-service sector is expected an uptake on the back of increased consumer spending in the next few years, which is expected to grow at over 25% to reach around US$ 136.1 billion by 2020.

Being the gastronomic hub region, Middle East welcomes restaurant and F&B outlet opening projects in 2019.

Here are compiled lists of upcoming projects in 2019-2020:


Dubai’s Mandarin Oriental to open start of 2019

Tasca, the first Middle Eastern restaurant is set to open in Dubai’s Mandarin Oriental Jumeira at the beginning of 2019.

This will be among the eight restaurants from renowned Portuguese chef Josè Avillez, whose Lisbon eatery Balcanto currently holds two Michelin stars. Designed with a “Californian Aesthetic”, expect wooden flooring, warm colours reflecting the western state and an understated, chic feel.


Heston Blumenthal to open in Dubai restaurant in 2019  

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be located in the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, with world-renowned chef Heston Blumenthal opening the restaurant in 2019, announced on Monday.

It is the first named restaurant to open in the property and will be the third outpost of the culinary concept developed by Michelin-star chef after London and Melbourne.

The restaurant will offer a contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to 1300’s.


UAE top projects to look out in 2020

The development of Jewel of the Creek, with Dubai International Real Estate as the developer and Habtoor Leighton Group as the main contractor is underway with Phase 2 to be completed by 2019, spread in 800,000 sqm with a project budeget of AED4 billion.

Located in Dubai Creek’s floating bridge and Al Maktoum bridge, Deira, this composes of serviced apartments, hotels, shops featuring 20 retail and F&B outlets.


Marsa Al Arab as another development by Dubai Holding as the developer, is expected to be completed by 2020. With a project size of 4million sq ft, this is situated between two islands on both sides of Burj Al Arab Hotel, constitutes of apartments, villas and commercial units (F&B outlets, convention centre)

This new development is funded with a project budget of AED6.3 billion for 400 new F&B outlets.


Plans to open 200 Cupaghawa cafes in the UAE, Saudi Arabia  

Binghatti Hospitality, the hospitality arm of Binghatti Holding, has announced plans to open branches across the UAE and Saudi Arabia within three (3) years. The company said it plans to invest over to expand the café and restaurant brand opening after opening a new branch in A’l Bahar Corniche in Abu Dhabi.

New outlets soon to open:

  • Sharjah’s University City

  • Cupagahwa JBR in The Walk Jumeirah Beach Residences

  • Cupagahwa Dubai International Financial Centre’s Gate Avenue


The expansion will be supported by a 6,000 sq ft kitchen facility which will produce Cupagahwa’s signature menu offerings for Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Shrajah branches. “We are continuously looking to develop and expand our hospitality portfolio in the UAE and other GCC countries to provide better products and value to our Cupagahwa enthusiasts,  Muhammad Binghatti, Binghatti Holding’s CEO said,


Hakkasan Group to enter KSA with 5 restaurant          

Five of Hakkasan Group’s restaurant brands are set to open in Saudi Arabia in the next five years. The company is working with Al Khozama Management Company to open new restaurants in the Kingdom including , and , introducing these brands for the first time to Saudi.

“Saudi Arabia is an ideal location for the group to open its restaurant brands because of its “flourishing restaurant sector” Neil Moffitt, CEO of Hakkasan Group said.


Five F&B outlet offerings to open in New Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hotel

Three new restaurants, a lounge and a café are among the F&B offerings expected in a new hotel currently being developed by Saudi Arabian real estate company, Jabal Omar Development Firm in the holy city of Makkah. The hotel is due to welcome guests by the beginning of 2020. It is set to be managed by Abu Dhabi Capital Group’s hotel management company H Hospitality Collection.


Saudi Arabia’s Fast Food Segment continues to grow

Saudi Arabia is a hotbed of potential for restaurant operators and investors looking to get in to the F&B sector. Restaurant industry in the country has been dominated by independent players, which accounts to of sales in the region. Between 2010 and 2020, fast food sales are expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of , doubling in value from in to an estimated in. In addition to restaurants, there are additional opportunities in the catering sector, estimated to be a -and-growing industry, thanks to the more-than 7million visitors to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah every year. Jeddah, is home to at least of the restaurants in the Kingdom, not only show a larger market but also reflects a higher level of spend compared to other cities in the Kingdom, with average checks only second to Makkah and higher than Riyadh by almost .


Al Raid Group announces new mall project with 42 F&B outlet openings in Oman

Oman’s Al Raid Group has announced the launch of Al Araimi Walk, the Sultanate’s first outlet mall and largest “retailtainment” destination.

Spread over 240,000sqm in the Barka area , the development will feature 164 retail outlets, 7 entertainment hubs, a hypermarket, and an IMAX cinema, terming the project as “a new benchmark in the country’s retailtainment” sector.

Al Raimi Walk will open its doors by.

Raid Abdulla Al Araimi, vice chairman, Al Raid Group, said: “Through the launch of Al Raimi Walk, it is the group’s goal to offer retailers the choice of selecting a strategic partner who will bring them closer to the consumer”. The mall will also create jobs in the region, and serve as a platforms for entrepreneurs who want to start businesses at a world-class destinations.


Bahrain Airport invites tenders for new F&B outlets

Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) is inviting tenders from leading players in the F&B sector to set up their branches at the new terminal at Bahrain International Airport (BIA). The operator and managing body of Bahrain International Airport, BAC said, the tender will grant a non-exclusive concession to one or more business partners to design, fit-out, finance develop, operate, maintain and manage F&B outlets at the new terminal. BAC’s chief commercial officer, Ayman Zainal said: “Ariports have grown to become much more than just waiting areas to the next flight. They also serve as important dining destinations, adding, “Having a great selection of F&B outlets is a top priority for us to meet the expectations of today’s traveller.”

The modernisation programme currently underway at BIA, is one of the most strategic projects for Bahrain, which will improve the airport’s status as a key facilitator of growth for the national economy, in line with the objectives of Economic Vision 2030, said the report.


The Restaurant Show is the Middle East’s premier event for the restaurant industry hosting 2,500+ trade visitors and high-spending buyers from around the region to conduct business over a period of two days. The 3rd edition of will be held on at the Expo Hall, The Address, Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE.