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November 2019

All the latest from the Middle East hospitality industry

Luxury Rules

This new 4-star Dubai hotel features inroom Jacuzzis

La Buona Cucina

Top restaurateurs on Italian dining

Open doors Hospitality, F&B and sustainable economic growth in Saudi Arabia


November 2019

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On the web Read the latest news, features and much more on our website.

08 News

24 Chain of the month

November 2019 // Issue #017

Contents 28 Marketplace

32 Event review

Features 08 //

News Mandarin Oriental to eliminate single-use plastic, Dubai Chamber awards TIME Hotels CSR accolade and more

16 //

COVER STORY The KSA’s open doors

22 //


24 //


28 //

MARKETPLACE Coffee machines and equipment

32 //

EVENT REVIEW Taste of Autumn

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019 // Issue #017


On the web Read the latest news, features and much more on our website.



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34 //

EVENT REVIEW Gulfood Manufacturing 2019

44 //

GM INTERVIEW Bruno Fischer, Novotel Bur Dubai

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48 //

EVENT PREVIEW Meet the Sponsors: The Big F&B Forum and The Leaders in F&B Awards

56 //

WHAT’S COOKING? SocietyDXB Café & Lounge

58 //

EVENT REVIEW Women in Pastry

60 //

REVIEW Luigia Brunch

61 //

OPINION Naim Maadad, Gates Hospitality

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0PINION M D Warrier, BIN EID Executive Search & Consulting

November 2019

Editor's letter

A note from the editor

D i n a Maa t y

Director Rabih Najm CEO Wissam Younane Group Commercial Director

Samer Alloush Editor

Dina Maaty

t’s almost time for the biggest events of the industry, namely our Big F&B Forum and The Leaders in F&B Awards, and we’re excited to bring all of the region’s thought leaders and key players to one place where they can discuss some of the most pressing topics affecting the landscape today and beyond. This issue, we board a plane to Saudi Arabia for a quick look into what’s been happening there, and what’s yet to come for the Kingdom. If it’s any indication of how the future is looking, we’re mirroring investors’ enthusiasm towards exploring every single new opportunity that has presented itself with these open doors. Coming back to the UAE, which has been witnessing massive growth itself and inking a host of partnerships with the KSA as well, there’s been no shortage of openings, launches and developments. On a lighter, yet still business-oriented note, al fresco season is here and it means that hospitality and F&B are gearing up for heavier footfall. Have guests and diners changed in the past few years? They might very well have, and the ways in which this has happened are plenty, most of


Hotel & Catering NEWS ME

which will be discussed at our events – and revealed as we read between the lines to find out who the movers and shakers were this year. Success is based on a myriad of factors, and those who have been reaping the benefits of the UAE’s constant, unparalleled growth are the ones who have spared no efforts in working towards strategic, wellplanned goals which are in line with the Emirates’ vision. Competition across both industries is fierce, and it ultimately comes down to hard work, and a willingness to change and adapt as quickly and seamlessly as possible. We’re wishing the nominees all the best, and looking forward to some game-changing insights from those who know it all inside out. To those who have done the long hours with a smile, perfected their techniques whether it’s making a mocktail or crafting a juicy burger, or connected with guests like they’ve never done before, we salute you. It’s an exciting time for the region, and we’re lucky enough to be reporting from the heart of all the action. Regards, Dina


Marouane Al Mandri Hiba Naz Art Director Aaron Sutton Photographer

Farook Al Saliq Cover Feature Photography

Alex Jeffries Photography Group Marketing Executive

Vince Celestial

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For all commercial enquiries related to Hotel & Catering News ME contact T +971 55 776 4670 All rights reserved © 2014. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors. Hotel & Catering News ME and all subsidiary publications in the MENA region are officially licensed exclusively to BNC Publishing in the MENA region by Hotel & Catering News ME. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Printed by UPP

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November 2019


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Accor and Entrepreneur Middle East gather gender equality leaders for RiiSE anniversary

Accor, an augmented hospitality group, has brought together regional and global genderequality leaders for a high-level conference in Dubai to mark the one-year anniversary of its gender parity and diversity in the workplace initiative, RiiSE in collaboration with BNC Publishing and Entrepreneur Middle East. The international RiiSE network, launched in October 2018 by co-chairs Accor Chief Digital Officer Maud Bailly and AccorInvest CEO John Ozinga, comprises of men and women, as denoted by the double “ii”, who are all committed to the values of knowledge sharing through mentoring 8

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME

programmes, solidarity, and combatting stereotypes and discrimination, as well as promoting female talent to positions of leadership. The RiiSE conference, which took place October 21 at Sofitel The Palm and was moderated by CNN’s Julia Chatterley, involved a stellar line-up of speakers, including former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, pioneering blind American athlete and activist, Erik Weihenmayer; and representatives of the United Nations, global charities and major corporations. They shared their experiences of challenges and triumphs in the workplace and discussed positive steps women can take

to overcome perceptions and advance their careers. Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin and Maud Bailly were also event headliners, and both recognised the importance of the Middle East and Africa in the empowerment and diversity discussion. The region today accounts for almost 30% of the Group’s global RiiSE network of close to 30,000 employees from 4,900-plus hotels in 111 countries. Male and female talent from Accor’s hotels in Saudi Arabia and Egypt dominate RiiSE membership in the region. “It has been a privilege to host leading authorities on gender equality at our first RiiSE con-

ference, which not only marks the programme’s one-year anniversary, but a major milestone for Accor, which aims to set new benchmarks for gender parity and diversity in the hospitality sector,” says Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Middle East & Africa. “We’ve made strong progress with this goal in the Middle East and Africa over the past year and I believe the words of advice and encouragement from these experienced gender-equality champions will provide the inspiration and impetus for us to build on this momentum over the next few years, cementing our reputation as an employer of choice in the region.”

November 2019



Dubai Chamber awards TIME Hotels CSR accolade for fifth consecutive year UAE-headquartered hospitality company TIME Hotels has won the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s (Dubai Chamber) CSR Label Award for the fifth year in succession. According to the report from Dubai Chamber, TIME Hotels was the highest scoring applicant, achieving an overall score

of 77.5%, 10.4% higher than the average applicant score. Launched in 2010 to reward corporate commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the CSR Label is awarded based on performance scores across seven different criteria including human resources (training, de-

velopment, welfare, Emiratisation), client relations, business development, procurement, environment, health and safety, innovation and community. Dubai Chamber also measures the resulting impact in four key areas, namely workplace, marketplace, community and environmental.


Mandarin Oriental to eliminate single-use plastic across its global luxury portfolio Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic across its entire portfolio of luxury hotels by the end of March 2021. While the travel industry has already made great strides towards the removal of plastic straws and single-use drinking bottles, the Group is keen to play its part in the luxury hotel segment and commit to a wider and more challenging aim to abolish all single-use plastic currently in use across all operational departments, including rooms, spa, transport, restaurants and bars. The aim is to cover plastics used in all areas of the hotel, and not just in the public areas that the customer sees. To achieve this, an elimination campaign has been underway for some time at all properties. Having completed a thorough stock inventory, the Group identified 23 of the most common items of single-use

plastic currently in use across the portfolio. To date, 86% of these initial items have been eliminated or are being phased out in all hotels. The efforts currently underway include testing concepts and inviting colleagues from every hotel to find solu-

tions which can then be shared as best practice internally. Mandarin Oriental is also collaborating with its suppliers to drive responsible procurement and provide alternative products that are both viable and suitable for the luxury hotel environment.


Ascott concludes KSA roadshow The Ascott Limited this week hosted its annual KSA roadshow at two of its properties in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ascott Sari Jeddah and Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh. The events formed part of Ascott’s ongoing efforts across its KSA cluster, including four properties in Jeddah, one in Riyadh and one that’s soon to open in Al Khobar, to support the Saudi Vision 2030 of a thriving economy. Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh invited 15 young Saudi nationals with start-up businesses to participate in a seminar, to help talented Saudi youth take initiative and unlock potential business opportunities.

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November 2019


Hilton announces new leadership for Middle East, Africa & Turkey region

Sheraton Grand Hotel appoints general manager Hilton today announced that Jochem-Jan Sleiffer has been appointed to the position of area president, Middle East, Africa & Turkey (MEA&T) in succession to Rudi Jagersbacher, who has chosen to step down following 40 years of service with Hilton. These changes, effective January 1 2020, will see Jagersbacher assume a two-year advisory role, based in Dubai, to assist the transition. According to Hilton, over the last eight years, he has led Hilton through sustained growth in Middle East, Africa and Turkey, by more than tripling the number of hotels in the region, launching four new brands and entering 12 new countries and territories. 12

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Furthermore, under his leadership, Hilton was crowned the #1 Best Place to Work for in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and #3 Best Workplace in the UAE. Sleiffer takes on his new position following a three-decade career at Hilton, where he most recently acted as senior vice president operations, Continental Europe, overseeing a portfolio of 57 Hilton managed hotels across 26 countries and territories. Prior to this, he held a number of leadership roles across Europe, including Belgium, UK, France and Greece. Hilton expects to open 158 hotels across the MEA&T region in the next five years, including in new markets such Bahrain, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai has appointed Anna Collier as the new general manager. According to the property, Collier will be responsible for overall hotel performance and operations. Bringing more than two decades of experience in the hospitality sector, she will continue to grow the hotel’s position within the local and international markets. Collier has been with Marriott for a 21-year period, holding sev-

eral senior food and beverage, and operational roles within the UK. She concluded her UK tenure with her first GM appointment at the Marriott, Victoria & Albert Hotel in Manchester. She was pre-opening resident manager at the Marriott Hotel & Marriott Executive Apartments Al Jaddaf, Dubai. In her latest role, Collier was the general manager of Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments, Green Community.

On the web Stay up to date with all the latest news, features and much more on our website.

November 2019


Fairmont Dubai welcomes new director of housekeeping Fairmont Dubai has appointed Katia Melizer as director of housekeeping. Meliza joins Fairmont Dubai from her most recent role as director of housekeeping at the Fairmont Marina Abu Dhabi, where she was part of the pre-opening

team since April 2018. Bringing along 19 years of international experience, she joined Accor in 2012 as an executive housekeeper at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche and in 2014 moved to its sister property Sofitel Dubai Downtown.

Marriott Al Jaddaf names general manager Marriott Al Jaddaf has appointed Richard J. Bleakley as its new general manager. According to the property, in his new position, Bleakley will oversee the performance and overall operations of 351 rooms, 128 Marriott Executive Apartments and five food and

beverage outlets at the property in Al Jaddaf. Bleakley has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and with Marriott International. Prior to this role, he was general manager of Marriott Hotel Al Forsan in Abu Dhabi since the hotel’s opening in 2016.

Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai appoints director of sales and marketing

New director of operations joins Fairmont Dubai Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate has appointed Hazem Aouad as the new director of sales and marketing. According to the property, Aouad will be leading the growth of the 396-key property with a steady focus on corporate

business, strengthened leisure partnerships, and a strategic approach to meetings and events. The Lebanese national carries with him 20 years of hospitality experience from 5-star luxury resorts to city properties across the Middle East.

Fairmont Dubai has appointed Matei Savescu as director of operations. Savescu joins the hotel following his recent position as executive assistant manager at Fairmont Beijing. He brings a wealth of more than 15 years of global experience within luxury hotel brands across Romania, the US and China. According to the property,

in his new role, Savescu will be responsible for overseeing hotel operations, while developing and implementing operational strategies in line with the hotel’s business needs, by leveraging on the strengths of the brand and existing resources at the company’s flagship hotel located in the heart of Dubai, featuring 394 guest rooms and suites. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019


Nestlé Professional and Worldchefs promote healthier eating for children

Nestlé Professional and Worldchefs, the World Association of Chefs Societies’, teamed up for #InternationalChefsDay on October 20 to promote healthier eating for children all over the world through cooking events held under the theme of How Healthy Food Works, in line with the Nestlé for Healthier Kids global goal to help 50 million children live healthier lives by 2030. In partnership with the Emirates Culinary Guild, cooking and educational activities were held at the International Centre for Culinary Arts Dubai – ICCA, where children learned about cooking with specific foods and their benefits. Other events in the Middle East are due to include over 400 kids in similar sessions in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Tunisia. “Our theme this year is How Healthy Food Works. We want 14

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to show how food affects our body internally, building on the themes of the last two years, Healthy Foods for Growing up and Healthy Foods for Heroes, and going into more depth on different foods and why our bodies need them,” says International Chefs Day Chair Chef Joanna Ochniak. The eight fruits and vegetables selected for emphasis as cooking ingredients for children this year were: apples and oranges for their vitamin C benefits that support developing immune systems, bananas for their variety of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, magnesium and B vitamins which are important for strong growth and development, broccoli for its fibre which helps with digestion, carrots and spinach for their vitamin A which contributes to healthy vision, and cucumbers because they are 95%

water which helps the body stay hydrated. Plus, mangoes as a source of potassium which contributes to normal muscle function. “We’re very proud to be partnering with Worldchefs in bringing the message of healthy eating to children around the world,” says Roger Frei, business executive officer at Nestlé Professional, Middle East & North Africa. “In collaboration with chefs, we aim to increase awareness of the important and increasingly vital role that cooking plays in providing healthier meals to children, helping them eat better, firmly establishing healthy food habits and diets as they grow up.” A recent evaluation of the impact of the 2016 International Chefs Day childrengeared cooking workshops revealed their positive effects on children's appetite for

salads across a selection of countries worldwide. The Nestlé for Healthier Kids global initiative aims to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030 through leading research in nutrition, product innovation and the introduction of healthier foods, as well as education and lifestyle programmes and services developed and implemented with partners around the globe.

Nestlé Professional Nestlé Professional is passionate about serving the out-of-home industry, using its global experience and knowhow to help accelerate the businesses of its foodservice and hospitality industry partners.

November 2019

Openings & Launches

Etihad and Air Arabia to launch Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier

Etihad Aviation Group, owner of the national airline of the UAE, and Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest lowcost carrier, announced the signing of an agreement to launch ‘Air Arabia Abu Dhabi’, the capital’s first low-cost carrier. Etihad and Air Arabia will establish an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with its hub

in Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new carrier will complement Etihad Airways’ services from Abu Dhabi and cater to the growing low-cost travel market segment in the region. “Abu Dhabi is a thriving cultural hub with a clear economic vision built on sustainability and diversification. With the emirate’s diverse attractions and hospitality offerings, travel and tourism play a vital role in the economic growth of the capital and the UAE. By partnering with Air Arabia and launching Abu Dhabi’s first low-cost carrier, we are serving this long-term vision,” says Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer at Etihad Aviation Group. Based in Abu Dhabi, the new company will adopt the low-cost business model. Its board of directors, consisting of members nominated by Etihad and Air Arabia, will steer the company’s independent strategy and business mandate. The MENA low-cost air travel model was first introduced in the UAE in 2003 and has been rapidly growing since then. Today, the Middle East market enjoys the third highest gains in intra-regional low-cost carrier penetration rate. Low-cost carriers accounted for a 17% share of seat capacity to and from the Middle East in 2018, compared to only 8% in 2009.

The Rooftop at folly re-opens

Barcelona’s Brunch & Cake opens in Dubai folly by Nick & Scott, located at Madinat Jumeirah, has re-opened The Rooftop on October 31. New for winter 2019, the team at folly by Nick & Scott have introduced brand new folly pop flavours for those looking to enjoy a signature refreshment in the sunshine. The treats come in a variety of flavours including raspberry, blood orange and blackcurrant. Guests will also be able to enjoy the brand-new folly flake – a fresh soft serve vanilla bean ice cream with a dark chocolate flake. Both items are available exclusively at folly.

Brunch & Cake, an all-day dining restaurant that hails from Barcelona, has opened in Dubai. With a promise of ‘Grandma’s Goodness’, Brunch & Cake has made its way to Dubai to create their first-ever flagship store outside of Barcelona. The restaurant is among F&B consultancy Flip International’s projects, a company co-founded by Jamal Wick and Amjad Barakat. The Dubai branch will be the brand’s sixth location overall, a 6000 sq. flagship outlet, located at Jumeirah 1. In addition to serving signature Barcelona favourites such as the Barcelona ‘shakshouka’, salmon bowl, pistachio French toast and super sandwich, Brunch & Cake Dubai’s all-day dining space has built upon the existing menu. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Cover Story

Open doors

Since introducing a new tourist visa on September 28, the focus when it comes to Saudi Arabia has been on what it means for travellers and residents alike. Hospitality and F&B leaders are sparing no efforts in exploring the opportunities that the Kingdom now has to offer, and we find out from them what they look forward to the most

Data released by Expedia Group has revealed that Saudi Arabia will see continued growth in the hotel sector across the Kingdom, fuelled by increasing demand from tourists. The travel technology company’s research has shown that travellers from the USA, UAE and UK have topped the list for travel demand to KSA in 2018. With travel bookings in the Kingdom considered the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the power of international traveller growth to Saudi Arabia is expected to remain strong. “Major hotel groups are driving construction trends across the country as they aim to meet the demands of an 16

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ever-increasing number of domestic tourists and international visitors,” says Paula de Keijzer, senior director of market management for Africa, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey at Expedia Group. “When it comes to brand affinity and customer loyalty, it’s essential to engage at each level of the customer journey. Tools, data and insights available via OTA extranet sites, like Expedia PartnerCentral (EPC), offer hoteliers the opportunity to inspire and convert travellers, set expectations, create personalised experiences, and identify and address issues to better meet guest needs, improve guest experience and drive repeat bookings,” she adds.

USA saw more than 110% year-onyear growth in demand compared to the same period in 2017 with almost 45% share of total room nights, the UAE saw a whopping year-on-year growth of above 140% than last year with almost 20% share of total room nights, while the UK had more than a 10% share of room nights with a year-on-year growth of above 40%. According to data from Arabian Travel Market’s research partner Colliers, international arrivals to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 5.6% per year from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. Religious tourism is expected to remain the bedrock of the sector over the next decade.

November 2019

Cover Story

The removal of family sections previously enforced in restaurants and outlets resulted in more people going out, so it basically changes the social/dining dynamics in the country.”

Antonio Gonzalez CEO, Sunset Hospitality Group

Tell us about Sunset Hospitality’s biggest upcoming projects in the Kingdom. Our vision is to increase Sunset Hospitality Group’s presence in the international scene. In the Middle East region, one of our key priorities is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We expect Saudi to account for the biggest percentage of contribution to our business within the Middle East. We’re bringing the famous Black Tap brand into the KSA, opening in Jeddah and Riyadh. We’re also looking at opening beach clubs in the Red Sea next to Jeddah and probably combining the beach experience within a boutique resort. We also plan on introducing Mood, our rooftop lounge, which combines lifestyle and dining.

What aspect of the Saudi market, or what segment, is of interest to Sunset Hospitality the most? With 29 million residents and an annual population growth rate of 3.3 percent, Saudi Arabia has the largest population in the GCC. The Kingdom boasts one of the world’s youngest populations, with 70 percent of the country’s citizens under the age of 30. Especially receptive to the newest technology and lifestyle trends, youth are often viewed as the most flexible when it comes to change, and this is particularly true of the evolving F&B sector. What sets the Saudi market apart from others in the GCC and beyond? The Kingdom is evolving very quickly,

and it has the potential to redefine the food and beverage industry because of the government’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life of its citizens, which will be instrumental in growing this sector. Recently, there have been changes in legislations including rules which enabled women to drive and brought back cinemas. Eating habits have also changed; the removal of family sections previously enforced in restaurants and outlets resulted in more people going out, so it basically changes the social/ dining dynamics in the country. This creates more opportunities, and different dining options with a stronger lifestyle component. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Cover Story

Marloes Knippenberg CEO, Kerten Hospitality

meet the needs of the local community as well as visitors. Kerten Hospitality has applied its hospitality know-how to identify an addressable niche in the Kingdom and help create destinations which meet demand for more engaging environments. The resulting environment is stylish and stimulating, with different spaces integrated with curated amenities to enable guests to create, network or retreat.

Tell us about Kerten’s biggest projects in the Kingdom at the moment. What’s in the pipeline? KSA has been the launchpad for Kerten Hospitality in the Middle East, and with an investment license, we’re dedicated to bringing our unique mixed-use approach to the market through concepts that combine innovative spaces for working, living and socialising to create lifestyle destinations. Our first project – Ouspace Madinah Road – opened in Jeddah earlier this year and is a modern workspace and business club offering tailor-made office spaces for short and long-term let, enabling entrepreneurs and businesses to work flexibly and collaboratively. Our second Ouspace in Saudi Arabia, part of our first mixed-use project in the Kingdom, perfectly showcases this approach. Part of the upcoming 114-key The House Hotel Jeddah – also operated by Kerten Hospitality – we have replaced the classical meeting floor with a level dedicated to a mix of business and leisure (‘bleisure’). Part of the Design Hotels collection, The House Hotel is a luxury hospitality concept with a reputation for quality and 18

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individuality. The House Hotel Jeddah will be the focal point of the prestigious City Yard development in the upmarket Al Rawdah district, a lifestyle destination that will showcase our expertise in creating innovative mixed-use spaces. Accentuating our commitment to the Kingdom, we have recently welcomed Mishary Alhajery as Country Director for KSA. He will be spearheading our ambitious plans for expansion through our growing portfolio of brands, which also includes the mid-market lifestyle concept Cloud7, designed for the next-generation guest who appreciates a seamless travel experience and seeks inspiration from the locality and culture. What were some of the most important initiatives in the fields of tourism, hospitality and F&B – and how have they helped you penetrate the market? Why mixed-use properties, and what makes them suitable for the Saudi market? As work and lifestyle cultures drastically evolve, the lines between living, working and travelling have blurred. This has resulted in a shift in what guests are looking for from a hotel experience, with increasing demand for developments that

How different is the Saudi market from that of other countries in the GCC and beyond? As the largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, and with GDP forecasted to grow by 2% this year, Saudi Arabia is an increasingly attractive base for multinationals, small businesses and startups seeking to do business in the region. Since the announcement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, progressive reforms are significantly encouraging tourism, such as through the latest visa announcement. This provides significant opportunities for operators and owners to introduce innovative hospitality concepts to this dynamic market. How has the response been so far in Saudi? The response so far has been fantastic. Ouspace Madinah Road has fast become a community hub, bringing people together through a variety of events and experiences that tap into their social and business needs, from laughter yoga through to tech talks with industry leaders. From a management perspective, we’re excited to be collaborating with knowledgeable hotel owners who align with our objectives in order to deliver value to the whole ecosystem. They see what we’ve achieved, want to be part of this revolution and choose to work with an operator who has created a flexible business model.

November 2019

Cover Story

Abdul Kader Saadi

Managing Director, Glee Hospitality Solutions Tell us a bit more about your expansion plans in Saudi. Glee Hospitality has been working on expanding our network into the Saudi market for almost a year now. To date, we’ve attained our license and committed an experienced member of our team to relocate to Riyadh in November to directly oversee day-to-day operations. We’re currently working on several projects in Riyadh and Jeddah and aim to launch additional projects in Madina and Khobar in the near future. Our Saudi ventures will see us offer our time-tested services of concept development, complete with full turnkey solutions. We currently have an Arabic street food concept, Greek restaurant, an allday diner and a burger outlet in the works. We have two outlets set to launch this year in the Riyadh market, namely Black Spoon and Ole. These projects will be managed on the ground by our Saudi team with additional back office support provided from our Dubai branch until we reach critical mass in relation to accounting and HR. What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? The decision to expand into the market came with many factors to consider internally and we had to weigh each one carefully before proceeding. It took us a while to decide on whether it was more advantageous to proceed independently or with a partnership model, but in the end we were fortunate to have been able to open as a Saudi branch of Glee Hospitality Solutions under the new regulations of the SAGIA (Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority). In terms of challenges, recruitment has been the biggest obstacle thus far, due to certain restrictions in place. To aid in overcoming this, we’re working with providers. Additionally, with regards to recruitment, attracting talented head chefs and managers has still proven to remain to be quite tricky.

What’s the most unique aspect of the F&B scene in Saudi Arabia? In light of recent events, the KSA market has gone through significant cultural changes, and this has had a direct effect on the F&B market. The Saudi people are finally going out to experience the F&B scene with less restrictions. The market ‘’wants to go out’’ and enjoy the dining experience in contrast to other markets which heavily rely on the food delivery model. Currently, there are a lot of offerings/ options on the lower end of the F&B spectrum, whereas the middle high- to high-end still possess gaps with massive potential to be explored.

How do you see the build-up of the scene in Saudi and what initiatives are you feeling most positive about? The Saudi F&B market is ripe for expansion when you consider that we’re dealing with a population that’s primarily under the age of thirty, and whom are hungry to explore. Moreover, the Saudi government is investing heavily in the travel and tourism industry with plans to build new hotels and resorts to foster this expansion. We envision ourselves participating directly in this build-up and using our industry expertise to help cultivate this vision for the future. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Cover Story

What's happening in the KSA? Marriott International to introduce The Luxury Collection to Saudi Arabia Marriott International, Inc. has signed an agreement with Assila Investments to bring its Luxury Collection brand for the first time to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Situated in the heart of Jeddah, Assila Hotel is anticipated to join The Luxury Collection’s portfolio of more than 100 worldrenowned hotels and resorts in 2020. Assila Hotel features 210 guestrooms, including a 590 sqm Royal Suite, and 94 apartments. It comprises multiple food and beverage venues, including a Café Lounge and Argentinian and Mediterranean specialty restaurants.

Jones the Grocer to expand across Saudi Arabia

Jones the Grocer, the Australian specialty gourmet food retailer and café, has announced expansion across the Middle East with a multiple store development deal across Saudi Arabia with Naif Alrajhi Investment. The first Jones the Grocer flagship store is confirmed to be on the ground floor with access to the retail area of Fairmont Ramla Serviced Residences, Riyadh in an iconic new tower designed by world-renowned Tokyo architect, Nikken Sekkei. 20

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Millennium announces plans to open six hotels in Saudi Arabia

Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA has announced plans to open six new hotels in Makkah, Madina, Tabouk, Jizan and Baha, in addition to recently opened Millennium and Copthorne Makkah Al Naseem hotels. The expansion will initially create over 6000 new jobs in the KSA’s hospitality industry across various functions. Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA introduced the TooMooH programme earlier this year, which aims to boost GCC citizens’ employment in the hospitality industry.

November 2019

Cover Story

Radisson to open two new midscale hotels in Saudi Arabia, appoint first female GM in the Kingdom Radisson Hotel Group is set to launch two new midscale signature Park Inn hotels by Q4 this year, namely Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Riyadh and Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road. The Group has recently opened Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Aziziyah in July 2019, and currently has over 40 hotels, resorts and serviced apartments with 10,000 rooms in operation and under development. Radisson had recently just announced the signing of its second Radisson

Collection property in Riyadh, the Mansard Riyadh while the Nofa Resort Riyadh, the first African-style resort in the Kingdom has 57 luxurious bungalows and villas overlooking Nofa Wildlife Park, opened in November 2018. The four star Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road will open its doors in Q4 of this year and will be led by the first Saudi female general manager, which is also the first female general manager in the Kingdom.

Saudi retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co. acquires 10 food and beverage brands Saudi fashion retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co. has announced the acquisition of 10 international food and beverage franchise brands in over 200 locations from Food and Entertainment Company Ltd., valued at SAR340 million. The franchise operations of the 10 international food and beverage brands recorded an EBITDA value of SAR 54 million against a revenue of SAR 354 million in FY2019. The acquisition reinforces the company’s vision to create a stronger and more impactful

“shoppertainment” experience. Growth will be focused on targeted Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) businesses. The primary brands of this portfolio which make up the bulk of locations within the acquisition include Seattle’s Best Coffee, Cinnabon, Mama Bunz and Molten Chocolate Café. The remaining brands cater to the casual dining sector, and include Crêpe Affaire, Life with Cacao, Turkish coffee chain Kahve Dünyasi, Caffe Concerto, Azal and Bluefin restaurants, and Sütiş.

Aman to enter Middle East market with three properties in Saudi Arabia The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has announced a partnership with hotel and resort brand Aman, who will develop its first three properties in the region. The partnership agreement was signed by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, the Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al Saud and Aman Chairman and CEO Vladislav Doronin, marking the brand’s first entry into Saudi Arabia and the region. Aman will develop three distinct luxury resorts featuring a tented camp, a resort near AlUla’s heritage areas and

a third development as a desert ranchstyle resort. Detailed design work on all three properties is scheduled to start in

the coming months with a development timeline that will welcome the first guests in 2023. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Supplier watch

Supplier Watch

In Prime Position Dariush Rakhshani, partner and CEO of Country Hill International and Prime Gourmet, founded the company in 1999, a UAE supplier of chilled beef, lamb, veal and poultry

Please tell us more about Country Hill International’s market presence in the UAE, and the concept behind Prime Gourmet. CHI is the pioneer in Australian Wagyu beef, HGP (Hormone Growth Promotant)free Angus beef and certified organic beef as well as natural hormone-free, grass-fed New Zealand beef, lamb and chicken in the Middle East, and solutions provider for the retail and the foodservice industry. In May 2018, CHI was acquired by the Gulf Japan Food Fund (GJFF), a private equity fund established by Mizuho Bank, Ltd., the Norinchukin Bank, and other investors. The acquisition has facilitated the addition of the Japanese Wagyu to the CHI portfolio, bringing imports to ten tonnes in 2019. The step has also triggered CHI’s expansion beyond UAE borders, especially in Saudi Arabia, where it will establish its operations within this first half of 2020. The goal is to grasp the opportunities that the growing Saudi F&B sector offers and grant our existing customers in Dubai, who are opening in Saudi, access to the same quality of product they use here. In 2010, we felt that we needed a space to showcase our products to our clients, and this is what brought on the creation of Prime Gourmet. Initially established as a showroom for top executive chefs of fivestar hotels and independent restaurants interested in value-added, portion control and processed gluten-free sausages and patties, Prime Gourmet soon became a concept of its own, where the retail consumers could gain access to the same high quality steaks they would enjoy in restaurants, and experience cooking or BBQ at home. 22

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Why have you decided to open in Dubai? In the late 80s, the UAE was a commodity-driven market, where all imported meat was frozen. I clearly saw a future opportunity to start developing a chilled product supply chain. After the establishment of CHI, the incredible development of the logistics infrastructure of the UAE made it clear that Dubai would become a very central hub with invaluable access and exposure to the main international commerce routes. This development and growing sophistication of the market has made CHI concentrate on a model based on the import of high-quality proteins, becoming a pioneer in the import of chilled allnatural meat, HGP-free, as well as organic beef and Australian Wagyu. The addition of such an exclusive product like the Japanese Wagyu is an integral part of the evolution. For the first

time in the Middle East, Japanese Wagyu won’t be limited to fine dining restaurants alone, but will be consistently accessible to retail consumers through Prime Gourmet, and hopefully very soon other retail outlets. What are your top products in this market? In terms of meat consumption, this market traditionally had a preference for so-called loin cuts. However, more recently, we’ve observed that there has been growing demand for other cuts which have great performance in terms of juiciness, flavour, tenderness and price point. Who are your top clients, and why do you think your products appeal to them? We supply the majority of the top fine dining restaurants, as well as hotel chains, standalone restaurants, retail and quality fast food concepts.




Tastefully Italian

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November 2019

chain of the month

Accor Accor is one of the leading hotel operators in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with 288 operating properties (62,597 keys) and another 161 hotels (13,642 keys) in its development pipeline. Recent acquisitions and partnerships involving MÜvenpick Hotels & Resorts, Rixos, Mantis, sbe and 25Hours have consolidated the group’s position of strength, bolstering its portfolio to more than 35 brands strong.

In Numbers

280+ 170+ Current properties

Upcoming properties


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November 2019

chain of the month

Accor’s Key Programmes ALL Later this year, Accor will mark a major milestone in the group’s evolution with the launch of Accor Live Limitless (ALL), merging its distribution platform ( with its loyalty programme (Le Accor) to create a single global gateway for customers. This massive transformation offers members new premium statuses, enriched benefits, exciting partnerships and inspiring experiences, and reflects Accor’s role as an augmented hospitality group with a growing portfolio of brands and services designed to shape the way its guests ‘Live, Work and Play’. RiiSE RiiSE is Accor’s global network, promoting diversity and gender equality in the workplace. It’s committed to sharing knowledge, solidarity and combatting stereotypes. Over the past year, the group’s MEA business has taken a leading role in expanding the RiiSE network. In less than 12 months, Middle East membership has grown 363% to 4,800 hotel colleagues or 35% of the 25,000-member-strong global network (up from just 8.5%). This was significant, not only because it was biggest increase worldwide, but because a substantial percentage of new members came from Accor’s properties in Saudi Arabia, where the government’s Vision 2030 is driving change and championing diversity and equality. Planet 21 As the Middle East and Africa’s largest hotel operator, Accor is committed to promoting sustainability across every aspect of its operations. Its global corporate social responsibility programme, Planet 21 – Acting Here, encapsulates this ethos, providing a detailed roadmap for all of its hotels to follow. Planet 21 comprises 71 sustainability actions focusing on two key priorities – food and beverage, and buildings – and involves four main stakeholders: Employees, Guests, Partners & Local Communities. Primary goals include reducing water and energy consumption, and eliminating waste from its hotels, as well as initiatives that benefit the local community and environment.

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

chain of the month

Mark Willis Chief Executive Officer, Middle East & Africa


others together. You hear a lot of companies talking about this, about hiring for attitude first and training staff members for the skills they’ll need—but the difference is that we’re actually doing it. When one of our team members visits a property, I don’t want to know how her meetings went. I want to know how many people she made smile.

What are the main challenges you face in hotel management and operations? The Middle East and North Africa hospitality market has become highly competitive, with many hotel companies embarking on ambitious expansion plans. At the same time, some markets are experiencing a temporary oversupply of rooms, which is impacting room rates. However, Accor is in a strong position to overcome these challenges. We have an unrivalled portfolio of diverse brands, from budget to luxury, and a clear development strategy that focuses on introducing new lifestyle concepts, branded residences and all-inclusive luxury entertainment resorts. At the same time, we’ll continue to capitalise on the success of existing brands, identifying destinations with untapped market demand for each. The region’s development potential is significant, particularly in fast-growing markets such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco, re-emerging destinations such as Egypt and GCC tourism powerhouse, the UAE, which continues to attract significant investment and calls for sophisticated and cutting-edge hospitality solutions that Accor can provide.

part of our Planet 21 platform, we’re committed to reducing food waste by 30% across our F&B operations by 2020, with strong headway already made at our properties in the Middle East and Africa. We continue to roll out advanced AI technology to monitor food wastage and help our chefs and F&B teams identify ways to reduce it. At some properties, this has resulted in a 69% reduction in food waste over the past three years. Accor has also set out ‘9 commitments’ in its global healthy and sustainable food charter, with targets that range from eliminating single-use plastic to favouring local food suppliers and seasonal produce. This is a winwin situation for Accor as it protects the wellbeing of our environment and guests, rationalises costs, and improves efficiency at the same time.

What do you think are the most important criteria for a smooth flow of F&B operations? Today, the smooth flow of F&B operations hinges on sustainable food practices that deliver benefits to our guests, partners, communities and business. As

You’re known as a true champion for guest satisfaction. What are the foundations of a good guest experience, and how do you ensure that that happens again and again? Creating a positive guest experience all comes down to staffing people with good attitudes, people who bring

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You’re overseeing a highly diverse region in the Middle East & Africa. How do you think about diversity and gender equality within AccorHotels? I don’t agree with the whole ‘male fraternity’ thing that often develops in big companies. Four years ago, I employed the first female GM in Saudi Arabia, and we’re up to more than a dozen there now. I’m doing the same today wherever women are still underrepresented. Accor is an extremely agile, dynamic organisation, which means we’re able to move fast in these areas. You can be good at what you do, and you can work hard, but we all need some help along the way. What’s it like to manage a group with more than 4,000 hotels from more than 30 different brands? Managing so many distinct brands can be difficult, since the mindsets that come with running a midscale economy property and a luxury property can be very different. However, I’m a firm believer in the simplicity of what we do: every guest, whether they’re paying $50/ night or $400/night, expect good value for their money. It’s our job to provide them that value.

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November 2019


Marketplace Coffee Machines and Equipment

For all the latest News, Visit Follow us on Facebook for up-to-the-minute breaking news Read the latest edition on

NESCAFÉ What was your most important product launch? With over 80 years of experience, NESCAFÉ continues to revolutionise coffee. NESCAFÉ is proud to launch a complete Whole Bean coffee solution – which comprises the high-performing NESCAFÉ Milano coffee machine – NESCAFÉ high quality ingredients, ranging from NESCAFÉ Whole Bean roast coffee with three new blends of beans, and training and technical support – packaged as a one-stop-shop for businesses aiming to deliver premium quality coffee in a simple and reliable way. What are some of the most unique properties of your machine? The new NESCAFÉ Milano Whole Bean Coffee Solution offers delicious specialty coffees, fully customisable at the touch of a button with unparalleled speed and remarkable consistency. Highly compatible with NESCAFÉ Whole Bean roast coffee and recently introduced to the region for the very first time, the NESCAFÉ Milano coffee machine helps customers expand their coffee offering to include a diverse range of specialty beverages that exceed their expectations in terms of taste, variety and service. NESCAFÉ also offers specialist services in terms of machine installation, staff training and maintenance to operators for a complete bean-to-brew solution. Why should businesses purchase your product? We remain committed to helping businesses succeed and aim to remain the partner of choice, as we offer the finest of ingredients, possess excellent operational knowledge, 28

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and provide uncompromising technical support to food service and coffee operators. With a strong Beverage solution, NESCAFÉ aims to work together with businesses in the industry to solve their operational challenges. What’s in the pipeline for your company and its product offerings? We aim to provide hotels and restau-

rateurs on-trend, sustainable solutions which enable them to delight their consumers in an operationally simple and profitable way. We’re in the process of launching a complete Coffee Portfolio targeting hotels (across all consumer touch points) as well as restaurants and cafés. With this vast range of portfolio, our aim is to become a business partner for all requirements of coffee.

November 2019


Brewing Gadgets General Trading LLC Franklin Carvalho, General Manager at Brewing Gadgets

Beginnings… Brewing Gadgets started in 2011, mostly selling third wave coffee paraphernalia to an emerging crowd of specialty coffee shops, roasters, baristas and enthusiasts in the UAE. As a company that’s passionate about specialty coffee and all the gear and equipment that go with it, we soon realised the market needed to bring in the high-end of specialty coffee brands in this region. We expanded our line of products considerably as the specialty coffee market grew in this part of the world. To date, Brewing Gadgets exclusively distributes and markets some of the best

specialty coffee brewing gadgets and equipment in the UAE and Middle East. Why Brewing Gadgets? Brewing Gadgets is a huge part of the growing specialty coffee scene in the UAE. We can also honestly say that we’ve built a good reputation in the local and regional coffee community and industry. Apart from this, Brewing Gadgets is a onestop hub for anyone who’s into the business of coffee. Our company offers turnkey solutions – from inception to after-sales service – and we recognise the importance of understanding our client’s needs as well as going the extra mile in meeting their expectations. For us, “trust is the key” and in this busi-

ness, your word is your bond. The bottom line is that if you said that you’ll do it, you must follow through and keep your word – whether it’s related to services, products or business dealings. Trust runs through the entire gambit of our business and establishing trust runs a long way in solidifying and building our market credibility. In the pipeline Brewing Gadgets carefully selects the brands it distributes locally and regionally. We only support and sell the best quality product in every aspect of the coffee chain – never selling knockoffs or imitations. As a company, our premise is to support those who innovate, not those who copy. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019


NESPRESSO At the touch of a button, Vertuo brewing technology offers high-quality coffee in a variety of cup sizes. Following the success of Vertuo in North America, Europe and Asia, it’s now available in the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where more than 70% of consumers prefer a large cup of coffee, often starting their day with one that is more than 200 ml. Vertuo also offers three different-sized capsules, creating a range of five coffee cup sizes. Each of the 28 Vertuo coffees is carefully blended and roasted to deliver a quality coffee experience, whatever the occasion. The Mug size (230ml) gives a well-balanced body and bouquet of gentle aromas, complementing The Gran Lungos (150ml) offering the prolonged pleasure of an espresso. The largest size, Alto (414ml) serves up delicate aromatic taste to be enjoyed in a longer cup size. Finally, Nespresso drinkers can enjoy the intense flavours of the Double Espresso (80 ml) and Espresso (40ml).

UCC Coffee Engineered by Swiss espresso experts Thermoplan, the super-automatic Black&White4 coffee machine delivers precision, performance and power through a series of patented features – raising the bar for high-street coffee quality. With intelligent design and precision engineering, the Black&White4 was developed specifically for high-volume operators who want to deliver consistent quality coffee at scale. Using advanced technology, it produces unrivalled extraction consistency, perfect milk temperature, texture and taste, temperature stability and allows easier maintenance with instantly exchangeable modules – 20% faster.


Brewing Gadgets’ ACAIA Pearl S model

Coffee Planet unveils first Nitro Cold Brew range

The ACAIA Pearl Coffee Scale is designed to bring consistency to the coffee brew with its brewing modes, real-time flow-rate display and an interactive coffee brewing guide that ensures you’re in control of how you brew.

The new product from the ISO-certified roastery is now available on Kibsons and to order on coffeeplanet. com. Featuring three flavours, black, latte and vanilla latte, the brand’s 100% Arabica Nitro Cold Brew will be available in most leading stores from November 17.

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME

November 2019

Event review

“Taste of Autumn” by Chef Middle East scores major success among region’s foodservice professionals For the fourth consecutive year, Chef Middle East has successfully launched and closed its annual Taste of Autumn events during the month of October 2019 across all four markets in which it operates throughout the GCC region

The leading distributor drew an impressive turnout and welcomed over 1,500 customers through the doors of the iconic locations hosting the events, from JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, Grand Millennium Muscat and Alwadi Hotel MGallery, Doha. All four events brought together regionally based foodservice industry professionals and global suppliers to explore the latest food trends and gather a passionate community of food lovers. This culinary journey included inspiring live demonstrations conducted by 32

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international celebrity chefs, live cooking stations featuring different types of cuisines and styles, industry talks, cooking competitions, and networking among key industry players. This year, Chef Middle East unveiled a brand new and lively attraction: their innovative Chef’s Theatre, which featured an exciting line-up of culinary experts such as guest star Spanish Chef Martin Lippo, who heads the famous NitroSchool in Barcelona and is known for his experimental cooking, Chef Guillermo Corral, an expert in modern gastronomy who demonstrated how to best play with textures and

colours, Chef Cyril Brunner, a Master Baker who presented to the audience the best techniques and ingredients, and Chef Philippe Garret, Michelin-star restaurant chef and owner, a true ambassador of authentic French gastronomy. These sessions were crossed with live pasta and oyster-chucking competitions involving locally based chefs, who showcased impressive skills and intense competitiveness for a cheerful crowd. The distributor also presented a full cast of highly praised regional beverage professionals and consultants, who led insightful talks and demonstrations on the

November 2019

Event review

About Chef Middle East Chef Middle East is a leading importer and distributor of the finest quality foods to the hotel, dining and catering industries in the Middle East. As a leading speciality broadliner, Chef Middle East offers its discerning clients an exceptional blend of premium quality ingredients through its state-of-the art logistics network. The business has multi-temperature storage facilities in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and a fleet of over 50 temperature-controlled distribution vehicles. Chef Middle East has established a Culinary Innovation Centre at its Dubai headquarters, managed by a dedicated worldlatest and emerging beverage trends seen in the market. “The evolution of the Taste of Autumn events over the last four years has been a reflection of the development of the Chef Middle East team and our business,” says Steve Pyle, CEO at Chef Middle East. “The events have become true showcases for greater technical capability, a deeper passion for products and increasingly stronger relationships with customers old and new. We’re better at bonding with the kitchen community and our supply partners stand shoulder to shoulder with us as we aim to inspire

culinary craftsmanship.” The Taste of Autumn 2019 events presented great opportunities for Chef Middle East to raise their profile in the regional culinary scene and present their one-stop solutions for quality food and beverage requirements for all foodservice operators in the region. It was also an opportunity to introduce new products such as speciality cheese boxes and goose products from Upignac, ideal for the upcoming festive season. The distributor also launched a new brand of French flour, Moulins Viron, and tart shells from Le Bichon.

class, award-winning chef. The company lists over 4,000 of the world’s leading food and beverage products from many European and Asian countries. Its 350-strong dedicated employees across the GCC region work closely with vendors, partners and customers to provide the best-in-class import, warehousing and distribution solutions across various product categories. Chef Middle East services more than 1,000 customers from its headquarters in the UAE and its key branches in Qatar and Oman.

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing

The Future of Food Has Arrived in Dubai

Major global flavours and ingredients influencers set the tone for ‘food production reinvented’, which took centre stage at Gulfood Manufacturing 2019

As industries across the globe go through stages of evolution, the food industry is in the midst of a transformation with food producers racing to reinvent ingredients and processes in response to spiralling consumer demand for healthier, ‘clean’ and ethical food which still tastes, smells and looks good. Gaining and maintaining market share 34

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in an industry where the consumer is in the driving seat more than ever before is pushing sector innovation into over-drive. Where once innovation was in the hands of the industry and marketing experts, ultra-discerning consumers, insistent on knowing where their food comes from, what’s in it, as well as its impact on their health and the

environment, are turning the tables. Those same consumers still want quality product at the right price. This has resulted in interesting times for the industry in which those who listen and those who respond positively will stay ahead of the curve. Central to the consumer-focused food innovation revolution are ingredients,

November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing

About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) DWTC brings more than 35 years’ experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East and provides local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Their team organises more than 20 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region. DWTC works with leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.

with alternatives to sugar, sodium, animal proteins and certain fats now mainstream and subject to increasing regulation. Plant and even insect-based ingredients are now being tipped as tomorrow’s heroes. All eyes on alternatives One of the biggest names in the regional business, Dubai’s Food Specialities Limited (FSL), has joined the revolution. A key ingredients supplier to F&B manufacturers in the Middle East and North Africa and an established supplier of agro and dairy commodities, FSL is now dipping its toes into meat, dairy and sugar substitutes in addition to healthier fat solutions. “We’re now venturing into the plantbased ingredients sector to create meat and dairy analogues, in addition to sugar replacers and trans-free fats to

build a healthier and more sustainable food and beverage ecosystem in the region,” explained Dhruv Dhawan, FSL’s head of marketing. FSL’s new era was in focus at the Ingredients sector of this month’s Gulfood Manufacturing show in Dubai, the largest F&B processing and packaging show for the Middle East, Asia and Africa (MEAA), which brought together more than 1,600 local, regional and international exhibitors from the global food supply chain under the ‘food production reinvented’ banner. FSL shared its stand at the October 29-31 mega event with 15 ingredients manufacturing partners from around the world offering new solutions for juice and beverages, bakery and confectionery, meat, culinary and snacks, flavours and dairy ingredients. Some of FSL’s participating long-term partners included DuPont,

Agrana, Austria Juice, AAK, Friesland Campina, Great Giant Pineapple, Van Hees and Aromatech. “We were very excited to feature our plant-based innovations with meat alternatives for burgers, nuggets and sausages and with dairy alternatives such as oat, almond, cashew, and soy milk,” said Dhawan. “We also housed our own Innovation Lab at the show where we featured innovative products and trends on the global food scene with the intent of developing these products for the region and customising their taste profiles to the local market preferences.” Consumers more educated than ever before The race to meet rising consumer demand in the direction of health and sustainability is, according to Dhawan, a by-product of social media and the digital age, which is putting brand loyalty in the shade: “The health-consciousness trend has very much entered this region as it has steadily swept the rest of the world. Consumers in our region now read labels very closely in order to make informed food choices. Social media usage disrupts brand loyalty to a great extent while facilitating a shift towards more transparent, healthier and environmentally conscious products.” Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing

To appeal to the discerning consumer, FSL’s marketing, technical and sales team are actively developing and promoting solutions with healthier ingredients such as trans-free fats, sugar replacers, oat beta-glucan, fibres, probiotics, plant-based proteins and natural colours and flavours. “We’re passionately working with our current and potential customers to develop healthier food and beverage products with excellent taste profiles because taste will always reign supreme in this industry and we believe that consumers shouldn’t have to make a choice between enjoying their food and living a healthy life,” explained Dhawan. Leading the future food fight Meanwhile, global industry leader IFF is out to champion the revolution with offerings it says “extend beyond simply inspiring the senses, into health, wellness, and experiences so we can focus on impact, outcomes, and doing more good in real, tangible ways.” This approach, the firm says, will keep it and its customers, ahead of the revolutionary curve. “We believe that the world doesn’t need 36

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another flavour and fragrance company: it needs a partner that’s willing to fight for more. Our booth at Gulfood Manufacturing 2019 showcased this shift, sharing everything from samples of our latest taste technologies to advanced insights from our IFF Futures research,” explained Mamdouh Seoudy, business development manager at IFF. Staying at the forefront of the revolution means staying more informed than ever, which is why new trends, challenges and solutions were explored, debated and explained at Gulfood Manufacturing’s probing FoodTech Summit and Ingredients Lab. This is where show-goers and delegates got a real taste of the future of food – consumers may have to wait a while longer. Food industry professionals got the opportunity to maximise their attendance at Gulfood Manufacturing 2019 as it ran alongside co-located events including Private Label and Licensing Middle East Exhibition, the MENA region’s exclusive exhibition for food and non-food FMCG product mix expansion and brand placement, yummex ME, the MENA region’s leading event for the sweets and snacks industry, and SEAFEX Middle East, the only professional seafood event for the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

About Gulfood Manufacturing Launched in 2014, Gulfood Manufacturing is a sector-specific trade exhibition and crucial meeting place for ingredients, processing, packaging and food logistics providers from all corners of the globe who service the rapidly growing food and beverage production industries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Far East and Sub-Continent. The event provides food manufacturers with direct access to the latest innovative ingredients, equipment and business improvement tools that enable more efficient production and distribution. Gulfood Manufacturing has five focused sectors: Ingredients, Processing, Packaging, Automation and Controls, and Supply Chain Solutions.

November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing

In Focus: Flavour and Ingredients

Firmenich unveils exclusive flavor for India, Middle East and Africa at Gulfood Manufacturing 2019

Gulfood Flavor 2020, Mediterranean, will take consumers on an unsurpassed sensory experience and cater to diverse tastes

Firmenich, the world’s largest privatelyowned company in the flavour and fragrance business, launched its Gulfood Flavor 2020, Mediterranean, designed to cater to the tastes of consumers in India, the Middle East and Africa region at Gulfood Manufacturing 2019, which took place at Dubai World Trade Centre. The special Mediterranean flavour profiles have been created by following in-depth research of consumers in the IMA region, with 67% of respondents selecting the Mediterranean as their number one place to visit. The study also highlights Mediterranean cuisine is a favourite in the region, with French, Italian and Turkish being the most preferred. “Providing a one-of-a-kind taste experience and listening to consumers is in the Firmenich DNA. What we see with our Gulfood Flavor 2020 is the value of focused research and the capabilities

of those insights to support our regional customers co-identify future trends with us and create commercially viable products that are consistently consumer favourites,” says Thoger Larsen, Firmenich VP Flavor, India, Middle East and Africa. “It’s an honour to have had this opportunity, our first participation at Gulfood Manufacturing, to showcase our proprietary flavour technologies and ingredients. Our stand has attracted a lot of attention, where we’re we were offering a sensory experience like no other,” adds Larsen. Firmenich has developed exclusive flavour profiles into core products including Mediterranean Dream Cookies, Mediterranean Sunrise Green Tea and Mediterranean Coffee & Medley Coffee. Visitors to Firmenich Flavor Town at Gulfood Manufacturing were treated to a Mediterranean Breeze welcome drink

and Mediterranean herbs and tapenade canapés to get a taste of the new flavour. “Our innovations on display at Firmenich Flavor Town were designed to fit unique needs of customers without being cost prohibitive, including full technical capabilities. We have a focus on sugar and salt reduction, plantbased proteins and innovative flavour technologies that turn challenges into amazing innovation opportunities.” “There are so many new ways to address up and coming consumer needs,” says Larsen. “We’re using spices to create complex flavour profiles in food that take the place of salt, floral and herbal botanicals to amplify flavour in beverages, and locally cultivated, simple, authentic ingredients to bring out the best in what we eat and drink – it’s a really exciting time in the flavour and ingredients industry.” Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing


Mark Napier

Group Director – Portfolio Management, Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre Can you please tell us more about this year’s Gulfood Manufacturing exhibition, and the key differences between Gulfood and Gulfood Manufacturing? Gulfood Manufacturing presents a different side to the F&B industry: this is where the industrial side of food and beverage production is showcased, so here you have the machinery, equipment and ingredients, that all go into a food processing plant. Visitors here are the food manufacturers themselves, who are looking to do things faster, more sustainably and more profitably – that’s the real difference between the two events. Gulfood, which will take place in February for its 25th edition, is for finished food. Gulfood Manufacturing has grown out of it, but is now of some significant scale in its own right, with some 19 exhibition halls covering over 80,000 square metres of surface area and almost 1,600 exhibiting companies from over 40 countries. Many machinery and equipment manufacturers come here to showcase their products because they see food production in the Middle East and wider MENA region as a massive growth market for them. So, it’s a really important export opportunity, and it’s really part of our economic diversification and food security plans in region. At exhibitions of such scale, how do you achieve synergy and what challenges have you faced? Dubai is just a fabulous place to host exhibitions as it connects East, West, North and South, and the infrastructure here is amazing. With Expo 2020 coming 38

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up next year, our hospitality industry and hotels are booming, it’s a wonderful place to stay. Middle Eastern hospitality is very famous, so I think people enjoy coming here for a leisure destination. The most important aspect for exhibiting companies is the business

that they do, as the business that they transact on the floor of the exhibition is what makes them come back year after year, meeting customers from all over the world. We’re expecting over 35,000 visitors from over 120 countries to join us at

November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing

the fairgrounds this year. They’re all investing significant sums into improving manufacturing plants, and their food and beverage processing facilities. Our exhibitors make great business, and Dubai is an easy and enjoyable place to transact. What are some key aspects of this year’s edition and what would you say are the focus areas being introduced? From tomorrow, we have FoodTech Summit, where global experts will be talking about major issues and trends that are shaping the F&B manufacturing landscape: clearly sustainability, artificial intelligence, technology and automation, which are all big themes. You’ll see many of the packaging companies that are joining us here today placing great focus on what they’re doing to help F&B producers react to consumer demands for more sustainable, environmentally friendly and lower carbon footprint products by showcasing machines, ingredients and technologies to help manufacturers do just that. What are some new features that you would like to highlight? We have about 200 companies who are new to the Middle East, and we do have every major ingredients and machinery manufacturer of note participating on the floor of the exhibition. What you’ll see is new are the latest launches, innovations and the way that they have reshaped and recast their solutions in order to help manufacturers address the problems that they have. As the show has grown in scale and reputation, it has moved from being possibly the region’s biggest industrial fair to now being recognised on a global stage; it’s such an attractive event that we have food and beverage producers travelling to the fair from as far afield as South America and China. It really has become a global event and if you have a look at how busy the fairgrounds are, it really is packed indeed. I’m sure we’ll see a huge

increase in attendance by the third day when we close, too. Why would you tell visitors from all over the world to come to Dubai and attend these exhibitions here? Everybody who’s in the business of selling machinery and equipment knows that these are large and significant capital expenses; exhibitors themselves will know that this is a fair that produces outstanding returns on marketing spend and there’s a very simple dynamic there. What’s different about this show is that you have buyers coming here with real budgets, real business needs and an intent to invest in the short, medium and long term. If one considers that the global population will grow by two billion over the next 30 years, and one billion of that growth is going to be just in Africa, we’ll see that there are a lot more mouths to feed. We need to manufacture and produce more, but we also need to be more efficient about how we produce, and produce in a more sustainable way. These are all trends underpinned by strong market dynamics: large population growth, a part of the world that’s looking to diversify its economy, and is very concerned about food security and production, and they have significant budgets to invest in reshaping that economic environment. What’s your outlook in anticipation of the Expo 2020? That really is the fair of all fairs, isn’t it? Expo 2020, from how I’ve seen this event shaping up, is something that all of us who live in the region are going to be exceptionally proud of. I think everybody is getting very excited about the enormous footfall that’s going to be generated by the Expo 2020, but also the amount of future investment that it’s going to draw into the region. As wonderful as it is to have so many new hotels built, to be attracting over 25 million visitors to Expo 2020, as proud

as we are of the event, I think the lasting legacy is of how many new investors and how many new people will be brought into the region to see how a fabulous place this is to be, what a fabulous place it is to set up a business in: this market is fantastic, conducive and somewhere that I want to expand my operation to. I think that will be the lasting legacy of Expo 2020, but I’m certainly going to enjoy the six months to the fair and I’m sure many of our exhibitors and visitors who come and join our events will extend their visits so that they can take in the fabulous pavilions that are there at the world’s biggest fair. Anything else you’d like to add? You’ll see some of the new things happening around the event this year such as our new Private Label and Licensing Middle East, a fair which has a good connection with Gulfood Manufacturing in that it covers third party and contract manufacturing, and a good connection to other events we have such as yummex Middle East, which covers the sweets and snacks market. This is where companies can come in and look at either licensing or third party production so that they can expand to meet consumer demand. We have over 120 exhibitors from 40 countries that are joining this inaugural edition. I can’t tell you what the visitor attendance is as we’re on the opening morning of the show, but it’s absolutely packed in the walkways. There’s a very strong hosted buyer programme; there’s a meeting programme that has over 840 scheduled appointments taking place over the next two days between buyers and the exhibitors. Moreover, we have a strong conference programme where the COO of Carrefour is explaining how they ’re addressing the private label market, so I suspect that anybody that’s taking a look at that is certainly going to see how one of the biggest and most important retailers is forming its business and partner strategy in order to be able to address this enormous new market segment. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event review: Gulfood manufacturing

In Focus: Packaging (Hosted Buyer Lounge Sponsor)

Tetra Pak

Khaled Ismail, VP Communications EMEA, Tetra Pak opportunities. Consumer demand is constantly changing and there’s a need to constantly innovate to stay ahead – particularly with new products. Tetra Pak has seen steady business growth year on year, both regionally and globally. We’ve enjoyed over 65 years of prosperous development in the region and remain committed to the same path. We’ve invested over Euro 80 million in the region on converting factories in recent years to meet current and future customer demands.

About the company Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With more than 24,000 employees based in over 80 countries, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business. Our motto, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD", reflects our vision to make food safe and available, everywhere. Our product portfolio offers scalable end-to-end solutions for different needs. Founded on the idea that a package should save more than it costs, sustainability has always been core to how Tetra Pak operates as a business. 40

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Recognising the importance of addressing the full impact of the business, Tetra Pak is committed decarbonising energy, improving energy efficiency, reducing food waste and minimising impact on resources. Gulfood Manufacturing Gulfood Manufacturing is the region’s most important food and beverages processing and manufacturing show. It’s an ideal platform which allows us to exchange knowledge and expertise with industry peers, engage our customers in enhancing the F&B industry for the benefit of the environment and consumers, and showcase our latest innovations in front of thousands of customers and potential ones. Business opportunities Both the Middle East and the UAE offer continued growth potential and business

In the pipeline We’ve recently revealed the “Tetra Pak Index”, our annual report based on research we conducted in eight countries from all over the world. The findings revealed that top consumer concerns were environment and health. Our plan is to continue to innovate and engage our customers in a mutual journey towards providing consumers with food and beverage solutions which are good for their health and that have minimal or zero impact on the environment. We also recently launched Planet Positive campaign, which urges industry stakeholders to move to a low-carbon circular economy. This movement represents a new way of thinking inspiring suppliers, customers and other businesses to come together to address the pressing global environmental issues of climate and waste, taking a broader view of sustainability, going beyond recycling and reuse to include the carbon impact of raw materials and manufacturing. We’ve revealed solutions such as Tetra Stelo™ Aseptic, a recyclable and FSC™ certified packaging solution that meets the needs of the environmentally conscious consumer at GFM.

November 2019


Meaner Times = Leaner Times?

A monthly column by Martin Kubler, CEO, chief cook and bottle washer of sps:affinity – Strategic Partnership Solutions One of my all-time favourite Dubai business stories is about the time, a few years back, when I went to pick up a cheque at a very big company. We’re not talking “one office and 50 employees here”, but a massive, multi-storey headquarters in one of the permanently traffic-jammed neighbourhoods of our city. Having finally found parking and standing outside the gleaming office building, I thought: that’s surely a successful company that uses the latest technology and management strategies to stay ahead of the game. Feeling positively energised by the outside appearance of the building, I went inside, found the right floor (each floor was dedicated to one of the company’s business units) and, at last, the accounts office. The secretary pointed me to the right desk, one of about 20 in the large, openplan office, and a very friendly accountant asked me for my company’s name. “Here we go”, I thought, expecting him to open a state-of-the-art finance application on his desktop, and proceed from there. Alas, after I had spelled the company name for him, he opened a gigantic Excel spreadsheet, clicked “Search”, typed the company name into the search box, and then made an entry against the appropriate cells. Once this was done, he looked around his desk, which was covered in perilously high paper piles, zoomed in on a particular pile, split it in half (roughly) and handed me a paper with my cheque attached. Mission accomplished, I thought, but before I could walk out the door and bank the cheque, we had to have a little discussion about the payment receipt. We 42

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only issue receipts by email. He wanted a printed, stamped and signed receipt. Worlds clashed. We’re still hearing a lot about how companies have to become leaner and save costs to remain relevant and successful. I haven’t been back to this office since my visit back then, but I dare say that the chaps there probably still use Excel, navigate huge paper piles, and insist on printed, stamped, and signed receipts. What gives? Just the other day, a contact of mine told me that his employer is reducing salaries and benefits in order to

cut costs. The same employer also still features an overly large back office, full of people in charge of filing all these printed, stamped, and signed receipts – and carrying out similar mundane tasks. I’m not a fan of robots taking over everything, but, guess what, robots will take over everything. At least everything mundane. The times when we could afford huge back office operations, miles of printed paper and files, armies of rubber stamps, and countless neatly dressed tea boys are well and truly over. Go lean or perish.

November 2019


Leveraging the Power of Technology Anil Goel, global chief technology and product officer at OYO Hotels & Homes, tells us more about how hospitality can benefit from a more streamlined approach OYO is committed to enabling the hospitality industry through continued investments in technology products, processes and people. In the UAE, the hotel chain is present across five Emirates, with over 1,800 rooms across 105 hotels and homes. Globally, the brand currently has a portfolio of over one million rooms under management. Since inception, technology has been deeply embedded in OYO’s DNA and facilitates standardisation of services, amenities and in-room experience, thereby helping maintain service standards in the UAE and also globally. The company has developed a robust in-house stack of proprietary technology powering 20 plus applications, including an industry-first operating system, to offer a consistent, standardised experience to its guests and partners. As a result, OYO Hotels & Homes has grown to become South Asia’s largest, China’s largest single hotel brand and second-largest hotel group and the world’s third largest and fastest-growing chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces. Currently, every hotel that’s a part of the OYO chain is powered by OYO OS, the next generation in hotel management systems. This operating system gives hotels cutting-edge advantages with sophisticated features, including express check in and check out, in addition to online procurement and inventory management. The OS further offers apps for housekeeping and audits, while introducing solutions for multiple

hotel management aspects such as expense management, staff training and engagement, along with performance reviews and incentives for hotel staff. Technology is at the core of everything and is a key growth driver for the organisation. There’s a company-wide belief in harnessing the power of innovative technologies to build a worldclass experience for guests. Technology powers every aspect of hotel management

– from procuring linen to checking in a guest, or ordering food and beverages during their stay. OYO identifies itself as a company of urban innovators who don’t want to limit capabilities to existing technology. The company’s Krypton app constitutes a mobile audit, enabling ‘OYO Captains’ to audit properties and assure an excellent guest experience. By identifying underlying patterns in customer behaviour, it helps anticipate and cater to emerging guest needs, thus enhancing engagement and driving repeat business from guests, resulting in a higher yield for asset owners. Another key app that the company has developed is a dedicated transformation platform called Optimus, which helps recruitment teams understand the transformation requirements of a building, while giving cost estimates, in addition to assigning tasks and tracking the pace at which the process is taking place. It also enables overall visibility on the process to all respective stakeholders including the hotel owner and OYO teams. For the property owners, CO-OYO, a single touch point for owners, supports them with their property and hotelrelated concerns and provides them with visibility into business activities on a day-to-day basis. Backed by 400 plus microsystems and 1,000 full-stack engineers spread across multiple locations, OYO today delivers a consistent and standardised experience to travellers. The company will continue to build a technology ecosystem, an embodiment of what OYO stands for. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

GM Interview

Comfortably Luxurious Novotel Bur Dubai’s General Manager Bruno Fischer is making luxury more accessible than ever, and he’s telling Hotel & Catering News Middle East all about it Have you always wanted to become a GM? Please tell us more about your journey. Initially, I joined the hotel industry to travel the world, work and serve people. It wasn’t my plan and I didn’t think that I would become a GM one day. However, after constantly being promoted from various roles, I saw potential within for the future and that ultimately became my career goal. What would you say is the most challenging aspect of managing a 4-star property? The Novotel Bur Dubai is perfectly located in Dubai Healthcare City and the only four star hotel among many 5- star hotels in the vicinity. So, being the only 4- star branded hotel gives us a great opportunity to establish our brand name.

I’m very pleased to hear from our guests through direct and online feedback that they feel we provide 5-star experiences. 44

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Novotel Bur Dubai was deemed a 5-star by guests; how have you managed to elevate the experience? I’m very pleased to hear from our guests through direct and online feedback that they feel we provide 5-star experiences. There are many wonderful hotels in Dubai, what we do well, and this is also perceived by our guests, are the individualised experiences from our team members to our guests. You have one main F&B outlet; how do you ensure a consistently varied experience? We have designed our menus to meet the needs of our guests. Today’s healthconscious guests want to have good quality food at a reasonable price and that’s what we deliver at Hang Out Café.

November 2019

GM Interview

It offers an extensive a la carte menu. We also have a gourmet bar which offers our guests quick grab-and-go options. Also, as time for our guests is precious, we like to offer fresh yet tasty meals which can be prepared quickly. With so many restaurants in Dubai to choose from, we’ve decided to ensure that we change our menus at least every three months to keep our guests excited. What’s the single best quality your employees can possess? A positive attitude. I can equip them with a skill, but I can’t change a person’s attitude. What advice would you offer those who aspire to become GMs in the hotel industry someday? Be open and willing to learn. Get yourself a mentor in a senior role who can guide you in the right direction. Always aim for the best in everything you do. What’s next for Novotel Bur Dubai? In October, we’ll launch a new Hang Out Café menu as well as the pool bar menu. We’ve recently started a Happy Hour period and are working on serving hubbly bubbly by the pool too.

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Movers & Shakers

Welcome Home

Deluxe Holiday Homes specialises in rentals for travellers who are looking to get a glimpse of the best that Dubai has to offer, but how does Robert Musaazi, business development manager, ensure that standards are sky high?

What do you think of the Dubai market and why have you decided to venture into it? Dubai remains one of the top travel destinations in the world today. With the vision to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, DTCM passed a resolution in April 2016 regulating holiday home operations in Dubai. The regulation was to address greater transparency, safety, standardisation and competitiveness in the holiday homes sector. The move complements positive growth trends in the city’s wider hotel and hotel apartment segment, to cater to diversifying traveller demographics and needs. With over 16 years of real estate experience with our parent company West Gate real estate, we decided to venture into the holiday homes business to diversify our current portfolio offering for our investors. 46

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November 2019

Movers & Shakers

What challenges have you faced so far? The challenges along the road so far have been many. As a company, we’ve worked tooth and nail to ensure that we have the leading technology and solutions to overcome current challenges and anticipate solutions for future ones. With over 100 properties under our belt at the moment, we’ve invested heavily in both technology and human resources to combat most of the challenges at hand. With in-house revenue, reservations, sales, housekeeping, business development and engineering teams, we’ve managed to maintain and grow our portfolio. Guest satisfaction being our top priority at moment, we launched DELUXE EXPERIENCES, an initiative that serves not only as a digital concierge to our guests, but one that enhances their experience of Dubai. Not only do our properties come fully luxuriously furnished, they also come in hand with the best amenities, WiFi, Netflix, an in-room dining option, a concierge to assist our clients book desired tours, restaurant reservations, rent-a-car as well as transfers . What changes do you think the Expo 2020 will bring about in the market? Expo 2020 is a very big event and Dubai as a city has prepared well to welcome over 24 million visitors to the event over six months. With Dubai’s vision, we’ve positioned ourselves as the holiday company of choice. We continue to develop and evolve to be in a great position to host visitors coming for the event and the many more years to come.

Robert Musaazi

Who are your main clients? With over three years of experience since our inception, tourists remain our top main clientele. Corporate clients on short-term contracts or those with plans to settle on a long-term basis are another segment that we continue to serve. The GCC still leads our market share, followed by Europe. There’s also a good market share from Asia, CIS and Africa. We look forward to consolidating our current markets as well as developing new relationships in new markets.

What’s in the pipeline for your company? As a company, we continue to evolve and grow. With our recent developments and investments, we continue to work on the latest technologies and initiatives to best manage the available inventory, and grow it not only in Dubai, but into other Emirates and the region as well as across the world. We’re very much committed to our values and integrity, not only to our clients, but to our investors as well. We do look forward to welcoming everyone to our homes. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event preview

Meet the Sponsors

The Big Food & Beverage Forum 2019 The Leaders in Food & Beverage Awards 2019 BNC Publishing and Hotel & Catering News Middle East’s The Big Food & Beverage Forum and The Leaders in F&B Awards 2019, presented by du, will take place on Monday, November 18 at Sofitel Dubai The Palm


Jad Asaad, Beverage Marketing Manager and more fruitful, with our team around the brand getting bigger and bigger. What’s special about S.Pellegrino is that it’s not just any water brand, it’s a unique one that breeds exclusivity around those who consume it. It creates a sense of community around its taste, origin, branding, usage and reputation. With S.Pellegrino (and Acqua Panna), we were able to create engagement with culinary chefs in the region and around the world through sponsorships and brand activations, such as the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Awards.

About the company Bidfood UAE is a foodservice distributor of food, beverage and non-food related products to customers in a wide range of sectors within the foodservice and catering industries. These include hotels, restaurants, cafés, QSRs, sub-distributors, wholesalers, entertainment, as well as many independent operators in the hospitality industry. Some of our brands include S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, Sweet Street, Lamb Weston, Bridor and CSM, among others. At Bidfood UAE, our mission is to deliver service excellence, making life easier and helping our customers grow. Therefore, everything we do has our customers at heart, and is led by research and insights. Slogan/ethos and core values Our slogan is “passionate about foodservice” – and that’s embedded in all that we do, both internally and externally. Together with our sister companies in Bahrain, Oman, KSA, and Jordan, we represent Bidfood Group in the GCC with more than 35 brands, 320 talents, and 14 cultures, and serve over 7,000 accounts through more than 300,000 deliveries per year. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve the latter without the help and support of our shareholders: our employees, community, shareholders, suppliers and customers. It’s 48

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sewn in the fabric of our company to deliver service excellence to our clients, the right quality and choice for their menus, and real value through commercial and sustainable partnerships. The most successful projects/product launches The brands that make up Bidfood’s portfolio are all worth praise and laud, but S.Pellegrino has been with us since the beginning of our journey. We signed the brand in 2004 – 15 years ago – and ever since, our partnership has become more

In the pipeline More growth, more solid partnerships, more research and development, better service, bigger impact and an overall steady progression to outdo ourselves and exceed everybody’s expectations year after year… Why sponsor this event? The Leaders in Food & Beverage Awards is one of the most recognised events in the local culinary world that honours pivotal players in the F&B arena – a much needed recognition for both people and businesses alike. With our sponsorship of the event via our SPAP brand, we’re more than happy to be able to take part of such a great initiative that gives credit where it’s due.

November 2019

Event preview


Mohamed Karam, Senior Business Development Manager, Middle East & Africa, Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions | InSinkErator About the company InSinkErator, a business unit of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), is the world’s largest manufacturer of garbage disposals and instant hot waters dispensers for home and commercial use. Yet, InSinkErator is not only the largest manufacturer, we invented them in 1927! Ever since, InSinkErator has been delivering practical, convenient, environmentally friendly solutions which are quiet, reliable and luxurious. It’s also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimising the transportation of food waste to landfills. This mighty kitchen food waste fighter turns the phrase “down the drain” on its head and potentially offers significant sustainability cred. Emerson’s InSinkErator garbage disposals can efficiently break down even the toughest foods – corn cobs, orange and banana peels – into tiny pieces. From here, the food waste is sent via your home’s wastewater plumbing to treatment facilities equipped to handle the small particles. At capable treatment plants, that food waste is even repurposed as energy. The evolutionary technology comes in different grinding capacities and compact designs to ensure perfect and quiet waste disposal across all applications. Slogan/ethos and core values Integrity, Safety and Quality, Support Our People, Customer

anywhere, in or out of the kitchen. The system requires only electrical and plumbing hook-ups. Ideal for operators participating in compost programmes and customers with limited pre-hauling storage. Tri-Cycle features a digital user interface panel that displays operational prompts and system status throughout its working cycle. The system includes a built-in automatic cleaning cycle, as well as a 95-second deep cleaning cycle activated by the push of a button. End-of-shift cleaning process takes approximately 3.5 minutes.

Focus, Continuous Improvement, Collaboration, and Innovation – are fundamental to the way Emerson conducts business and achieves success. The most successful projects/product launches Our new solution: Tri-Cycle™ System, diverts food waste from landfills and reduces hauling costs with the nextgeneration InSinkErator pulper. TriCycle™ reduces food waste volume by up to 90% and mass by up to 75%* using a 10 HP, uniquely designed grinder and powerful dewatering centrifuge. The compact, standalone design processes 50 lbs. (23 kg) of food waste per minute and can be placed nearly

In the pipeline We continue to roll out educational programmes with the objective of raising awareness about the food service and hospitality sectors and their impact on sustainability and the environment. Product development and innovation are constantly a work in progress, and as we continue to offer state-of-the-art solutions, we continue to listen to our customers and their needs. Why have you chosen to sponsor these events? The Big Food & Beverage Forum 2019 is, without a doubt, one of the most prestigious events in the region, and the reason we chose to participate is to recognise and encourage industry leaders to keep innovating and excelling in this ever-changing landscape. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event preview

Gates Hospitality

Naim Maadad, Chief Executive and Founder About the company Gates Hospitality, a leading hospitality development company, launched in 2010 with a diversified portfolio of international brands, homegrown food and beverage concepts, and operating hospitality assets throughout the MENA region as well as internationally now in London. At Gates Hospitality, we’re committed to the development of world-class hospitality, asset management, and food and beverage products. Our combined knowledge and passion are supported by the exceptional local and international hospitality and F&B experience of our senior management team. We’re currently developing a suite of homegrown F&B concepts, in addition to holding the franchise rights to several strategically handpicked restaurant brands. Our objective is to expand our reach by conceptualising, developing and operating unique fresh restaurant concepts that fit local market needs and/ or acquiring other significant brands that fit within our criteria. Slogan/ethos and core values The Brand Ethos or Pillars/Core Values of Gates Hospitality are Belong | Enrich | Engage | Innovate. The most successful projects/product launches Ultra Brasserie, our homegrown brand, has been hugely successful in Dubai since its launch six years ago. Today, it has grown into two iconic locations at Business Square Downtown Dubai as 50

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well as Marina Plaza in Dubai Marina. Reform Social & Grill as well as brands like Bistro Des Arts, folly by Nick & Scott, Publique, and more recently the Verve bar and brasserie are all launches we’re extremely proud of. Our first international venue, the Red Farm at the famed Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom, too. In the pipeline We have moved to the next stage of consolidation of our brands in the year ahead. We also look forward to

participating in as many avenues as we can in the international Expo 2020, hosted by Dubai for 173 days from October 20, 2020 until April 10, 2021. Why have you chosen to sponsor these events? Gates Hospitality always explores to associate with events which align with our brand ethos and beliefs. I wish the event all success and would like to reiterate that we’re proud to be associated – looking forward to partaking as sponsors.

November 2019

Event preview

Glee Hospitality

Abdul Kader Saadi, Managing Director About the company Glee Hospitality has successfully launched over 50 plus F&B concepts, unveiled 70 plus outlets across the region, including the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, and Kuwait among others, and we proudly manage a team of nearly 300 employees. In 2019, we saw the addition of the Cairo satellite office to our network and in 2020, amid the cusp of closing this decade of pride and achievements, we’re honoured to have officially extended Glee’s operations into The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with our new official Saudi branch. Slogan/ethos and core values Launching a successful F&B concept is going to test the limits of your passion, endurance, focus and dedication. None of these are possible without a strong team to lay the foundation and begin the journey to success. At Glee Hospitality Solutions, our power comes from the strength of our teams that possess all these traits to create the backbone for our clients and their success. The most successful projects/product launches After launching restaurants for almost a decade, we’ve been very fortunate over the years to launch some very successful restaurant concepts over the years. Some of our earlier concepts that we’re extremely proud of include Molten ME, Burger Hood and Zattara. Plus, Nolus enjoyed relatively great success in the market. More recently, we’ve launched a slew

of successful concepts, which include Parlour Café, Nourish, The Roost and Kishmish. These projects were met with praise and we’re extremely pleased with their overall market reception. In addition, we recently launched White & Bear in Dubai, Decaf in Al Ain and Mint & Coco in Muscat, Oman. In the pipeline We recently launched KOBEYA, a far eastern and Japanese gluten-free kitchen concept in Dar Al Wasl Dubai. KOBEYA is about premier ingredients and the Kobe beef is flown in directly from the best Japanese suppliers. We’re launching in November BLACK SPOON in Riyadh, which serves casual American all-day dining. In addition, we’re opening

OLE in Riyadh, a U Walk development serving specialty coffee and a variety of dessert options. Why have you chosen to sponsor these events? The leaders in F&B Awards 2019 continue the tradition of recognising various players in the F&B industry for their individual milestones and accomplishments. From our end, it’s a privilege to help sponsor such a significant accolade to the F&B industry. As an enterprise, we always want to be at the forefront of the market seeking to improve our ties with key F&B/hospitality professionals and The Leaders in F&B awards is the perfect medium to facilitate this. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event preview

Monviso Trading

Stefano Iorini, Managing Director, Monviso Trading About the company Monviso Trading is a dynamic and growing Dubai-based business, which aims to bridge strategic commercial relationships between global suppliers and Middle Eastern markets through the import and distribution of a unique array of food and beverage products. Equipped with warehousing space, distribution facilities and a delivery fleet, Monviso Trading supplies over 1000 products throughout the UAE to leading supermarket chains, prestigious establishments within the HoReCa sector, local marketplaces and consumers’ homes. Slogan/ethos and core values Our commitment to quality stands for our business philosophy and is deeply rooted in our core principles. Our ambition is to maximise the value delivered to all our stakeholders through continuous innovation in the way we conduct our business. The most successful projects/product launches When we decide to distribute a new product, our main focus is on quality. Each product is manufactured with the highest standards. So far, the most successful product launches for us were Coffee Cream Italia and Hey Hah Snacks. Coffee Cream, or Crema di Caffe as Italians refer to it, is a delicious soft ice cream that’s very popular across Italy, especially during summer. It’s typically served in a small glass, not much bigger than an espresso cup. Coffee Cream Italia is an exquisite 52

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blend of espresso, milk, water and sugar perfectly designed to give to you a kick with unparalleled authentic Italian flavour. The recipe has been passed down from one generation to another and continuously improved to get the best consistency for the most sophisticated of palates. With HeyHah fruit and vegetable chips, the entire family can benefit from several options available: banana, mango, pineapple, broccoli, okra and onions. Not only will these healthy snacks add more nutrition to your life, but the advantage is that they are made of 100% pure ingredients, no monosodium glutamate, no artificial colours and flavours, and no preservatives. Enjoy our worry-free snacking experience.

In the pipeline I’ve been closely following global and local sustainability initiatives as well as our team’s ongoing enthusiasm in being able to make a difference, and so, I realised that for us as businesses, it’s important to contribute to a better world. Over the past months, supported by our partners in sustainability at ConcertoTIC, we’ve embarked on an even more exciting journey and started to create our company’s 360° sustainability strategy, “DeeplyRootedValue”, with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its foundation. I’m genuinely excited about the direction we’re headed and very much aware that this is just the beginning. We have a long way to go in terms of embedding sustainability across all our functions and fully embrace the SDGs, but we’re all committed to drive value for all our stakeholders. Why have you chosen to sponsor these events? Awards mean recognition of the efforts an individual/organisation has made through their activities. We’re proud to be one of the sponsors of The Big F&B Forum and The Leaders in F&B Awards 2019, which are reputable events in Dubai. Considering that Hotel & Catering magazine is one of the strongest publications in the field, we’re confident that these events constitute a great platform to interact with leading F&B representatives in the UAE and obtain insights on the current culinary trends.

November 2019

Event preview

Nestlé Professional

Roger Frei, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Professional Middle East and North Africa About the company Nestlé Middle East’s heritage in the region goes back over 80 years to 1934 when the first import operation was set up in Lebanon. Today, Nestlé Middle East covers 13 countries, operates 18 factories and provides direct employment to more than 13,000 employees who are all committed to Nestlé’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: dairy products and infant nutrition, bottled water, chocolate and confectionery, coffee creamers, breakfast cereals, culinary products, health science, and pet care, among others. Nestlé Nido, Nestlé NAN, S-26, Progress, Maggi, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Coffeemate, Nestlé Cerelac, Nestlé Fitness, Nestlé Pure Life, Nespresso and Optifast are just some of the brands available in the Middle East. Slogan/ethos and core values Nestlé’s purpose is about enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. We’re guided by our values that are rooted in respect. Creating shared value is the fundamental way we do business and how we bring our purpose to life. We believe that for our company to be successful in the long-term, we must create value, not only for our shareholders, but also for society and the environment we live in. Nestlé identified three areas where the company creates impact: for Individuals and Families, for our Communities and for the Planet.

provides powdered stock solutions that are versatile and superior in taste to inspire and encourage innovation, allow distinctive personalisation and help chefs achieve professional fulfilment.

The most successful projects/product launches Nestlé Professional is celebrating the launch of Whole Beans Coffee Solution across the region with more momentum than expected. For the first time in 80 years, with all our expertise in the coffee industry and knowledge of harvesting coffee beans, Nescafé is entering the whole roasted coffee beans arena. The new Whole Bean Solution brings you all the aroma and flavour of fresh roasted beans with the simplicity and user friendliness of coffee at the press of a button. We aim to provide hotels and restaurateurs an on-trend and sustainable solution that lets them delight their consumers in an operationally simple and profitable way. Nestlé Professional has also recently launched a new range of sauces and bouillons under the brand CHEF® originating from Denmark. CHEF®

In the pipeline In line with Nestlé’s Purpose of “Enhancing Quality of Life and Contributing to a Healthier Future”, Nestlé Professional conducted the first ever ’Specialized Nutritional Training’ programme designed and specifically developed to educate and enrich the knowledge of young chefs to support them in offering more nutritious and healthier dishes. Moreover, how they as chefs can positively impact the out-of-home environment and help improve the health of individuals in the Middle East region. The course not only allows chefs to learn and refresh their nutritional knowledge, but it’s also an accredited course by two bodies, the Department of Health (DOH) granting each certified chef 5.75 CME hours and Highfields University in UK for its international accreditation. Sessions will be scheduled every quarter, interested participants can register through our website Why have you chosen to sponsor these events? Nestlé Professional is committed to building strong relationships with our customers and creating a partnership where we can help their business succeed. The Leaders in F&B Awards is great platform to connect and network with our customers, and prospect customers, allowing us to showcase our portfolio and services. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

F&B Far and Near

La Dolce Vita

Here, Piero Giglio, general manager at Il Borro Tuscan Bistro Dubai and Jonay Gonzalez de Leon, restaurant manager for David Myers restaurants at Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai (which include BASTA!), reveal the “saucy” secrets to Italian cuisine In what establishments have you acquired your culinary expertise and how did you get here? Giglio: I was introduced to the art of hospitality during my formative years, much of which were spent in my family’s restaurant. I’m from a little village in Calabria, South of Italy. Here, a love of food was ingrained into my soul, with the act of creating and serving meals becoming an integral part of my daily routine, as natural as breathing or sleeping. This immersive influence led me to study Hotel Management in Italy. From there, my appetite for knowledge and love of new cultures led me to the UK and US. Now, I have international experience across London, Miami and Dubai, where I spent the last 12 years. A total of 25 years in the hospitality industry with a mix of restaurants concepts marked my career, for example Italian and fusion, within hotels and independently run. I think Il Borro restaurant perfectly filled the gap in the UAE market. It’s an authentic Italian concept, which was missing from the Dubai dining scene. Leon: My hospitality career began at a Mexican restaurant when I was 17, where I worked as a waiter while also learning the art of mixology. In 2012, when I was 24, I moved to London, where I started working at an award-winning fine dining restaurant, the JW Marriott Grosvenor House as an F&B associate, thus honing my management skills and knowledge of the operations side of the industry. In 2017, I made the decision to move to Dubai, bringing my expertise to BASTA! at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown, Dubai Dubai has a diverse culinary landscape. In your opinion, what makes a venue unique? Giglio: This market is overly saturated 54

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Il Borro Tuscan Bistro Dubai

Piero Giglio

with average execution and finesse of concept creation. It’s not enough nowadays to order off a menu, I think the operators need that extra mile to be differentiated. That’s why I’ve dedicated lot of my time to creating a differentiator in any of the concepts that we develop within our hospitality company, named Orange Hospitality. I look at brands for their true context and difference. Il Borro, for example, produces its own organic grapes, olive oil and vegetables in Tuscany. It’s not just

an Italian restaurant named after a chef or designer. It’s a place that really exists and has over 1,000 years of history deeply rooted in Tuscany. That’s hard to be copied or replicated, and that’s why Il Borro was an instant success in the city. Customers felt the quality of the ingredients through organic sourcing, the exclusivity of the products, and the high level of service and customer care delivered. This is the winning formula of Il Borro. Leon: BASTA! exemplifies Italian casual dining, offering traditional dishes with a modern flair. It’s a friendly and inviting venue and is accessible to everyone. It offers quality food in a non-pretentious environment that’s perfect for friends and families alike. Many of our customers are patrons, which is often hard to achieve in a city such as Dubai where diners are often offer and price-led. If you were a guest at a restaurant, what do you think would be the most important aspect to you? Giglio: I always bring my passion for details. I think a great restaurant has

November 2019

F&B Far and Near

to be an instantly recognisable concept for a guest, anywhere in the world. The restaurant has to showcase a strong brand identity, its own approach and has to consistently deliver high quality food, ambiance and service. These are the most important aspects that matter most to me as a guest at a restaurant. I would look at them. Leon: Quality and taste can’t be overlooked and they will always be the first thing people speak about when discussing their experience at a restaurant. Presentation is also of paramount importance, followed by quality of service from service and front-of-house staff. Tell us about a time when you went above and beyond guest expectations. Giglio: Every day for me means going beyond guest expectations and the extra mile. Working in the hospitality industry means automatically exceeding customer expectations on a daily basis. This job is based on relationships, and is all about developing solid ones with guests, feeding these over time and consolidating them. During my 12 years of experience in Dubai, I’ve been retaining customers in my restaurants. It’s a daily task that I do and that’s why our clientele in Il Borro is mainly made up of repeat customers. Being a successful restaurant means exceeding customer expectations every day. It’s not one-time job, but a daily commitment. Leon: I endeavour to go above and beyond for each guest, irrespective of spend or whether they’re a new or repeat customer. As one such example, we had a couple celebrating an anniversary, for which we prepared a table decorated with flowers, which they weren’t expecting. We also greeted them with two complimentary glasses of bubbly. This gesture created such goodwill that the couple became regular customers and still often frequent the restaurant together and with other friends. How do you manage and mentor staff? Giglio: My vision is to create a strong team culture in our hospitality company where

the focus is always on being innovative, as well as constantly learning and developing. I’m a concrete part of staff. I like being very connected to my team by building a relationship with each one of them. I need to be connected enough to motivate them. This is the path that allows you to grow within my team. Leon: From my perspective, staff satisfaction in hospitality is one of the main aspects to be considered when managing a restaurant. A wise man once said: “Take care of your staff, so they will take care of your guests.”

Jonay Gonzalez de Leon

With that in mind, we take a holistic approach to staff development; undertaking daily training, while also creating personal and career development plans to instil a sense of self-importance in each employee. They’re then empowered to take the next step of their career with us and this satisfaction translates into improved customer service. What are you cooking up for the rest of this year and the upcoming one? Giglia: Orange Hospitality, which is our company, has a few new projects in the pipeline for next year. One is a new dining concept that will open in Dubai, while another will be based in London, Mayfair district. Leon: We’re excited to announce the promotion of Silvana, who brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge of Italian cuisine. Silvana has been with us from the very beginning and was recently promoted to sous chef at BASTA! We’re also in the process of developing a new offer for Saturdays, primarily targeted towards families as well as adding new seasonal dishes and ingredients to our menu.


Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

What's cooking?

Society Eats

Executive Head Chef, SocietyDXB Café & Lounge Jarek Wysmyk knows his way around the kitchen, but what makes his dishes wow-worthy at the oh-so-chic venue?

Tell us a bit more about your background. I started cooking when I was 15, as an apprentice at one of the local restaurants in my home city in Poland. Food was very simple back then. You would spend your days preparing hors d’oeuvres or covering meat platters with aspic, and decorating with funky carved vegetables, something that you can still find in most of the cookbooks from the 80s. Working in the kitchen was always where I could find myself, but I was getting bored very quickly. By the time I finished college, I already had three different chef jobs on my account. A few 56

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years later, I decided to move abroad and look for more challenges. During the last 10 years, I worked in multiple restaurants in Ireland and managed to graduate from the Technological University in Dublin. Eventually, I worked my way up to successfully run one of the busiest restaurants in the city, Rustic Stone, with Chef Dylan McGrath. Currently, I live in Dubai with a total of three locally-based pre-openings, Common Grounds MOE, Brunswick Sheraton under Bull & Roo Hospitality Group, and now Society DXB as executive head chef with my amazing and talented team from MAD Investments.

What was your first big breakthrough? I think it was probably couple of years ago when I took a job at Rustic Stone by Dylan McGrath in Dublin. It was quite challenging to get the high position there, so I started as a chef de partie. The environment was very harsh and strict with long rush hours. I almost walked out during my first week; it was so hard that I couldn’t keep up with their tempo. I felt that it was a small step back for me, but in reality, that was when my career finally started to progress. I discovered my passion for cooking again, learned many new techniques and what being a chef is really about. It got to

November 2019

What's cooking?

the point where I really wanted to know everything about every section and learn all the recipes, do it as best as I could. I became very obsessive and organised; it was very addictive. I believe things happen for reason, and hard work always pays off. Two years later, I became their head chef.

Jarek Wysmyk

What’s your cooking style? Comfortable, simple and vibrant food would be the answer. I’m a big nomad, and I do travel a lot, so my focus has a very wide and multicultural radius; I like every culture and cuisine on this planet, and being open to them is giving me an interesting range of inspiration and possibilities. On the other hand, I’m French cuisine-trained and I do follow their culinary ethics in everything I cook. How would you describe your management method in the kitchen? I like giving my chefs a little bit of space and a comfortable environment. I don’t micro manage them as long as they’re doing their job properly. I did a lot of highpressure environment jobs in the past, and I know how hard it can get, especially when you are new to the industry. These days, I’m taking a different approach and focusing on the recruitment part. I always want to make sure that my chefs think the same way as I do, and that they can grow with me. At the end of the day, if they fail to do their job, it means that I recruited the wrong person. What’s the hottest dish on your menu right now and why? For breakfast, definitely croissant eggs benedict, it’s our staple. Sometimes people fly in from abroad to taste it, and we can sell up to 150 portions a day. It’s crazy. What type of diner do you mostly cater to and what was the strangest request you’ve ever received? It’s very hard to say, a lot of mixed cultures coming through our doors on a daily basis. They all have different needs and requirements, and we’re trying our best to accommodate them

all, that’s why we create a menu that’s simple and flexible. But, of course, for some of them this isn’t enough, and their special request can become our nightmare. The funniest case is probably the one with “poached egg whites”, without yolk, and so we did it. However, that was only a one-time request, and the customer was really polite. Normally, I would refuse. What are some of the biggest misconceptions about chefs out there? Don’t trust a skinny chef. What can we expect from SocietyDXB Café & Lounge in the coming year? There’s a lot happening by the end of this year; we’re revamping our existing lunch offerings, adding couple of new

breakfast items which will be more health-focused, as well as plenty of new pastries and desserts. We like to keep our clientele entertained, so it’s definitely something interesting. I think it’s important to mention that the whole team behind SocietyDXB is currently working on two very unique concepts, also in Dubai. One of them is set to open this December, and will reflect the eclectic/Mediterranean dining experience in a modern setting. The second project is scheduled to open in January next year, and it’s more “masculine”, as opposed to what SocietyDXB currently is. I can’t really share the details just yet, but it will be located in a very convenient location, and of course with plenty of parking as always. So stay tuned. Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019

Event review

All-Female Cast of Pastry Chefs from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and France Whips Up a Storm in Dubai An exclusive Women in Pastry Afternoon tea saw six leading pastry chefs develop their own unique creations using the finest dairy cream and an assortment of local ingredients

The event, which was organised by CNIEL, the French Dairy Board and the European Union, was hosted at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, and showcased pastries by some of UAE, KSA and France’s leading women of the pastry world. The afternoon tea took place on October 23 and guests were offered the chance to meet the chefs and taste their exclusive recipes celebrating cream. The quintessential array of treats included an “authentically Emirati” entremets with cardamom and cinnamon whipped cream by Hind Al Mulla, founder 58

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and director of Home Bakery, a chocolate and orange entremet with pistachio whipped ganache by the QE2’s Head Pastry Chef Ida Martin, and a walnut and dark chocolate pavlova, honey and rose-infused whipped cream by Aaliya Randeree, head chef and founder of Butterworks Bakery. Consultant Chef Liz Stevenson from Dubai showcased a dark chocolate cream, iced yogurt, nut caramel and black sauce, while Chef Najla Shamiri, who was representing Saudi Arabia, presented her sticky date cake with salted caramel and infused Arabic coffee cream.

Rounding out the creations was a creamy grapefruit meringue and vanilla tonka Chantilly by the 2017 French Pastry Chef of the Year Nina Metayer, who travelled especially for the occasion. The evening was all about showcasing the incredible recipes and talent of chefs from both the Middle East and all over the globe. EU dairy cream is an essential ingredient in most pastries; its versatility is unique in that there’s no other product in the market that comes close to duplicating its taste or consistency, allowing chefs to express their passion and creativity.

November 2019

Further Afield

Italian Flavours Arrive in the UAE All the Way from Europe

CSO Italy, the Italian consortium of fruits and vegetables, with the financial aid of the European Union, is seeking to increase awareness and appreciation of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables from Italy in the UAE with its campaign Fresh Up Your Life – European top-quality fruit & veg The European continent boasts a very diverse climate and varying environmental and soil conditions, which guarantee a wide range of fruits and vegetables. In 2018, European countries grew a total of 46.9 million tonnes of fruits and 55.6 million tonnes of vegetables. Europe’s leading producers are Italy and Spain, which achieve 42% of total production. Fresh Up your Life – European top-quality fruit & veg is a three-year campaign which targets the UAE, raising awareness over choosing superior quality fruits and vegetables from Italy. The programme includes participation in the WOP Dubai trade show 2019, a press event, participation in the Dubai Italian Week, as well as in-store activities, for both consumers and food professionals. European agriculture is ruled by strict production standards set by the European Union, which guarantee the safety and wholesomeness of every fruit or vegetable grown in Europe. The EU also certifies some production with PGI (Protected Geographic Indication) and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). Those labels protect the name of the product and guarantee that products sold under these designations are from a specific region and produced under traditional processes. In the UAE, consumers can already find Italian peaches, plums, grapes, kiwis, red apple Epli and tomato sauce. All those products benefit from the highest European standards, ensuring consumers top quality fruits and vegetables, with healthy properties.

About CSO Italy CSO is a cooperative which was founded in 1998, and represents leading companies in the fruit and vegetable sector. CSO members are located all over Italy and include not only producers, but also the technological supply chain with companies specialising in the packaging sector, processing equipment, machinery, and logistics.

Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019



Luigia Brunch, Rixos Premium Dubai

By Hiba Naz Khan

‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ is an adage that fits Luigia to the tee. Located in the lobby of Rixos Premium at JBR, the award-winning pizzeria brings authentic Italian home cooking to your table. Its stylish décor with an open kitchen, classic neon lights and a lively atmosphere is just the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon with friends and family. Luigia also offers a proper menu featuring all things Italian – from zesty antipasti to aromatic pizza, aperitivo and more, that suits all palates. The Luigia brunch comprises a selection of timeless recipes designed to make families’ dining experiences memorable, whether they are shared with friends or loved ones. Guests can choose from a selection of Luigia’s signature dishes such as crispy frittura di calamari, margherita classica and dreamy tiramisu for dessert, accompanied by house beverages. The pizza’s perfection eclipsed everything that was set out on the table and the desserts are great, but savoury is no doubt their true forte. It’s not just a brunch, but an elaborate Italian adventure. In case you need a break from running 60

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after the little ones, the restaurant’s kids’ area offers families a fun-tastic dine and play experience where children under the age 12 can enjoy a myriad of exciting activities and a comfortable, one-of-a-kind kids’ cinema screening all their favourite cartoons. Offering unrivalled Italian hospitality, a buzzing ambience and an all-encompassing authentic Italian menu, Luigia caters to all and will allow its guests to relish the very best of Italian cuisine with every bite. Be prepared to be served by the friendliest of waiting staff who meticulously take care of all your needs. They’re the stars of this

eatery, truly making your dining experience all the more special: nothing but the perfect cherry on top of your weekend sundae. Founded by Luigi Guarnaccia and Enrico Coppola, the restaurant is named after their grandmother, which explains air of homeliness in the restaurant despite its elegance. Passion oozes from every nook and corner of this dining hall – a strong passion for food and an even stronger passion to share their appetite for Italian cooking with the public at large. Luigia is, first and foremost, a tribute to family life and traditions, indeed bringing ‘the Best of Italy’ to Dubai.

November 2019


We Are All Connected Naim Maadad, Chief Executive and Founder, Gates Hospitality “The Earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Berry “Every time you buy organic you are persuading more farmers to grow organic.” Unknown The benefits of plastic are undeniable. As a material, it’s extremely cheap, very light in weight and seemingly easy to produce. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic over the past 100 years. It’s more or less certain that this trend will continue as global plastic production races ahead over the next decade or more. We’re already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate, unless we rethink the way we manufacture, use and manage plastics. Ultimately, tackling one of the biggest environmental scourges of our time will require governments to regulate, businesses to innovate and individuals to act. The biggest threat emanates from single-use plastics. Well, what are singleuse plastics and why are these a threat to our environment? Also called disposable plastics, single-use plastics are intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. Among other things, they include plastic grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery and containers. Single-use plastics may represent the epitome of today’s throwaway culture. UN Environment reports show that just nine percent of the world’s nine billion tonnes of plastic have been recycled. Most of our plastic ends up in landfills, our oceans and waterways, and the environment. Plastics don’t biodegrade: instead, they slowly break down into smaller pieces called microplastics. Gates Hospitality’s group of restaurants were all part of the #StopSucking

campaign to encourage our guests to avoid the use of plastic straws at our venues. Our sister company, which owns the Six Senses Resort in Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Sultanate of Oman, has been pushing sustainability as a very strong brand ethos – a clear focus of the group. As a resort that’s built on the basis of sustainability, we have a very active environmental programme, upholding the universal commitment of the Six Senses group. All the organic waste from our kitchens, landscaping and animal residue is converted to compost in-house either mechanically or traditionally, which enabled the resort to reduce the amount of waste going to the local landfill by 80 percent in 2018. We obtain crystal clear still and sparkling drinking water through a

reverse osmosis process in our Crystal Plant at the resort, which is then filled into Six Senses glass bottles. Not only is it better for the environment and great for reducing plastic waste, it passes the taste test with guests, too! When Six Senses Zighy Bay created an organic farm, its resident goats became an overnight attraction and produced a lot of milk. Already a pioneer in farmto-table production, the resort set up an economically sustainable cheese factory. There’s no doubt that each and every one of us can heavily contribute to saving of our Planet Earth for future generations. The least that’s expected of us is to be responsible and do our part. “Every day I supply oxygen for up to four people. Don’t you think I’m worth saving?” A Tree Hotel & Catering NEWS ME


November 2019


Salary, Compensation and Challenges: Lay-Offs and Impact M D Warrier, managing director at Bin Eid Executive Search, gives us an in-depth look into recruitment challenges and the best ways to overcome them The revenue-earning capacity of a property is one of the key factors in deciding the salary and benefits package. A 150-room hotel can’t afford the salary that a 300-room property pays. We’re all are aware of this, but there’s still plenty of research that needs to be conducted in that domain. As a salary and compensation research expert, I’ve come across cases where employee expenses are over 35% of revenue in some organisations, and so they struggle to run the business. Challenges arise when business slows down, revenue earnings are below the budget, expenses escalate and other business challenges mount in many folds. In a challenging, complex and demanding business environment, management often panics and starts downsizing and laying off staff when the revenue starts declining. For any business to thrive and sustain, profitability is essential – no doubt about that. Do we have any other solution? Employees are an integral part of any business and, in hospitality, that’s multiplied. Let’s look at the following and reflect: • If occupancy and F&B revenue are far below the required level and overall business isn’t in line with budget

expectations, employers can send staff on unpaid leave and re-engage them when business improves (some employers follow this practice). • Abrupt terminations, though justifiable in terms of business expectations and challenges, affect the employees and their families mentally, financially, morally and socially. • Employees’ trust and confidence in the organisations they work for makes a

huge difference. • Management should have clear manning plans. • The GCC region is an expatriate workforce market and the sudden loss of jobs has a devastating impact on employees who migrate to this region with a view to improve earning capacity and standards of living. • Market information highlights that most of the hospitality segment follows conventional manning and recruitment methods • A thorough salary and compensation survey needs to be conducted at least every four years to know and benchmark market trends with regards to salary and benefits. • Employers should keep management structure lean and not “top-heavy”. • To face the magnitude of challenges, whether business, technological or social, the hospitality industry needs the proper leadership capital in order to navigate, survive and thrive. • Innovation, research and healthy solutions are extremely essential as the business landscape is changing at a rapid pace with escalating challenges.

BIN EID EXECUTIVE SEARCH (Specialised in 5* Hotel Sector) Since 1995

Celebrating 23 years in Executive Search (Hotels & other Hospitality segment) We thank our Clients, Candidates, well-wishers who directly and indirectly helped us in our wonderful & blissful journey. We also thank the Almighty, Bin Eid team members, ex-employees, associates and numerous unseen souls who supported us to navigate in our 23 years of spectacular journey. Thank you for the trust and confidence placed on us.

Our Services: • Salary & Compensation Survey • Pre-opening recruitment from 20 countries • Executive Search & Head Hunting

Currently Hiring: • General Manager • Director of Sales & Marketing • Sales Manager / Executive • Director of Engineering • Front Office Manager

• • • • •

HR & Training Manager Hotel Manager Director Finance Executive Chef F&B Director

PO Box 5455 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Email: Tel: +971 6 5686144 Website:


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