As one of the world’s leading gastronomic destinations, the UAE has established itself as an international hub for restaurant concepts. A destination that is always hungry for more, it should come as no surprise that its hospitality sector is largely driven by the food and beverage sector, with gross expenditure on F&B expected to reach $44.5 billion by 2023.
Indeed, as of the start of 2022, full-service restaurant revenue will be worth a staggering $2.34 billion, fast-food revenue to reach US$ 4.51 billion, and revenue from coffee shops to reach US$ 705 million.
A large part of this has come from innovation and developing sustainable business models, with a growing health awareness within the consumer market, a demand for convenience in today’s fast-paced world, and an increase in online food ordering. But the growth isn’t limited to the ‘quick and now’ indeed all food and beverage sectors such as full-service restaurants, fine dining, fast-casual, fast-food, coffee shops, street vendors, and home delivery have seen an increase.
Perhaps most critically, restaurants and hotels, which were hit harder than most during the pandemic, have bounced back in a way that although knowing Dubai we probably could have predicted, it was hard to say with complete certainty. With precautionary capacity and social distancing regulations lifted, they have reversed the decline during the pandemic, with a strong 22.66 percent rate over 2022-2023.
As a hospitality group that is committed to the development of world-class hospitality and food and beverage concepts, not just within our own Gates Hospitality brands, but across the Emirate, the way in which the industry continued to find ways to evolve is inspirational as it was necessary. Quite simply, we are stronger together.
One of those factors for growth was Restaurant-to-Consumer Delivery, which with a projected market volume of US$954 million in 2022, is expected to not just stay, but dominate the market. Restaurant operators who relied on welcoming guests in person have turned to their websites, social media accounts, and mobile apps to offer online ordering, while others are building delivery-only restaurants and cloud kitchens.
The rising demand for pop-up cafes, dining areas, street stalls, and kiosks which have swept the UAE and Saudi Arabia over the past few years, are also transforming F&B businesses. Crucially, this ‘pop up element’ isn’t at the cost of quality, with chefs putting their own spin on food trucks and bringing authentic, quality foods to curbsides.
Daring to be different, another growing trend in the UAE is experiential dining, which combines F&B with entertainment. Interactive licensed concept restaurants are becoming increasingly popular in the region with concepts such as bowling, video games and more, encouraging diners to socialise while they eat.
F&B businesses are embracing new ideas with new approaches in inspiring ways, and there’s much more to come. This changing landscape will be the subject of the F&B Stakeholder Summit taking place at The Hotel Show Dubai 2022, 24-26 May, which brings leading industry experts, practitioners, and panelists in one place, at one time, for a series of highly focused and candid live discussions.
Join me at The Hotel Show Dubai, where we will explore the latest trends in F&B concepts, design, sustainability, CX in F&B, ethical hospitality, and supply chain opportunities as well as how to tackle challenges facing the industry. Register to attend.