6 March 2015 By Northern Lights
Guest blog by James Hacon, Managing Director of Elliotts, the sector leading marketing, insights and PR agency, who went to Dubai to speak at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum. A summary of this blog first appeared in Propel Newsletter.
Flying visit Dubai, UAE
I’m writing this from the very comfortable surrounds of the Dubai International Airport, surrounded by many of the international brands we’d all recognise, awaiting my return flight to Heathrow. This flying visit was prompted by an invitation to speak at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum. In its second year, the event brings together investors, restaurant brand owners and operators, with a spluttering of industry suppliers, over three days.
Arriving to the Conrad Dubai on the first day, the considerable British contingent met other delegates from across the world, including the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe, USA and South America. With what we thought was going to be a gentle introduction to Dubai’s food scene, the group embarked on a concept tour visiting some of the Dubai’s newest and most talked about outlets. These included D&A, Tortuga, Pierchic, Beach Canteen festival outlets, Perry & Blackwelders Original Smokehouse and recent British transplant Coya. For most I spoke to the highlight of the day was Coya, with many of the other concepts seeming to not quite hit the mark on the food front; although the views of Pierchic were simply breath-taking.
With a day of concept touring under our belt’s the next two days were a blend of interviews, panel discussions, key notes and short presentations.
Here are my highlights
An inspiring and very informative conference. I’ll definitely be going next year – joining an even bigger British delegation, I hope.