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Expo 2020 to kickstart Dubai’s F&B sector recovery

Increasingly relaxed Covid-19 related regulations will also boost the industry 

According to real estate consultancy JLL, Expo 2020 Dubai will kick-start the recovery of Dubai’s food and beverage sector.

The report also found that the emirate’s F&B sector, which had a challenging period last year, will also benefit from the relaxation of precautionary measures, as well as the renewed demand for travel and increasing consumer confidence. 

Speaking about the findings, Alexis Marcoux-Varvatsoulis, JLL Middle East and North Africa (MENA) foodservice consulting lead, said: “While we anticipate that demand for F&B will increase across the UAE, this does not necessarily mean that there will be a need for more restaurants to open, but rather for the existing ones to reinvent themselves and for some to relocate to newly created higher-populated residential or business areas to capture demand within those localities.” 

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Based on a survey of 45,000 F&B outlets across eight cities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Europe, the report found that Dubai had the highest number of outlets per resident. 

Other trends identified and expected to continue in the future are Dubai’s homegrown brands going international. Previously, the sector was dominated by global brands. 

Experiential dining or ‘dinnertainment’, where diners take part in an activity such as bowling, will also see growth, while the number of food halls is expected to increase. 

Marcoux-Varvatsoulis added: “In the longer term, we expect to see the appearance of local, standalone, developments that will act as social hubs for a community. These will not only be unique to each city, [but they will also] promote local talent and drive awareness of new and exciting concepts.”

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