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Dubai restaurants report tasty boost from World Cup

Food Presentation, Food, Glove Reuters/Abdel Hadi Ramahi
Restaurants in Dubai have enjoyed a lift in food deliveries but some have suffered fewer eat-in customers

Dubai restaurants have seen revenues rise by an average of 20 percent during the World Cup, with increased deliveries to homes and offices.

“We had anticipated a 20 percent increase in business during [the World Cup] and we are more or less achieving it,” said Sanjay Vazirani, CEO of Foodlink Global Restaurants and Catering Services.

Foodlink manages two restaurant brands in the UAE – China Bistro and India Bistro – and also operates a cloud kitchen food delivery service in Dubai called Art of Dum.

“We have observed a change in the trend in home delivery orders with a major increase in orders of kebabs and rolls in Art of Dum, and starters and baos in China Bistro,” Vazirani said. “Biryanis have been an all-time favourite.”

Foodlink’s catering arm has also prospered, with offices ordering in food for employees watching matches.

“That is wonderfully contributing to the top and bottom lines,” Vazirani said.

While Qatar aimed to attract over one million fans to the tournament, with the final between France and Argentina being played on Sunday, Dubai has benefited from its close proximity and many supporters have opted to stay and party in the emirate when not attending games in Doha.

Travel search website Wego told AGBI in August that average daily hotel rates in Dubai rose 57.8 percent to an average of $355 in November, and 75 percent to an average of $420 in December.

As a result of the large number of fans staying in Dubai, Naim Maadad, chief executive and founder of Gates Hospitality and a board member of UAE Restaurant Group, agreed that average revenues had risen by around 20 percent.

“It has been an extremely positive boost to what is already a good season. I would agree that certain type of establishments has grown 20-plus percent,” Maadad said.

However, he admitted the increase had not been across the board. “Certain dining rooms and destinations that are not catering for such an event have actually suffered a bit as all the fan zones caused a vacuum in the marketplace,” he said.

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