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Wed 14 Dec 2011 08:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi’s Hakkasan goes global with US rollout

Chinese restaurant business to open in four US cities, eyes Qatar, Shanghai

Abu Dhabi’s Hakkasan goes global with US rollout
Hakkasan was bought by ADIA subsidiary Tasameen four years ago

Hakkasan, the Chinese- restaurant business that holds a
Michelin star for each of its London sites, plans to expand across the US next
, with venues in four cities.

Outlets are planned in four cities: New York, on West 43rd
Street; San Francisco, at One Kearny; Los Angeles, on North Beverly Drive; and
in a hotel on the Strip in Las Vegas, Chief Executive Niall Howard said in a
telephone interview.

Hakkasan already has restaurants in Mumbai, Abu Dhabi and

Hakkasan is known for stylish restaurants, with staff
members dressed in designer outfits serving mainly Asian-themed cocktails and
Chinese dishes with fine ingredients and high price tags. It was founded by
Alan Yau, who created Wagamama, and purchased four years ago by Abu Dhabi-based
Tasameem group, a subsidiary of the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund ADIA.

“You wouldn’t know there was a slowdown,” Howard, 56, said.
“Our restaurants are sold out all the time. I think that people might go out
less, but when they do go, they want something special. Yes, we have fewer
corporate customers, and they are more cautious, but we seem to have more
international guests.”

Hakkasan also owns Yauatcha, a midmarket Chinese restaurant
that Yau founded in London, and Sake No Hana, a Japanese establishment that he
helped create. The company wants to add an up-market Japanese brand - with an
outlet in London next year - and is in talks to build an Italian restaurant
business, Howard said, declining to name potential partners.

There are also plans for Hakkasans in Shanghai and Doha.

The aim is to create a global food-and-beverage business
with four regional hubs: the Far East, the Middle East, Europe and the
Americas. Hakkasan will have quality restaurants catering for different sections
of the market, Howard said.

“It’s like a BMW, with everything from the 7
Series down to the 1 Series: From fine dining to midmarket and possibly to fast
food,” he said. The first overseas Yauatcha just opened in Mumbai. There is a US
Hakkasan in Fontainebleau, Miami Beach

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