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Thu 30 Jan 2020 11:46 AM

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Dubai's burgeoning F&B scene is promising, says NYC restaurateur Serge Becker

Serge Becker has teamed up with VKD Hospitality to bring famed New York concept Indochine to Dubai's DIFC

Dubai's burgeoning F&B scene is promising, says NYC restaurateur Serge Becker

Becker has teamed up with Dubai-based VKD Hospitality to open a local outpost of one of his most popular New York restaurants, Indochine, in DIFC.

Dubai’s F&B market is steadily improving, with rents becoming more reasonable in the market, according to famed New York City restaurateur and nightlife impresario Serge Becker.

The France-born Becker is an owner or partner in a number of popular New York restaurants, including Miss Lilly’s, Joe’s Pub, La Esquina and Café Select.

Recently, Becker teamed up with Dubai-based VKD Hospitality to open a local outpost of one of his most popular New York restaurants, Indochine, in DIFC. Originally opened in 1984, the New York Indochine has long been a famed outpost for celebrities such as Madonna, Andy Warhol and author Salman Rushdie.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Becker said that his impressions of Dubai’s F&B scene is that it “is big and offers good quality.”

“It has some catching up to do on the smaller end of venues, but it already started,” he added. “Rents have become a bit more realistic and I expect them to adjust even more. It's healthy for our industry.”

The Dubai International Financial Centre, he said, is particularly promising, leading him and VKD Hospitality to choose it as the home of Dubai’s Indochine.

“They’re already home to some of the best operators in Dubai and I’m sure they don’t want to rest on their laurels,” he said. “We wanted to bring Indochine here as it’s a classic brand and fits well into the product mix already on offer and can benefit from the footfall of the environment.”

In his remarks, Becker also said that while New York City and Dubai have vastly different customer bases, they both can sustain restaurant concepts such as Indochine.

“New York is a global entertainment, art, fashion, culture and media centre. It is home to a huge, powerful and competitive creative class,” he said. “It is this group that has been the main customer base for all my venues and is also for Indochine.”

“Dubai is more of a construction, trade and tourism economy, so the creative class is not as dominant and definitely not as large,” he added. “It is emerging though, so there are plenty of them here also to become the base for two smaller restaurants [Indochine and Miss Lily’s].”

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