Dubai restaurant openings should be regulated to prevent oversaturation, says F&B CEO

Gates Hospitality CEO Naim Maadad said that regulations will help ensure long-term growth in the F&B market
Dubai restaurant openings should be regulated to prevent oversaturation, says F&B CEO
Naim Maadad, the founder and chief executive of Gates Hospitality
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 03 Sep 2019 11:44 AM

Dubai’s “oversaturated” F&B market should be more tightly regulated, with authorities monitoring how many restaurants are opening to ensure long-term sustainability, according to Naim Maadad, the founder and chief executive of Gates Hospitality.

Gates Hospitality has a portfolio that includes restaurants such as Folly, Reform Social & Grill, Bistro des Arts, Asia de Cuba and Publique.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Maadad said he believes that urgent intervention is required from government authorities to control Dubai’s increasingly populated F&B market.

“We have more venues per capita than some of the most mature and populated markets,” he said. “The formula just doesn’t tally up. We need to regulate these openings.”

Maadad compared the regulations he is calling for to those used to control the city’s fleet of taxis.

“Dubai does it very well with taxis. We have a number of taxis on the road based on population count,” he said. “We need to take the same business model and apply it to various other industries. As the population grows and develops, we can keep adding.”

Licensed

Additionally, Maadad said that in some parts of the world – such as in Australia – new establishments can only be licensed to open after others have closed, while in other markets the operating hours and operations of restaurants are monitored to ensure they are not all competing with each other at all times.

Maadad said, however, that in Dubai such regulations would likely face resistance from developers and authorities.

“They believe that by regulating, they are putting a slowdown on growth. But growth can only be sustainable if it’s done in a manner that’s well thought out.

“It’s actually helping the market in the long term. We need to be very careful. Everybody think it’s an easy market where you can turn around and make money. That’s not the case, and we need it to be regulated,” he said.

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