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Thu 14 Nov 2019 12:12 PM

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Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer eyes Saudi, Bahrain for restaurant expansion

UK TV star Simon Rimmer said there are no plans to open a second The Scene restaurant in Dubai, after Abu Dhabi debut last year

Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer eyes Saudi, Bahrain for restaurant expansion

4-Front Hospitality also owns the Mr Miyagi’s brand and Rimmer revealed that would be the test to take out of the UAE (Courtesy: ITP Media Group)

Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer has revealed ambitions to take his Dubai restaurant to other countries in the Middle East.

Rimmer and his business partner Alex Bracken, group CEO at 4-Front Hospitality, opened The Scene in Pier 7 at Dubai Marina in 2014, and last year they opened a second branch on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. 

He told Arabian Business there are plans for further expansion across the Gulf region. 

He said: “As a business we are talking about Bahrain, we’re talking about Saudi, we’re talking about Singapore.

“Anywhere where there’s a big expat community, this will work. But that then poses questions on how then do we service that site?”

4-Front Hospitality also owns the Mr Miyagi’s brand and Rimmer revealed that would be the test to take out of the UAE. “If that works then it maybe means we have potential to have a management structure elsewhere which would open the door to a Scene Bahrain or Singapore,” he said.

However, Rimmer, who has a portfolio of 15 restaurants in total, said he was reluctant to open another The Scene restaurant in Dubai, believing their prime spot at the heart of Dubai Marina is second to none in the emirate.

“I don’t know really. I think the biggest challenge is this site, that’s the problem. No matter what we do, we can replicate the food, we can replicate the interior, we can do that easily, what we can’t replicate is the location.

“If you had one thing on top of everything else that we get right, that would be it. Every time when I come back to Dubai, the minute I walk in, I just have to go and walk along the terrace because it’s just spectacular,” he said.

“That’s the challenge. Never say never, but it would always be about location because I think the danger is if you do another one and it doesn’t hit all the spots, it can damage this as a brand. You’ve got to protect this, this is a beast.”

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