Over the past decade, the local markets saw the introduction of several new cuisines. Think about the number of restaurants offering several kinds of cuisines – including Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Pakistani, Italian, Peruvian and Tex-Mex with the newest being Jamaican, among several others.

The number of fast food chains, including franchised and home-grown, are on the rise. The market is still predominately driven by franchised concepts from the US, Europe, Far East and so on. In the last five years, however, several exciting home-grown concepts have also sprung mostly in the UAE and Kuwait.

From fine-dining to casual to fast casual as well as quick service – every segment is replete with new concepts entering the market to satiate every taste bud. While the UAE is spoilt for choice, Kuwait offers some big franchised as well as unique home-grown brands, while other GCC markets like Qatar are catching up. The massive KSA food market has also changed drastically, especially in the last five years.

Rupkatha Bhowmick met food service specialist Abdul Kader Saadi, managing director of Dubai-based Glee Hospitality Solutions – who comes with over two decades of experience in the food service industry – to discuss the transformation of the regional food service landscape over the last decade and his entrepreneurial journey.