Al Baik delays opening of first Abu Dhabi restaurant

Saudi Arabia's favourite broasted chicken brand is coming to Al Wahda Mall, but new launch date has not been announced

Al Baik is known for its crispy chicken. Photo: Al Baik / Instagram
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Saudi Arabia's popular broasted chicken brand Al Baik has delayed its opening in Abu Dhabi.

The outpost was due to open at Al Wahda Mall on Wednesday, though it has now been pushed back. However, a new opening date has not yet been announced.

The fast food chain, which is famous for its crispy chicken, first opened in the UAE at The Dubai Mall in June last year, much to the delight of thousands of fans across the country.

It then opened a second, pop-up venue at Expo 2020 Dubai and enjoyed some of the event's largest queues throughout its duration.

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of Al Baik's Expo 2020 Dubai branch

There are now four branches in the country, with additional openings at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Ajman and Sharjah's Al Majaz Waterfront.

In December, Al Baik also launched limited deliveries across Dubai with Talabat, covering areas including Downtown Dubai, Business Bay, Dubai Design District, Al Quoz 1, 2 and 3, Al Safa, Jumeirah 1, 2 and 3, Dubai World Trade Centre and Al Jaddaf.

But the brand has been missing in the capital — until now. Capital residents can get a taste of that famous broasted chicken, which is the chain's most popular dish, alongside jumbo shrimp and fish fillet.

The first Al Baik opened in Jeddah in 1974, and for 38 years operated only in the western province of Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah).

In the 1990s, flagship stores along the Holy Mosque in Makkah and one non-profit outlet at the Mina site during Hajj season served pilgrims.

The broasted method of preparation was still a novelty in the 1980s and 1990s, and over time Al Baik chicken gained the reputation of a meal that pilgrims “must try” when visiting the kingdom for Hajj or Umrah.

Dubai was its third pit stop in the Middle East after two branches in Bahrain in 2020.

Watch the video below to see the opening of The Dubai Mall branch

— A version of this story was first published on September 11

Updated: December 28, 2022, 5:43 AM