Get ready Dubai: the food trucks are on their way and they are going to be on the move.
Although its vehicles paid visits to Kite Beach last week and the Dubai Pre-Owned Boat Show over the weekend, The Food Truck company officially launches today, sending its first customised vehicle, Jake’s by The Food Truck, out on the road to serve up three kinds of gourmet bagel burgers. The second truck is due to launch in two months, with a Latin-American theme, followed by an ice cream truck early next year. One serving Italian food and another sandwiches, bagels and coffee are also in the works. Asian fusion is also a possibility.
The investor behind the company wishes to remain anonymous, and only an unnamed representative was authorised to give The National a first sneak peek at what they have planned.
“It’s fine dining on a truck. I don’t want to sound clichéd, but it is that quality.”
Every day, 2.5 billion people worldwide eat some version of street food, but the food trucks that have been so popular in the West have been surprisingly absent from the streets of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
What sets The Food Truck company apart is that it's the first food truck concept in the UAE that's been given a license to roam. That means it can serve bagel burgers on Kite Beach in the morning and dish up burgers across the city in the afternoon. Half the fun for fans of street food – a phenomenon seen in the 2014 foodie film Chef – will be tracking the trucks to find out where they are each day. The Food Truck already has a tracking app under development.
There are other food trucks in the Emirates. One in Dubai, called Salt, sells burgers out of a truck on Kite Beach. There’s also Ghaf Kitchen, which pops up at concerts, parties and other special events; and Meylas Emirati Food Truck debuted at Abu Dhabi Art earlier this month, giving people a taste of local cuisine.
These food trucks each have a strong following, but they only have event licenses, which means they serve at a specific location for a set amount of time and aren’t able to change locations frequently.
Despite having the freedom to choose their location, the investors behind The Food Truck know the food has to be good to succeed. To keep the food high-quality and the service fast is the aim, and the representative says: “The concept of a food truck is to limit your menu. If you have an extensive menu, you’ve lost the concept of a food truck. It is about being very specific. You’re celebrating a flavour of a region.”
The investor’s representative is adamant about making sure the food is something customers will come back for. He says: “You’ll be able to see us in various locations. That’s the beauty of The Food Truck. We can be anywhere, but our focus is on the food we serve. We are proud of the food we serve.”
Until the tracking app is up and running, you can find the location of Jake’s by The Food Truck each day on its Instagram account, @thefoodtruckdubai.