From Mamoun's in the US to Noura in the UK, the humble falafel is a popular choice in many western countries among other Middle Eastern dishes. The shawarma was the most tagged food on Instagram from the Middle East last July, while Waitrose named tahini one of 2019's most popular foodstuffs in its November Food and Drink Report.
Now, foodies in New York, London and Paris will get a chance to sample the fare from UAE brand Operation: Falafel.
Dubai company AWJ Investments has announced it will take the eatery to the three cities starting from the second quarter of this year. It further plans to sign on 400 franchise units by 2022. If successful, the ventures will mark one of the most ambitious worldwide expansion plans in the history of the UAE’s home-grown F&B segment.
“We’re incredibly proud of the regional success of Operation: Falafel … the time is right to take the brand into uncharted international markets. We see many global F&B concepts coming into Dubai but rarely see the opposite, a local brand taking international markets by storm. We’re proud to mark this change,” says Manhal Naser, chief executive and co-founder of AWJ Investments.
“We have taken the time to get everything in the right place – when someone enjoys one of our falafels in New York, London or Paris it must be just as good as in Dubai,” he adds.
On the menu
Operation: Falafel, which has two branches in Abu Dhabi and seven in Dubai, is known for its modern twist on Middle Eastern street food.
Never eaten a meal there? We highly recommend the fiery falafel wrap and chicken shawarma saj platter, while last year, the fattoush from Operation: Falafel ranked on Deliveroo's 50 most popular dishes ordered around UAE. Better still, the eatery operates well into the wee hours of the night, to satiate any 3am cravings.
The restaurant chain also launched a vegan zaatar manaeesh and falafel wrap to celebrate Veganuary last month, both of which spinach-based doughs are still available.