The UAE has the highest per capita concentration of food and beverage outlets in the world, as The National reported yesterday. Nicholas Maclean, the managing director of CBRE Middle East, also said this market had the highest rate of failure – but does this mean it's a tough situation for local entrepreneurs?
The good news is that the UAE does not lack opportunity but what the country seems to lack is originality and variety in the middle to high-end dining market. International restaurant chains dominate markets like shopping mall food courts but nearly every one of the 200 nationalities who live here have at least one restaurant serving their local cuisine – usually at bargain prices.
This could be the answer for diners bored with mainstream restaurants. If some of these small community-based cafes expand to offer their fare to a much wider audience, it will not only grow the small business sector but will also ensure we are all well fed.