The UAE’s F&B reputation has placed it as a leading destination in the Middle East and has encouraged an increasing number of local and international food outlets to establish branches and bases in the bustling city of Dubai.

 

Sun, Sea and Dine

[bctt tweet=”Dubai is a dominant tourist destination and it is now ready to face overnight visitors much more than New York, with 501 food outlets per one million visitors, comparing to just 404 in the US city.” username=”foodics”]

 

Demand Stimulus

Although consumer trends in F&B reported a high in 2017, with 81% of customers eating out, KPMG’s latest report on the F&B sector shows that growth is initially forecasted to slow down due to the introduction of VAT and stiff competition during the first quarter of 2018. [bctt tweet=”Yet food outlets are preparing for a pick up in speed with a boost in the medium-term by 82%.” username=”foodics”]

 

Crossing the Waters

[bctt tweet=”Preparation comes in the form of 57% of dining operators investing in new markets by growing their footprints within the UAE and GCC, while 30% are focusing on improving the quality of their operations.” username=”foodics”]

[bctt tweet=”The top destination for expansion out of the UAE is now Saudi Arabia, with Riyadh holding 52% for first choice, Jeddah hot on the heels at 26% and Khobar rolling in with 13% preference in the Gulf.” username=”foodics”] It’s little surprise to find Saudi as a golden competitor, as the Kingdom diversifies its economy and welcomes more foreign investment as part of its 2030 Vision.

 

Bigger is Better

In the run up to Expo 2020 Dubai is planning to saturate its position in the culinary world, with improved market conditions and a bolstering of more food outlets across the wider spectrum of the emirate.

[bctt tweet=”F&B outlets currently populate 25% of retail space in the UAE, and estimates from JLL show retail supply in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is increasing from 6 million sqm in 2016 to 7.5 million sqm by 2019.” username=”foodics”] F&B space is about to take a bigger bite.

 

 

New Flavours

[bctt tweet=”The annual KPMG report also revealed new cuisine preferences amongst customers. As Indian and Lebanese food continues to be big on UAE’s taste buds, Italian food has now gained a similar appeal with 13% of customers singing amore. ” username=”foodics”]Other cuisines gaining traction are now Peruvian, Greek and Asian fusion.

In any case, customers are more open to trying new cuisine if offered a promotional price, with 36% of customers being swayed to new palates by a hot deal.

 

A Quick Bite

That fast pace life in Dubai is translated in its F&B scene. Quick service restaurants and casual dining venues continue to top the charts for customers dining out. Y[bctt tweet=”et the future of eating out is also seeing growth from delivery services with 43% of food outlets surveyed reporting a third of their orders placed online or over the phone. ” username=”foodics”]

The KPMG 2017 UAE Food and Beverage report has surveyed 800 consumers in the UAE, and 350 others across the GCC.