There are so many British expats in Dubai that there are more of them eating out in restaurants in the city than there are in London, according to the chief executive of the Gordon Ramsay Group.
Speaking to Arabian Business while on a trip to Dubai, Stuart Gillies said, “There’s more British [expats] eating in restaurants [in Dubai] than in London. When you look in London, it’s such an international audience. And when you come here, there’s so many London people here… so many British here.”
Gillies added Dubai has got an “amazingly educated” audience with disposable income.
“My feeling is a lot of them don’t cook at home. They go out. They live their life here,” he said.
The Gordon Ramsay Group, which belongs to controversial English celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, operates Bread Street Kitchen restaurant in Dubai. According to Gillies, the venue in the Atlantis on The Palm is doing just as well as expected.
“Yes it’s been as we’d expected. And probably as we hoped. So a lot of the target audience here are external guests from Atlantis, which is what Atlantis wanted. And that was the idea of the partnership, that we would draw people into Atlantis on The Palm,” he said.
The Gordon Ramsay Group operated Verre restaurant in Dubai from 2001 until its closure in 2011, when it revealed it will not renew its contract with its then-partner Hilton.
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“I took over 6 years ago and when I took over, we looked at all our international operations and they were quite a few that we didn’t renew, that we just stopped, because they were coming up for renewal. And generally you just renew them and carry on, but we were under a different strategic path and we were creating such diversity across the collection so that we would have a platform for the next 20 years, because we wanted to have diversity so we could basically deliver lots of different styles of hospitality and we could have fun with all of them but they were completely different,” said Gillies of the closure.