Build­ing a hos­pi­tal­ity em­pire

founder of Cre­ate Hos­pi­tal­ity, re­veals how his com­pany has made its mark on Dubai’s no­to­ri­ously crowded food and bev­er­age in­dus­try

Gulf Business - - CONTENTS - NEIL KING

Founder of Cre­ate Hos­pi­tal­ity, Ku­nal La­hori, re­veals how his restau­rants in­clud­ing Bazxar, El Sur and Pret to Go have helped him make a mark on the UAE’s F&B scene

Stand­ing out in the food and bev­er­age world is no easy task – es­pe­cially in a place like Dubai, where every taste, palate and crav­ing is catered for.

There are be­lieved to be close to 10,000 restau­rants in the emi­rate rang­ing from road­side cafés to haute cui­sine, mean­ing any new­com­ers need to fight hard for their slice of the pie.

One man try­ing to beat the odds is Ku­nal La­hori, founder of Cre­ate Hos­pi­tal­ity. And so far the ev­i­dence sug­gests he’s al­ready suc­ceed­ing with aplomb.

Founded in 2013 by La­hori and his wife and busi­ness part­ner Ra­nia, Cre­ate Hos­pi­tal­ity has been re­spon­si­ble for some of the most talked about dining des­ti­na­tions in Dubai over the past four years.

With multi award-win­ning con­tem­po­rary Span­ish restau­rant El Sur, and or­ganic grab-and-go con­cept Pret to Go in its port­fo­lio, Cre­ate Hos­pi­tal­ity made an im­me­di­ate im­pact in the in­dus­try and among din­ers.

And this sum­mer the group cel­e­brated the first birth­day of its lat­est open­ing – the hugely pop­u­lar DIFC-based food mar­ket, Bazxar. Com­bin­ing mul­ti­ple cuisines in one space con­nected by a cen­tral lounge and bar, the restau­rant in­cludes an Ital­ian café, Asian kitchen, Amer­i­can diner, and Mediter­ranean dining room.

So highly re­garded is the venue that it has al­ready been nom­i­nated as ‘favourite in­ter­na­tional restau­rant’ at the What­sOn

Awards, as well as pick­ing up three de­sign awards lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally for its in­te­rior de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture.

So how did the hus­band and wife team come up not only with a novel idea, but one that worked amid an ocean of com­pe­ti­tion?

“The jour­ney to Bazxar be­gan with one very sim­ple ques­tion,” says La­hori.

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