Eating out and shopping are the main entertainment activities in Saudi Arabia, making the region center for restaurant investors and operator. High disposable incomes, increased travel and the rising use of social media have exposed a significant proportion of Saudi society to Western culture.
Restaurant designers Blenheim Design, led by Maja Myall, are working on assignments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Changing population and social media are fuelling demand for restaurant growth in Middle East, specifically Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
The economic and cultural dynamics in Middle East should not be underestimated by the investors and operators trying to cash in on this expansion.
Successful restaurant chain may not directly translate in the Saudi or Arab Emirates environment. KSA and UAE are well travelled and more sophisticated competition rising.
What can make or break restaurant success in Saudi Arabia is the interior design and environment. Saudi Arabia's restaurant designers will have to carefully look at the curb appeal.
Restaurant designers in Saudi Arabia have to create various points of interest to entice customers to come back again and again. The competition is fierce and pull of the dining environment should not be underestimated. What may work in Europe or USA may not work in Middle East. Importance of the bathrooms should not be underestimated in any restairant but this is more thrue in Middle East restaurant design than anywhere else in the world.
Younger Saudis are social media savvy and well-travelled. Growing number of shopping malls, restaurants and hotels are aimed at younger population. Big restaurant growth stimulant is a result of a change in social norms, lack of entertainment combined with higher than world average disposable income.
Eating out is one of the Saudi’s primary leisure activities. Demand for fine dining restaurants remains strong whilst casual dining eateries are growing. This is mainly fuelled by affluent population, whilst fast casual restaurants cater to the growing ranks of lower-income workforce of the service industry.
Tourism across the region is growing with already busy Dubai and expanding Saudi Arabia’s airports, which are expected to grow by 52% in the next twenty years.
The region’s economy continues to diversify beyond oil and solar power, whilst growing population and building of tourism infrastructure continues; expect the Middle East food and beverage market to grow.
About Blenheim Design and Maja Myall
Blenheim Design is a leading restaurant design consultancy specializing in interior design for emerging and established restaurant chains and individual restaurants.