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The Ivy comes to the Middle East. Except it doesn’t

The Ivy comes to the Middle East. Except it doesn’t

Jumeirah has acquired the rights to open outposts of some of London’s most famous eateries, apparently. But recreating food is one thing…

September 23, 2010 8:27 by

Jumeirah Group has acquired the rights to launch a series of exclusive eateries in the region. The company that manages the Burj Al Arab (the infamous seven star hotel) has done a deal with Caprice Holdings, which owns some of the most up market eateries in the world. Their brand names include London’s Le Caprice, Scott’s, and the Ivy (hang out of choice for celebrities in the UK capital).

The Jumeirah Group is “currently reviewing the best potential locations for these brands in the region” according to the National. Other Caprice Holdings brands operating here, such as the Rivington Grill restaurant, have been absorbed into Jumeirah Group by all accounts (having previously been run by Tatweer, a sibling company to Jumeirah in the Dubai Holdings’ stable).

It’s all very exciting, but do we really need more luxury eateries? In Dubai, they can hardly fill the ones they do have. And more are arriving all the time – Jamie Oliver’s new place in Festival City is set to open in November, for instance.

Even if it doesn’t open in Dubai, wherever it goes, will it work? Kipp thinks Jumeirah may have missed the point of these places. They can import the food, they can import the name, they can even import the décor, but they’ll never import the ambiance of these world famous destinations. When people talk about eating at the Ivy, you don’t envy the food or the furnishings, you envy the company, the ambiance, and the reputation, the history. No amount of money can buy that for the Middle East. We should concentrate on creating our own legendary destinations.

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