Restaurant group behind Quaglino's and Coq d'Argent 'eyes Dubai F&B market'

The restaurant group behind Quaglino’s and Coq d’Argent are reportedly eyeing the Dubai food and beverage market for growth.

According to The Times of London, D&D London, formerly Conran Restaurants, “is working with a leading firm of property advisers to find sites in Dubai for new and existing concepts, possibly including a branch of Quaglino’s”.

Des Gunewardena, D&D’s chairman and chief executive, confirmed to the newspaper that he has visited Dubai twice since October, the latest a three-day trip with Jeremy Simmons, the founder of consultants Berkeley Simmons Leisure, to explore opportunities.

“If we do go to Dubai, we wouldn’t have just one restaurant,” Mr Gunewardena told The Times. “You need the scale to make it worthwhile, so if we do decide to do something we will try to do several restaurants.”

He added that the group had yet to commit to any projects but that it “will manage and directly operate our own restaurants in Dubai, as we do in Paris and New York.”

Nearly 30 per cent of new entrants into the UAE’s retail space last year comprised food and beverage openings, according to CBRE research released last week.

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