Dubai-based retail and restaurant group Marka has announced the launch of a new restaurant in Dubai, to be operated in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck.
The restaurant is among the first of five food and beverage outlets that Marka is planning to open by 2015 as part of its growth strategy. The F&B outlet, called Taste Of Italy by Heinz Beck, will be located at The Galleria on Al Wasl Road and will open by February 2015.
The restaurant will also have a fully-fledged retail store for desserts, gelato, pastry and breads, a statement said. Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck will be the Michelin starred chef’s first casual dining concept and primarily aims to attract the local Jumeirah neighbourhood.
“The restaurant menu has been specifically designed with the discerning palette of UAE residents in mind, and I am very much looking forward to sharing some tastes that captured my attention as a chef more than two decades ago with Dubai very soon,” said Beck.
Dubai’s food and beverage industry has been growing owing to a rise in population and spending power among its residents.
Marka, which floated its shares in Dubai Financial Market in September, is aiming to tap into this booming market as it plans to open around 50 retail brands and another 50 F&B outlets across the region over the next five years.
The company said that it will pursue a strategy of operating franchise agreements with brands and hospitality concepts with global partners along with acquisitions.
Although the group has announced plans to open outlets across the region, Marka Hospitality division’s managing director Ravi Chandran said that the focus will mainly be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Most of the outlets will also be placed in or around the major shopping malls while others will be located according to the concept, another company official said.
Marka’s retail division is also growing strongly with the group announcing recently that it will launch four new retail brands in the second phase of the Meraas developed City Walk project.
The company will launch French designer clothing brands Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, Berenice and the Belgium-based Essential Antwerp along with an undisclosed luxury brand in the later part of 2015, a statement said.
Marka has also inked deals to launch retail outlets in other mega projects including Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, the Galleria Mall and The Beach in Dubai.
The company also recently bagged the franchise agreement for football star Cristiano Ronaldo’s new CR7 footwear.