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Dubai Nightlife Bubble Forming: Crystal Chief

Dubai Nightlife Bubble Forming: Crystal Chief

Regional club owner expresses concern about the number of new night leisure venues opening in the emirate.

A spate of new club and bar launches is creating a bubble in Dubai’s nightlife market, according to the owner of the People By Crystal and 40 Kong venues.

In the past three to four years many newcomers have entered the UAE night leisure scene, including both regional and international brands, looking to capitalise on the growing market.

“I fear now we have reached a level where there is a sort of bubble in the nightlife,” said Mazen El Zein, CEO of Crystal Group.

“Too many clubs, bars and lounges are opening which might cause the bubble to burst. I can’t tell exactly when, but it has led us to have a more cautious approach when it comes to new ventures and projects.”

Despite these concerns El Zein said there were still gaps in the market that needed to be filled. “There is room for opportunities but you need to be very picky,” he said.

Crystal Group, which also owns venues in Lebanon, is planning to open a beach club at the Rixos Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah in September.

El Zein said the company is looking at open-air concept lounges and clubs, while also targeting different musical themes and geographic diversification.

“Most of the clubs if you look at the map are located at this end of town [Downtown] not many things are happening in other areas,” he added.

The company’s other venues in the UAE include People Abu Dhabi at the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort.

“I would probably say that the night life scene in Abu Dhabi today is like Dubai was when we first opened C-bar in 2005,” said El Zein.

But it will take less time to reach Dubai’s level, he said, due to the number of large projects on the horizon in the emirate.

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