Video: Behind the scenes at CZNBurak restaurant in Dubai
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Video: Behind the scenes at CZNBurak restaurant in Dubai

Video: Behind the scenes at CZNBurak restaurant in Dubai

Rizgar Sak, chairman of Dives Holding, explains why he partnered with Chef Burak Özdemir to bring the CZNBurak brand to Dubai, and what he plans to do next

Czn Burak

Within days of Turkish dining sensation CZNBurak opening its doors at the Boulevard Point Downtown building last December, there was an impressive roll-call of high-profile guests who booked themselves a table. It included Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; football star Cristiano Ronaldo and Hollywood legend Steven Seagal too.

“We recently opened the first CZN Burak restaurant in Dubai and have been rapidly growing since launch, moving from strength to strength,” explains Rizgar Sak, chairman of Dives Holding which partnered with Chef Burak Özdemir to bring the CZNBurak concept – one that is already at six very popular locations in Turkey – out into its first international foray.

“Within Dives Holding Group, we have several business subsidiaries operating across various sectors. The background of Dives Holding is in the construction, education and logistics sectors, operating predominantly in Turkey, Iraq and the UAE,” adds Sak.

But it is with the culinary business that Dives Holding now wants to create the biggest impact. As Sak explains, the decision to enter the highly competitive F&B market of Dubai wasn’t happenstance. “There is fierce competition within the F&B sector in Dubai. But that also means if we prove ourselves here, the quality and success of the brand will shine and enable us to enter other GCC countries more seamlessly, which is one of our goals. So it was a deliberate choice to start from the place with the fiercest competition.”

Partnering with Chef Burak Özdemir to open the restaurant in Dubai seemed to have paid off handsomely. The 600-seater restaurant, with plans to expand to 1,200, has already found itself regularly booked out with patrons lining up for significant amounts of time to get their fill of delicacies including hummus with pastrami, mixed grills, lamb shanks covered with rice and kunefe.

“The feedback we’ve received is incredible and we expect this exponential growth to continue into our future ventures,” says Sak. “There are several different locations in the Middle East we plan to expand into this year. Other than CZNBurak restaurant, we are also opening CZNBurak Burger at a minimum of two locations in Dubai soon.” One of those locations will be The Dubai Mall.

The pandemic has had an impact on the pace of its expansion plans, but Dives will no doubt expand the CZNBurak brand. “As you can imagine the pandemic has slowed down the process of our expansion a little bit, but we believe the market is going to pick up this year and we are ready to move forward with our expansion plans,” says Sak.

Dives Holding also bills itself as one that is built around a socially-conscious business model, and has supported education causes by providing high-potential students with scholarships, in addition to undertaking regular food donations to several charity organisations. While Dives Holding shakes up Dubai’s culinary scene, it is also awakening a more socially-responsible side among its patrons here in the emirate.

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