2024 looks promising for fine dining, as people are increasingly seeking unique culinary experiences, a leading restauranteur said.
“We see a rising appreciation for quality and innovation in cuisine. This trend is fueling the growth of fine dining, not just locally but globally,” said Heba Rumhein, founder of Siraj restaurant in Dubai’s Souq Al Bahar.
Several factors are driving growth in the fine dining sector in the UAE, Heba said. “Firstly, the UAE’s diverse population is eager for different types of food experiences. Secondly, the booming tourism industry brings a lot of international visitors who seek high-end dining experiences. Lastly, the general economic growth in the region supports more disposable income for luxury experiences like fine dining,” she said.
Globally, fine dining in 2024 is likely to become more experiential and personalised, Heba estimates. “Chefs and restaurants are focusing on creating unique experiences, often blending culinary art with technology and storytelling. There’s also a growing emphasis on sustainability and locally sourced ingredients,” she added.
Siraj is one of the few Emirati-Levantine restaurants to receive Michelin recognition. “Our focus is not just on serving excellent food but also on providing an outstanding customer experience. The combination of exceptional service, authentic concept and food quality makes us standout in the industry,” Heba said.
For 2024, Heba anticipates steady growth. “We’re seeing a consistent increase and are confident that our focus on quality and unique dining experiences will continue to attract more customers,” she said.
Heba is seeking to expand Siraj’s operations into the GCC and international markets. “This expansion initiative is part of our overarching plan to enhance market presence and capitalize on new opportunities. Currently, I am actively engaged in discussions with various stakeholders to foster international partnerships and attract additional shareholders. My recent visit to England allowed me to connect with key individuals and explore potential collaborations. I am optimistic that, with the right partnerships and strategic planning, our business will thrive in these new territories.
“I am excited to share that our business harbours a wealth of unique ideas that I am eager to bring to life. Coming from a multicultural background, I am passionate about not only implementing these ideas but also offering the international market a taste of the rich diversity that has shaped my perspective. Our ideas stand out in their creativity and innovation. They are not merely about products or services; they represent a fresh approach, a novel way of addressing challenges, and a commitment to excellence. These concepts have been nurtured in an environment that values originality and a forward-thinking mindset. As we embark on this journey to implement our unique ideas on the international stage, I am confident that the fusion of innovation and multicultural influence will set us apart. I look forward to not only offering exceptional products/services but also creating an immersive experience that captivates the global market,” she said.