Limestone Lab, a UAE-based experiential hospitality group, will be rolling out several new innovative hospitality concepts starting from the next quarter, the company said in a statement.
Aiming to “re-imagine” the hospitality and F&B industry, Limestone Lab will be introducing their lineup of concepts at bespoke venues across Q4 2021 to Q4 2023. These will include cultural themes, interactive experiences, and socially elevated ambiances, the company said.
“Prominent” designers, architects, and hospitality experts will be roped in to create these properties.
The company was founded in 2021 by Dubai-based serial entrepreneurs, CEO Hassan Ballout and COO Hani Doueik. Both founders have experience in the Gulf F&B industry.
“The F&B market in the UAE has always been accompanied by an upbeat level of social interaction, whether with friends, family or new acquaintances, and we have made this the foundation of Limestone Lab,” Ballout said about the company.
SHIFTING SANDS IN THE UAE'S F&B INDUSTRY
The global pandemic spurred the growth of key trends in the UAE’s F&B industry. For instance, last year, online F&B sales grew 255% year on year to reach USD 412 million, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Further, it suggested that the total value of online sales in the UAE’s F&B industry would reach USD 619 million by 2025, recording an annual growth of 8.5%.
Cloud kitchens were another key development to have emerged last year in the country’s F&B industry. 70% of UAE-based restaurant operators expected to set up cloud kitchens or delivery-only brands, according to a report by POSist and Dubai Restaurants Group. There are over 400 cloud kitchens in the UAE, many of which are based in Dubai.
This doesn’t spell bad news for brick-and-mortar experiences within the F&B industry, however. While these businesses did take a hit last year, 75% of operators soon expect to reach pre-COVID revenues.
Meanwhile, in Q1 this year, fast food restaurants, food trucks and bakeries saw dine-in spending reach a fifth more than Q1 2020 levels. Spending in cafes also recorded an increase in the quarter, despite COVID-19 restrictions.
By 2022, fast food restaurants in the UAE are expected to generate USD 4.5 billion in sales (compared to USD 3.6 billion in 2018). Full service restaurants are predicted to make half as much, with USD 2.3 billion in sales (compared to USD 1.9 billion in 2018).
Photo credit: www.freedomtravelplanners.com/dubai/
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