The UAE Food and Beverage industry has been flourishing at an outstanding rate with 19,000 extra F&B outlets expected in the country by 2019, according to Euromonitor International. This puts a lot of weight on current F&B groups to shine amid severe competition. AWJ Investments, a fast-growing F&B Holding Group that explores popular Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and International flavors, is certainly taking this into account in the implementation and expansion of its concepts. Founded and headquartered in Dubai, Awj Investments has five unique F&B concepts, all strategically located across popular tourist and dining destinations in Dubai.
Q&A with Manhal Naser, CEO & Co-Founder, Awj Investments
Give us more details about the unique restaurants that you run.
We create restaurant concepts covering different segments i.e smart casual, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and fine dining. Operation Falafel is a very popular QSR /smart casual restaurant concept hybrid that we developed recently. It has unique characteristics combining the speed and quality of a QSR restaurant with an edgy theme of a seated casual dining restaurant.
What is the common experience across your multiple eateries?
High quality in food and service, and uniqueness in offering.
Why did you choose Dubai as a headquarter for your restaurants?
I always say Dubai has it all. This is because it is a safe business environment; a systemized, highly developed, and ambitious market; a hub for the entire region; and a diversified, attractive location for people of various cultures and backgrounds.
How do you describe the culinary scene in the UAE? Where do you see it going?
The UAE culinary scene is becoming amongst the busiest in the world, as it is has become an attractive haven for many F&B players from all over the world. Hence, the market has become oversaturated, and I see the growth continuing as more people enter the industry and few leave.
How is Awj Investments keeping pace with the growing food and beverage industry in Dubai?
Awj Investments is developing exponentially, catering to the fast growing demands of F&B in the region and delivering on expectations for high quality of service.
How do you plan to expand your operations in the future?
Awj Investments’ expansion is proceeding as per our plans, with our main focus on the UAE and then moving onwards to the region and the rest of the world.
About Manhal Naser
Manhal Naser is CEO and Co-Founder of AWJ Investments. Armed with years of experience and a track record of proven performance, he is responsible for providing the vision, overall leadership and strategic management for the company that he set up together with his partners.
Naser is a recognized expert in the F&B industry, and has successfully founded several unique F&B concepts. A high performance leader with extensive MENA region experience, Naser has amassed vast commercial experience in consulting, concept creation, brand DNA adaptation, strategic management, market entry/ regional and global expansions, partnerships, system integration and driving performance change. He has established several businesses in the fields of retail, FMCG, F&B and distribution.
Naser has a BA in Economics and Finance from Yarmouk University, Jordan and a MBA in Marketing and Finance from Washburn University, USA.