Comment: Why two is better than one – the importance of partnerships

Comment: Why two is better than one – the importance of partnerships

Naim Maadad, founder of Gates Hospitality, explains the benefits of collaboration

With an ever-growing list of F&B brands spanning the region’s hotels, all looking to differentiate themselves and offer something new, more and more are beginning to look not only inwardly but to others to help them reach new markets and capitalise on new trends. 

Pop-ups, collaborations, partnerships, call them what you want, there’s no denying that when done right, they are a win-win for all. Audiences widen, creative brains come together, the supply chain gets larger, and team members and the local community buy into the excitement that they bring. 

With innovation at the heart of everything we do at Gates Hospitality, it’s something that we’ve recently leveraged to bring fresh and new ideas to the market, offering homegrown brands the chance to continue to build brand equity, while offering the Dubai community the opportunity to experience world-renowned international brands too. 

Whether it’s our partnership with Akira Back at Dasha, The Dubai Chapter, for example, or the number of new Dubai brands that we see synergies with, the opportunities are endless, but the key to it all is selecting the right brands to partner with. 

Our criteria for who to collaborate with is quite simple. Above all it’s about working with likeminded individuals and businesses that also enjoy a great reputation in the market, and have a genuine interest in quality, service and relationship-building. It’s important that these brands have similar demographics to us, too, so they can evolve and complement our DNA instead of creating something that isn’t tied to our brand pillars.


It’s why we recently invited Pickl, the burger joint chain born in Dubai in 2019, to take over our menu at Publique for a month. With Pickl not having an alcohol license, collaborating with us also allowed them to develop new products such as the overwhelming popular ‘JD BBQ Cheese Burger’, in addition to some of their usual favourites.

Prior to that, Publique also collaborated with Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded restaurant, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, which allowed us to offer Japanese bites in addition to Publique’s more hearty fare. Both collaborations proved incredibly successful, with new eyes viewing both brands, and both brands finding new mouths to feed, as well as a shared percentage in top-line revenue. 

On a personal level, collaborations with local, homegrown businesses also bring me a great deal of satisfaction. Over the years, I've been proud that we’ve developed Gates Hospitality into a leading player within the industry, and I’m all too aware of the responsibility that it brings. When we started operating in 2010, the F&B scene in Dubai wasn’t as rich and varied as it is today; we have seen and been part of its growth and I’m passionate about continuing to help smaller start-ups thrive, which in turn, will continue to develop the region's world-class culinary offer.

I’ve always had a nurturing approach to helping both the industry and our community. Indeed, one of our pillars at Gates Hospitality is ‘belong’. And so, to be able to expose partnering businesses to new audiences, share best practices and training methods, and help them increase brand equity, is something I feel privileged to be able to do. 

Of course, partnerships aren’t just limited to other F&B businesses either. Just ask those who have enjoyed a haircut at the resident barbershop Chaps and Co at Reform Social & Grill in The Lakes before staying on to tuck into our menu. This is an opportunity for both brands to leverage each other’s regular customers, while also offering customers an enhanced experience. Like I said before, it's a win-win for all. 

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