Global Restaurant Investment Forum

11-13 February 2020 | NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

11-13 February 2020 | NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

Dubai is GRIF's hometown! Before our flagship three-day conference moved to Amsterdam in 2019, GRIF ran in Dubai for five consecutive years. The Middle East's well knit restaurant community keeps calling us back; hence we are back in Dubai on 15 October for a GRIF Society briefing providing our Middle East family a chance to get together and be up to speed with the market trends.

09:00-12:30 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management


Join our Middle East community here.

GRIF Society Dubai Briefing, 15 October

09:00 - 09:20

Introduction & Welcome Remarks

Jennifer Pettinger-Haines – Managing Director Middle East, Bench Events; Co-Founder, GRIF

Naim Maadad – Chief Executive, Gates Hospitality

11:10 - 11:40

The evolving nature of F&B and real estate

Lines are well and truly blurred as F&B has worked its way into retail, office space, gyms and pretty much all areas of real estate. Who is doing it well? What does it mean for operators and real estate developers? Where to next?

Etienne van Unen – Partner, Director Food & Beverage, Co Head EMEA Retail, Colliers International

In conversation with:

Jack de Wet – Director of Development, Big Mamma Group

Jan-Willem Hilbron – Director, Albron

Rob Wickenden – Expansion Manager, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Yuandi de Herdt – Co-Founder, Yummy Popcorn

09:40 - 10:10

Looking at how the restaurant landscape, business and ownership models in Dubai are evolving

How should operators in the industry from independents to hotel outlets work together, learn from each other and position Dubai as one of the leading dinning destinations within the global restaurant scene?

Duncan Fraser-Smith – Vice President, TFG, Food & Beverage

in conversation with:

Christian Abell – Vice President Food & Beverage MEA, Marriott International

Tom Arnel – Co-Founder & Managing Director, Bull & Roo Hospitality & Investments

Samantha Wood – Publisher, editor & consultant, FooDiva

10:10 - 10:30

Expo 2020 Update

What progress has been made and is there still scope to get involved?

Simon Ritchie – Editor, Caterer Middle East

in conversation with:

Darren Tse – Director - Concessions - Commercial, Expo 2020

10:30 - 10:45

What is the potential impact of vertical farming on the supply chain of the future?

Why is Emirates Flight Catering investing in a $40 million joint venture with US-based vertical farming technology company Crop One to build the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai? What is the knock-on impact for the industry?

Richard Thompson – Editorial Director, MEED

in conversation with:

Kieran Dowd – VP of Sourcing Solutions, EKFC & General Manager, Emirates Crop One

Ming Zhu – Regional Development Manager, Crop One

10:45 - 11:10

Coffee Break

11:10 - 11:30


Re-connecting with a disrupted audience in a third-party world

Dan Clayton – Director, PPS Addison Hospitality

11:30 - 12:00

Opportunities for Expansion: KSA

What are some key things about the market which you need to know as an investor and operator going in there? Are the challenges worth the reward?

Stefan Breg – Group Strategy Director, Keane

in conversation with:

Mert Askin – President of Food & Beverage, Azadea Group

Ryan Hattingh – Partner, Atelier EPJ

Prince Waleed Al-Saud – Founder & President, Qoot

12:00 - 12:30

What does Generation Z think?

Speaking to students from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in conversation with

Helen El Mettouri – Regional Director, Keane

about their views on what they want from a restaurant, experience as consumers and as future employers.

12:30 - 13:00

Beyond the Restaurant: Evolving Platforms, Expectations and Responsibility

With greater levels of corporate transparency comes the expectations from consumers for companies to act in the interests of the greater good. What are these individuals and companies doing?

Courtney Brandt – Founder, A to Za'atar

Ian Ohan – Founder & CEO, KRUSH Brands

Reif Othman – Chef & Founder, REIF Kushiyaki

Ron Simpson – Founder, The Avocado Show

Check out our fabulous venue: Folly by Nick & Scott

Highlights form GRIF Society Dubai Briefing 2018

Dubai Briefing Host

Society Sponsors

Videography & Photography Partner