Home-grown brand Kava & Chai – founded by CE-Creates, the venture building arm of Sharjah-based investment firm Crescent Enterprises – recently opened in three prime locations, including Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Mall of the Emirates and at Tamani Arts Tower in Business Bay. The new sites add to Kava & Chai’s existing locations in Al Seef and the American University of Sharjah.
“Our region has long been a heavy consumer of imported brands and a disproportionately light exporter of brands. With Kava & Chai, we intend to reverse that trend, by leveraging the Arab world’s café culture and history, which stands for hospitality and communion and dates back 600 years, to positively position the region to the rest of the world. The coffee itself may not be Arabic, but the culture is – and that’s what we want to showcase to the world. Our aim over the coming months is to refine the Kava & Chai brand by growing across the UAE, which really is a melting pot of most of the world’s cultures, before expanding into international markets, where we can proudly showcase our culture to a global audience,” observed Samer Choucair, director, CE-Creates.
In Mall of the Emirates, Kava & Chai is strategically located on the ground floor, next to Carrefour, opposite Centrepoint and near the taxi pick-up and drop-off zone. It is predominately a grab-and-go format, spread across a leasable area of 360 sqft. There is provision to seat around 20 people who want to watch the world go by as they sip on their beverages.
Space has been very smartly utilised to leverage the café’s prominent positioning. “It is small in size, but located in one of the highest traffic areas in Mall of the Emirates – a shopping mall known to generate the highest footfall in the region,” said Choucair. “We always wanted to open a Kava & Chai café in Mall of the Emirates to drive brand awareness. The location offered was a sweet deal – next to Carrefour, near the taxi pick-up and drop-off zone. Add to that, traffic that comes from the escalators near the café. Our mandate to the designer was to create the small available area, with low seating capacity, into a space that would act as a billboard for the brand. It had to be a space that not a single person passing by could miss.”
Kava & Chai aims to continue the cultural tradition and support the local art community, with local artists contributing to murals in the coffeehouse locations, designing festive cups and participating in events in-store. The brand brings a mix of traditional flavours and unexpected combinations to the coffeehouse experience, making original concoctions with authentic roots.