Street food galore


June 7, 2024 | By Anurima Das

Michael Beverly

Spanning an expansive 3,318-square-feet, the all-in-one culinary hotspot FLAYVA redefines the food court concept and is ready to accommodate approximately 500 guests at a time, providing a spacious and vibrant setting for a rich variety of dining experiences in the heart of Deira. From Indonesian to Vietnamese, Indian to Japanese, Lebanese to Filipino, Flayva promises a melting pot of flavours for every palate.

Michael Beverly, Executive Vice President, Al Ghurair Centre shared how this new concept is changing the dynamics of food court and adding new culinary experiences to the customer’s palate.

How has the FLAYVA concept been faring since its launch?

We’re thrilled with the response that FLAYVA has garnered since its debut in March. It’s been a significant driver in increasing foot traffic at Al Ghurair Centre, with an impressive 11% uptick within the first two weeks alone. And within just six weeks, we’ve served over 70,000 customers, making it a bustling hub for socialising and dining FLAYVA has truly enriched the overall shopping experience for our mallgoers, providing a diverse range of culinary options and fostering community engagement.

What prompted the creation of FLAYVA? Was there a particular gap in the market that you sought to address?

Food halls have been gaining momentum globally, offering a vibrant social setting and a plethora of dining options under one roof. Recognising Dubai’s penchant for dining out and its status as a culinary hotspot, we saw an opportunity to introduce FLAYVA as a neighbourhood food hall, tailored to the diverse tastes of the local community. It’s part of our commitment to enhancing the overall customer experience at Al Ghurair Centre.

FLAYVA’s focus on street food is quite unique in the region. Could you elaborate on the concept and its unique selling points?

FLAYVA’s uniqueness stems from several key aspects. Firstly, it underscores our support for local entrepreneurs and celebrates Dubai’s vibrant F&B scene. We’re not just offering a dining experience; we’re nurturing culinary talent and authenticity. Moreover, FLAYVA’s family-friendly ambiance, coupled with its affordability and high-quality offerings, sets it apart as a go-to destination for all demographics. And let’s not forget its charming location in the heart of old Dubai, adding to its distinctive appeal.

What are your plans for expanding the FLAYVA concept in the future?

We’re still in the early stages of analysis, but we’re keen to build on FLAYVA’s success. Our focus will be on diversifying our tenant mix further, potentially incorporating dessert and specialised coffee options. Additionally, we’re exploring ways to enhance the overall appeal of Al Ghurair Centre, with a keen eye on entertainment and leisure offerings.

With FLAYVA’s promising start, what growth and market expectations do you have for the coming months?

We’re optimistic about FLAYVA’s trajectory, especially as food hall concepts continue to gain momentum in the region. As summer approaches, we anticipate increased demand for indoor dining, positioning FLAYVA as a premier destination for culinary experiences. Our partnership with Noon Food for delivery services further enhances accessibility, catering to a wider audience.

What marketing strategies have you employed to generate buzz for FLAYVA?

We’ve adopted a comprehensive approach, including social media promotion, public relations, influencer engagement and a mix of paid and out-of-home media. This strategy has been crucial in creating awareness and generating excitement around FLAYVA.

Considering the diverse demographic of the area, how did you approach pricing when selecting restaurants for FLAYVA?

Pricing was indeed a crucial factor in our selection process. We wanted to ensure accessibility without compromising on quality. By strategically curating a mix of vendors and fine-tuning their price positioning, we’ve managed to cater to the diverse demographics of the area while spotlighting homegrown concepts. It’s all about delivering an unparalleled culinary experience tailored to our target audience.

Lastly, could you shed some light on the curation process for FLAYVA’s restaurant lineup? What factors did you consider?

Our curation process was meticulous and thorough. We started by analysing the demographics of frequent visitors to Al Ghurair Centre and its vicinity, understanding their tastes and preferences. This informed our selection of vendors, ensuring a wide spectrum of cuisines to cater to diverse palates. Our lineup includes a variety of favourites, all carefully chosen to promote inclusivity and community engagement. For instance, we’ve seen a surge in interest, particularly for vendors including Bacolod Inasal BBQ, Salvis Junior and Spice Grill. This speaks volumes about FLAYVA’s appeal and acceptance within the community. Ultimately, FLAYVA is all about providing a rich culinary experience that brings people together.

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