The homegrown F&B landscape has never been more “courageous,” says Bait Maryam owner

May 30, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau

Chef Salam Dakkak

“Our industry is witnessing a surge of courageous entrepreneurs daring to bring innovative ideas to the table. We’re experiencing a culinary renaissance where unique concepts are embraced by the market, fostering a vibrant food scene. These bold ventures are not only elevating local cuisine but also influencing global trends, showcasing the UAE’s rich culinary diversity. This courage is propelling the industry forward, inspiring others to push boundaries and redefine gastronomy in our region,” said Chef Salam Dakkak, Chef-Owner, Bait Maryam & Sufret Maryam.

A true gastronomic treasure, homegrown restaurant Bait Maryam was established in 2017 in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) by Palestinian-Jordanian Dakkak with a goal to preserve authentic Levantine ancestral recipes passed down from her mother, the restaurant’s namesake. In 2024, Bait Maryam opened its second branch in Sharjah. The restaurant has been recognised by the Michelin Guide, receiving the Bib Gourmand and Service awards in 2022 & 2023.

“The past few years have marked a profound transformation in the UAE’s homegrown F&B scene, catapulting it onto the world stage. With Dubai emerging as a culinary hub, highlighted by the launch of the prestigious Michelin Guide, homegrown establishments are gaining international recognition, spurring a wave of creativity and excellence. Additionally, there’s been a notable shift towards authentic, budget-friendly options, driving the street food scene to the forefront. This transformation has not only elevated the quality of dining experiences but has also positioned the UAE as a global gastronomic destination attracting tourists, foodies and investors from around the world,” Dakkak observed.

Dakkak’s dedication to preserving her cultural heritage through food has earned her several accolades, including being named the “Best Female Chef” in the Middle East and North Africa in 2023 by the World’s 50 Best MENA. That’s not all; a culinary trailblazer, Dakak has also opened doors for other Middle Eastern women chefs to follow in her footsteps to pursue their culinary dreams. Her innovative approach to Levantine cuisine and dedication to preserving traditional flavours have set a new standard of excellence in the industry. What’s more, Dakkak has launched Sufret Maryam, a new concept restaurant showcasing and celebrating Levantine cuisine.

Asked about growth goals in 2025, she shared, “Our primary focus for 2025 is the growth and expansion of Sufret Maryam. We aim to showcase the rich culinary heritage of our region through a modern lens, offering a menu that resonates with today’s discerning diners. We are committed to maintaining the authenticity and integrity of our dishes while incorporating innovative techniques and flavours. Further, we aspire to strengthen our presence in the local market and expand our reach internationally, sharing the essence of Levantine cuisine with a global audience.”

Pick up the May edition of IMAGES RetailME to read the “Vision & Views” of 30+ leaders from the regional F&B landscape.

Previous Article Next Article



#Topshelftalks session at Food Business Forum 2024

Industry pioneers are embracing a comprehensive strategy that integrates consumer insights, digital 

Continue Reading

July 3, 2024 | By Anurima Das
#EdgeOfTomorrow session at Food Business Forum 2024

The regional grocery retail market is evolving fast keeping pace with constantly 

Continue Reading

July 3, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
#CartToCouch session at Food Business Forum 2024

If anything, the Middle East market is excited about quick commerce – 

Continue Reading

July 2, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
#EcoEchoes session at Food Business Forum 2024

From ethical and local sourcing to adopting cutting-edge technologies to curb food 

Continue Reading

July 2, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
#ByteSizedBreakthroughs session at Food Business Forum 2024

The regional grocery retail market is becoming more and more diverse, offering 

Continue Reading

July 2, 2024 | By Rupkatha B

Spinneys, the leading premium fresh food retailer, has announced the opening of 

Continue Reading

June 24, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau

Spinneys has announced the launch of The Kitchen by Spinneys, its first-ever 

Continue Reading

May 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau

In a move set to redefine the landscape of the Fast Moving 

Continue Reading

May 16, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Sunil Kumar and Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy, Spinneys

One of UAE’s leading fresh food retailers, Spinneys has announced its intention 

Continue Reading

April 19, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Laura Manning, Managing Director & Founder, BRW Society

Launched in 2019 by Laura Manning, UAE-based homegrown brand BRW Society completes 

Continue Reading

April 5, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Rajiv Warrier, Chief Executive Officer, Choithrams

Since the launch of its first store in the UAE five decades 

Continue Reading

March 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Dr. Dhananjay Datar Chairman & Managing Director ADIL Trading Co. LLC

Dr. Dhananjay Datar Chairman & Managing Director ADIL Trading Co. LLC holds 

Continue Reading

February 29, 2024 | By Rupkatha B

Download Images RetailME Magazine