Beachside destination El Chiringuito has closed down “effective immediately” after less than two years in operation, according to a statement released by The Crystal Group, the outlet’s operating company.
Founded by F&B boss Mazen El Zein, the company boasts rooftop lounge 40 Kong and Lebanese restaurant Em Sherif in Downtown. El Chiringuito opened in December 2016 in the place of Eden Beach Club, another concept by the group.
“El Chiringuito and The Crystal Group have made the difficult decision to terminate their franchise agreement effective immediately. We take this opportunity to thank our entire team: without you, there’d have been no magic,” the statement said.
“El Chiringuito Ibiza will be seeing you all sometime soon – until then, we thank you, our loyal guests, for your constant support and understanding of what was not an easy decision. With gratitude always,” the statement continued.
The venue is the second to close in Dubai in September. London concept Mahiki, which was located in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, also shut down in the same month after seven years in operation.
Venue operator MFMS, which also run sister concept Ramusake and Copper Dog in DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in JBR, cited ‘unforeseen circumstances’ during the renovation of the hotel, though an official statement hinted at a relocation.
“[We] will embark on a new chapter as we prepare for what Mahiki will bring in later in 2018 or early 2019,” it said.
In July this year, Jumeirah also announced the closure of Souk Madinat Jumeirah favourites The Agency and Left Bank, while Hakkasan Dubai at Jumeirah Emirates Towers closed during the same month. Group CEO Jose Silva said the Madinat venues will be replaced by new concepts over the next few months, while two new restaurants will open in Jumeirah Al Naseem.
In an interview with Arabian Business in February, Mazen El Zein of Crystal Group said many outlets are closing down due to an oversupply ‘bubble’ in the Dubai food and beverage sector, adding that he is living what he ‘feared would happen,’ referring to oversaturation, stagnant demand and low consumer spending in the market.
“In every bubble, first, it bursts, there is blood on the streets, businesses close down, it takes time to clean, and then demand picks up. [But] you have a few players left. ‘Amateur’ restaurant owners looking to make a quick buck have largely contributed to the oversupply, leading to inflation at almost every level, from rents to payrolls and staff accommodations,” he said.
“Today, we are paying the consequences of good and bad competition that come to the market and take away from your share for a few months. It’s short term, but it hurts. It’s the typical bubble, where everyone wants to invest in the same thing. And then, at a certain point, there are no more buyers,” he added.
Oversaturation will continue past 2018 and is expected to increase by 17% by 2020, according to reports by property consultancy JLL.
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