Reif Japanese Kushiyaki (UAE) to Expand Across the Middle East

Popular homegrown Dubai restaurant Reif Japanese Kushiyaki is set for a huge expansion with six more venues planned for the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

Among the new locations set to open is a mini, licensed version at the upcoming Time Out Market Dubai in Souk Al Bahar, scheduled to launch in Q1 2021.

That will be followed in May by an expansion of the original Dar Wasl mall location with the introduction of a bakery and breakfast café next door, showcasing chef-owner Reif Othman’s trademark cakes and more.

May will also see the opening of the first franchised Reif Japanese Kushiyaki in Cairo, with Baky Hospitality set to bring a 140-seat licensed restaurant to the Egyptian capital. Three more franchised locations are being explored for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the first due to open later this year.

Ahsan Kahlon, co-owner, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, and Othman’s business partner, said: “It was always our intention to expand the Reif Japanese Kushiyaki brand regionally and internationally. In light of the pandemic, we have been able to negotiate compelling deals with landlords and franchisees, allowing us to take the concept further afield in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We are also assessing additional locations both in the region and globally."

To help support the brand’s expansion, Jun Tomioka, who has worked alongside Othman for more than a decade, will step into a regional chef de cuisine role for the existing Reif Japanese Kushiyaki restaurants at Dar Wasl and Food District, and Kushi by Reif at Depachika, Nakheel Mall.

The growth comes as the Dar Wasl mall location reported an 85 percent increase in year-on-year revenue for Q4 2020.