Yes that call to braai (BBQ) from standup comedian ‘Cousin’ Barry Hilton that all South Africans know so well has followed South African expats to the AUE where the demand for South African food is now booming.
CNN in its Marketplace Africa newswire resorts you will find the best steaks sizzling in the kitchen at the Abu Dhabi-based restaurant “The Meat Company”. T-bones or Rib-Eye, flame grilled or triple-basted, you have guessed it – this is not a venue for vegetarians. If you want to munch on vegies, go have a chicken.
And the meaty menu is popular; in the past year 350,000 customers dined at the restaurant.
CCN quotes South African owner Johnny Tomazos: “It’s a very exciting region to be in and to showcase your brands. There’s a lot of developments going on, there’s a lot of growth for companies such as ours to grow in the food sector in the Middle East.”
Tomazos owns 15 restaurants — mostly in the Gulf. It has built a presence not only in the UAE but also Bahrain and Kuwait.
Now popular South African burger chain Steers is also opening a shop in the region, offering burgers on the manmade Yas Island — a popular location for tourists and thrill-seekers.
There are over 100,000 South Africans living in the UAE with roughly 200 South African companies operating in the UAE — a country where expatriates account for over 80% of the work force.