With the explosion of social media, and our increasing need for connection and personalization, most businesses are realizing that the old-school approach to doing business in the boardroom is increasingly being dropped in favour of more personal, informal meetings and connections, particularly for small businesses and entrepreneurs which rely on their networks.
Invitations to meetings in cafes and restaurants are becoming increasingly popular – a way of being efficient and personal at the same time, and cultivating a genuine relationship.
When it comes to Dubai, there are hundreds of cafes and restaurants that provide comfortable venues to entertain, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a simple coffee, but how do you know which ones are suitable? Of course this depends on the occasion, the person you are meeting and the result you want to achieve. In general, try not to choose a place that is too exotic or ethnic if you do not know the tastes of your guest. Italian restaurants or bistro-type eateries and steakhouses are a safe bet for guests that you do not know a lot about. Also, try to make sure there are a few vegetarian options at your chosen destination, and make sure that it is somewhere you have visited more than once before, where you know the service, food and ambience will be right for you.
In celebration of International Make Lunch Count Day this week, we have put our heads together and come up with a list of our top three meeting places for clients that offer a good business lunch or coffee stop in Dubai:
- Business over coffee and cake
A café chain like Circle Cafe is a fantastic place to have a meeting over good coffee, with bagels and cake. You’re guaranteed good food, service and now the chain has branches all over the city, offering healthy salads, sandwiches & sliders, as well as mains, desserts, and juices – and for the early birds, they offer fantastic breakfast platters too. There are branches at Studio City, Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah, Dubai World Trade Center and plenty of other locations ensuring that no matter which part of Dubai you need to meet, there will be something suitable. The interiors are bright, airy and informal, and the food is gourmet cafe quality.
- The business lunch
If you want a venue that caters to both formal and informal meal meetings, consider Bussola at The Westin, Dubai. A long standing favourite of ours, there is a great terrace area where you can enjoy wood-fired pizzas in an informal environment. If you’re looking for something more formal, the restaurant has a fantastic business lunch menu from noon until 2.45 pm. The two-course menu offers light and delicious dishes that change every day.
- Making an impression at a business buffet
If you want to treat your guest to something special, Conrad Dubai’s Michelin-starred Ballaro restaurant might be the place for you. The restaurant offers a veritable feast in a semi-formal environment, including an antipasti station and live-cooking. If you want to keep it simple, the antipasti buffet is priced at AED 65, but if your guest is likely to appreciate the full spread, there is a fine-dining lunch buffet menu priced at AED 140.
Hopefully these ideas should give you some food for thought (excuse the pun!) but if you need more help on planning a business lunch, or simply just someone to book it and arrange the logistics for you, then please talk to us. More than a PA service, we also pride ourselves on being your Dubai concierge, with our finger on the pulse, and are more than happy to make all the arrangements for you. Please contact us to find out more.