Sunset Hospitality Group expects the Saudi Arabian F&B market to overtake Dubai in terms of size in the near future. CEO Antonio Gonzalez said the group “expect Saudi to account for the biggest percentage of contribution to our business within the Middle East.”
It comes as Sunset begins its move into the country, with Black Tap opening in Jeddah in August and Riyadh in December. Gonzalez said he believes Black Tap will be a “massive success” in the Kingdom, with plans to open between six to eight outlets in the next five years.
Sunset had hoped to be in Saudi Arabia earlier but Gonzalez said the firm wanted to make sure they partnered with the right people on the ground before doing so. Now, however, they believe the time is right to bring “successful and tested in the Middle East” restaurants to the country.
Luigia, an Italian concept which Sunset has in the Rixos Premium in Dubai, is likely to be the next brand to follow Black Tap to Saudi, said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez also praised the Saudi government for its attempts to bring companies in, saying the way it is “facilitating foreign countries to enter, to invest, to do business, I think that’s encouraging a lot of us to be more aggressive with our growth there.”
He added: “If I look at 10 years from now and with this expansion we plan to have, I think Saudi ultimately will be bigger than the UAE.”