The Malaysia Café, situated on the Ground Floor of the Malaysia Pavilion, at Expo2020 Dubai, has attracted a steady stream of visitors looking to sample Malaysian delicacies, including Malaysian diaspora searching out their local favourites at a home away from home.
The Café houses Nur Malaysia, a restaurant chain under GISB Holdings, and Marrybrown, the world’s largest halal quick service restaurant.
Marrybrown held the launch of its Expo outlet, officiated by Ismail Ali Abbas, Vice Chairman of Al Abbas Group, the master franchisee of the fast-food chain in the UAE, on Tuesday 5th October 2021. Among the attendees was visitor Wendell Valderama, a 45 year old Filipino who has been working in the UAE since 2013. He said of his first ever trip to Dubai for the Expo: “When we saw Marrybrown was here we just had to drop by. But I think the chicken tastes fresher and more ‘Malaysian’ at this outlet.”
Recalling Marrybrown’s history in the UAE, its General Manager Imran Akhtar said he has witnessed one generation of Emiratis who have grown up enjoying the specialty fried chicken: “The unique fried chicken recipes of Marrybrown has become part of the growing up experience of young Emiratis since the first restaurant opened here in 2001. I am proud that Marrybrown has a strong footprint in this country and over two decades of dedicated service. We have established strong brand loyalty. We are not resting on our laurels but constantly strive to improve our products.
“Product innovation is part of the restaurant chain business strategy, with new products introduced every three or four months. Thus far, all the innovative recipes were well-received by our loyal customer base whether locals or expats.”
Akhtar revealed one new outlet will be opened in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively in the first quarter of 2022 to serve the growing popularity of Marrybrown in the UAE.
Meanwhile, GISB Holdings, which owns Nur Malaysia restaurant also held its ribbon cutting ceremony at the Pavilion on the 2nd October. Its Chief Executive Officer Datuk Lokman Hakim Pfordten said the restaurant opened its first UAE outlet in Sharjah in 2014.
“We started as a small restaurant that could cater only to 30 people. By good blessings, we managed to acquire an existing Malaysian restaurant in Oud Metha, Dubai which was closing down and expanded our reach in Dubai,” he said.
The restaurant’s presence in Expo2020 Dubai as Malaysia’s café operator will enable the company to “continue to spread our goodwill among the people”, he said.
Of course, it also enables the restaurant to share amazing Malaysian cuisines from rice dishes, to noodles, laksa and soups such as nasi goreng kampung (village fried rice), kuey teow goreng (fried kuey teow noodle), mee hoon sup (vermicelli soup) curry puffs, Malaysian desserts and the famous teh tarik drink.
Malaysian Jeanette Teh, 46, from Petaling Jaya, who visited the Pavilion with her husband Michael Todd, 48, from Canada, was amazed by the technologies used to create an immersive experience for visitors at Malaysia’s Rainforest Canopy pavilion.
Teh gave positive feedback on the informative displays at the pavilion exhibits saying it was good to learn about development in the various economic sectors back home, including agricommodities.
“I’ve been looking forward to eating some long-missed desserts at the Malaysia Café,” she said.