Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed’s vegan venture Folia, which Caterer Middle East previously reported was being introduced to Bahrain, could be arriving in Dubai next.
Speaking to sister title Arabian Business, Prince Khaled said: “We’re hoping to make it happen soon. It is in the works, and we’re confident about the reception as we know the market opportunity here for Folia is massive. I see our Dubai customer base as being primarily made up of two segments: the UAE has a huge vegan community, and there are a huge number of foodies as well – experimental diners who want to broaden their palates. No other outlets in the Middle East, besides Bahrain now, offers what we have to offer.”
Folia is a consultancy and teaching partnership between vegan chef Matthew Kenney and Prince Khaled’s KBW Ventures which started by introducing a plant-based menu to the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverley Hills.
Prince Khaled said the Dubai ‘pilot’ venue will invariably introduce new people to veganism.
“If what you are offering tastes amazing and looks great people will come,” he said. “Those who follow a plant-based lifestyle are loyal clients and they bring their friends who often aren’t vegans but still want healthy options on an evening out.
“People who have never before visited a particular outlet due to the lack of plant-based options will now be regular customers, and in the vegan community word travels extremely fast.”
Although Prince Khaled did not reveal the location of the next folia venture to Arabian Business, he said it would be with a property that falls into the “early adopter category – meaning they are ahead of the curve and they know it”.
Khaled is known for his frank views on veganism, having previously called dairy 'the root of all evil', and is an investor in Beyond Meat, the first vegan food company to list on the NASDAQ.