If you have spent some time in Dubai, you must know the legendary status that Friday brunches hold in the city. But the recent developments regarding the changed work week and subsequent change in the definition of weekend raises a burning question: What does the future hold for the fabled Friday brunches of Dubai? We talked to prominent restaurateur Sanjeev Nanda to gain some insights on this matter.
For the uninitiated, the UAE brought into effect a four-day workweek starting as soon as the new year started. This enormous change means that people can now ring in the weekend bells right from Thursday evening since Friday is a part of the weekly off for most people. This also means that people might move past the comfort they found in Friday brunch, which has been a great way for restaurants to gain footfall. However, Sanjeev Nanda refuses to give in to these fears.
The myth and the legend
In the expert opinion of Sanjeev Nanda, Friday brunch is more a phenomenon than a mere meal for most people living in Dubai, and hence it will uphold its status as a relaxed meal on the first day of the weekend. Nanda, who runs several popular restaurants in Dubai like Billionaire Mansion and Miss Tess, believes that the change in a workweek will not lead to a change in the either popularity of Friday brunch not restaurant revenues, since the experience has been central to many.
“Having a brunch is a great idea any day of the week. What makes Friday brunch special is the calm and comfort that it has in its fold. When a person makes a reservation to enjoy a serene brunch on Friday, they are looking for a nonchalant and breezy way of giving their happening weekend a start. This idea will always remain important to people, irrespective of whether Friday is a weekly off for them or not. Also, several people still have to work Fridays, albeit for a few hours. That is more than enough for Friday brunch to stay relevant,” he says.
The ‘Friday Feeling’
Assessing the changed workweek norms, Sanjeev Nanda forecasts that the vibe associated with Friday brunch is going to stick around for a foreseeable future. Pointing out that old habits die hard, Nanda explains that Friday brunches are going to remain a way to unwind after a busy week despite how long that workweek is. According to him, despite the four-day workweek, people look for a sense of calmness in Friday brunches, and will find the same even if Friday brunches are moved to another day or are reconceptualized as night brunch or anything else. “The Friday Feeling will remain the same, so the concept of Friday brunch will thrive no matter which day of the week it is,” he says while concluding his remarks.