With a never-ending A-list celebrity guestlist including Gigi Hadid, Justin and Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Nicki Minaj and more, The Nice Guy has opened its first-ever venue outside of Los Angeles right here in Dubai.

Launched in partnership with MKIA Hospitality, the group’s managing partner and co-founder, Mohammad Irshaid discusses what The Nice Guy has in store for its Dubai debut.

Talk us through your career.

It all started at the age of 21 when I travelled to New York to license the brand Sugar Factory, I did my training in NY, LA and Las Vegas, and a year later franchised Dum Dum Doughnuts from London. In between, I consulted for brands such as Bora Bora Juice Kuwait and Pizza Factory DIFC on menu development, brand concept creations and many more. Then around two years ago, the idea of The Nice Guy was presented and here we are.

Where does your love for food come from?

Throughout my childhood, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother, who is an amazing cook and would constantly be experimenting in the kitchen. From prepping lunches and dinner gatherings to late-night snacks. Other than being physically present in the kitchen I had a natural curiosity about the process of cooking and how flavours came together. This established the foundation of my passion for food and beverage.

You’ve just opened the iconic LA hotspot The Nice Guy in Dubai. How long has this been in the works? Why Dubai?

We started the conversations around two years ago during COVID-19. Dubai is home and is an emerging F&B hub of the world. Yet with everything around, I still felt there was a gap that The Nice Guy could fill. A place with an old school ambience, a good Italian vibe, great music and most importantly, a place to meet and connect with like-minded individuals.

Talk us through the concept of The Nice Guy.

The Nice Guy Dubai will follow suit of its LA predecessor as a highly sought-after, reservations-only destination, complete with a world-class lineup of classic Italian cuisine offerings for lunch and dinner, including signature menu items and crafted cocktails. In true The Nice Guy fashion, dining hours seamlessly transition into a nightlife backdrop with regularly programmed live entertainment and DJ sets.

What are the hero dishes at The Nice Guy?

Diners can expect distinctly Italian plates with a unique LA spin such as the kale salad, cacio e pepe, Margherita pizza. I would say that the meatballs and lobster pizza are the must-try dishes. We also developed special dishes and versions of dishes for the Dubai location that aren’t available in LA such as beef carpaccio and burrata salad.

What sets the F&B industry in Dubai apart from the rest of the world?

Dubai is a cosmopolitan melting pot of multinationals that come from all over the world to live in this city. Having people from all over the world based here creates a natural and constant demand for all types of local concepts and franchises to open and do so well here.

What are your hopes for The Nice Guy Dubai in 2022 and beyond?

My hope is for The Nice Guy to be an essential spot for anyone living in Dubai, but also for all the visitors. Our plan is for The Nice Guy to be a landmark spot in the region and to constantly give our customers what they want.

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