A branch of The Ivy, the London restaurant that is a popular celebrity hangout where it is notoriously difficult to get a table, is to open in Dubai next spring.
Jumeirah Group, which has the regional rights to the brand and manages hotels including the Burj Al Arab, made the announcement yesterday. The restaurant will be located in Emirates Towers, replacing Scarlett's, which will close from January 1 as construction on the new property begins.
"Clearly it will be like The Ivy and feel like The Ivy, but it will be a restaurant in its own right," said David O'Brien, the operations director at Caprice Holdings.
The Ivy and brands such as Le Caprice and Scott's are owned by Caprice Holdings, which is headed by the British restaurateur Richard Caring.
Jumeirah in September took over the Middle East rights for the brands from Tatweer, which, like Jumeirah, is also part of Dubai Holding. The Dubai restaurant will be designed by the London designer Martin Brudnizki, who will replicate the look and feel of the West End property, Jumeirah Group said.
Jumeirah declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal and the cost of developing the restaurant in Dubai.
"It is an expensive brand to build and there will be [a] high-end feel to it," said Phil Broad, the managing director of Jumeirah Restaurants. "It will be the green leather."
Mr Broad said Jumeirah was evaluating opportunities to launch the other Caprice brands in the region.
"We've got access to some amazing brands and not just The Ivy," he said. "We have no confirmed plans for any locations yet."
Mr O'Brien said The Ivy in London only took bookings a month in advance because of the strong demand. The restaurant receives between 1,200 and 1,300 calls a day for booking requests.
Jumeirah Restaurants's own brands include the Noodle House, which has licence agreements already signed in 11 countries.
For Caprice Holdings, the latest announcement is a continuation of its international expansion plans, with its brands already established in the US and Barbados.