Qatar's Pearl loses its lustre for celeb chef Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant on the Pearl-Qatar has closed, just months after an alcohol ban was introduced on the retail and dining development in Doha.
The decision to close the restaurant also follows the termination last October of the British celebrity chef's partnership with Verre in the Hilton Dubai Creek hotel, which was Ramsay's first overseas restaurant. However, two new Ramsay restaurants have opened in recent weeks in Doha in a luxury St Regis hotel.
"We continue to invest in the area with the exciting recent openings of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Doha and Opal by Gordon Ramsay, Doha at St Regis," a spokeswoman for the group said without offering an explanation regarding the closure of the Maze, which launched only two years ago. She said the decision to close the restaurant was taken in March.
Some restaurants on the Pearl-Qatar reported that they lost more than half their turnover after the alcohol ban was introduced in December.
The Pearl-Qatar was designed as a dining, marina and residential destination and is described by its developer as the "Riviera Arabia".
Several Ramsay restaurants have closed in recent years, including in Cape Town and London, after losses for Gordon Ramsay Holdings during the global economic downturn pushed the company to the brink of bankruptcy.
Restaurants launched by Ramsay Holdings just before the onset of the global economic downturn as part of an ambitious international expansion plan quickly ran into trouble, resulting in a loss of £4.3 million (Dh24.4m) in the year to August 2008. The restaurants in the St Regis Doha are headed by the Michelin-starred chef Gilles Bosquet. One offers fine dining, while the other, Opal, has a more relaxed bistro-style atmosphere.
"A great deal of effort and detail has been put into perfecting these culinary experiences for both casual diners and gourmet enthusiasts, and we are confident that these restaurants will elevate Doha's fast-growing dining scene to the next level," said Tareq Derbas, the general manager of the St Regis Doha.
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