Royal Orchid Hospitality Group blooms in latest expansion

Founder and owner Ajit Mehra touts innovation as key to its success
Royal Orchid Hospitality Group blooms in latest expansion
Ajit Mehra, the founder and owner (right), and Nikhil Mehra, the director of operations (left)

The Royal Orchid Hospitality Group recently made a significant announcement, showcasing its newest addition to the ever-expanding collection of F&B outlets – Tap House in Dubai Hills. In a candid interview with Economy Middle East, Ajit Mehra, the founder and owner, and Nikhil Mehra, the director of operations, reveal the brand’s ambitious growth plans and share the key ingredients behind its remarkable success. 

What factors do you attribute to the rapid expansion and success of Royal Orchid Hospitality, particularly with the recent opening of Tap House in Dubai Hills?

 We consider ourselves fortunate to be backed by a dedicated and highly efficient team that has played a pivotal role in supporting our growth ambitions. Dubai has earned a global reputation for hosting exceptional F&B outlets, and with its aspiration to become the world’s most visited city by 2025, we are confident that these factors will greatly contribute to our expansion plans. We believe that our brands hold immense potential for growth within Dubai’s rapidly expanding hospitality sector. The Tap House, in particular, stands out as a community gastropub with a very unique vibe and offering multiple USPS.

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How did you identify the market opportunity and demand for expanding to a second location in such a short span of time?

Dubai Hills has been on our radar for a while now, and when the opportunity arose to secure a licensed location within this vibrant community, it was an easy decision to make. The Dubai Hills Business Park has emerged as the go-to destination for diverse businesses and serves as the bustling heart of Dubai Hills Estate. Being situated adjacent to the new Dubai Hills Mall, which has attracted prominent players in the F&B industry, adds an exciting dimension to our presence. Our strong relationships with various landlords in Dubai have been instrumental in securing such opportunities, as they share our vision and faith in our brands. The opening of Dubai Hills closely followed our successful launch of the Tap House location at Souk Al Bahar, both of which exceeded our expectations thanks to our exceptional team. We are genuinely thrilled to be an integral part of the vibrant communities of Downtown and Dubai Hills.

Can you share some insights into the strategic decision-making process behind selecting Dubai Hills as the location for the new Tap House?

The high population density in Dubai Hills played a significant role in our decision to seize this opportunity. The Tap House caters to a diverse multicultural audience, and we identified a niche in the area for a gastropub experience. Over the past two years, Dubai Hills Estate has experienced tremendous popularity, evident from rising rental rates and increasing residential demand, which shows no signs of abating. Furthermore, Dubai Hills enjoys a highly advantageous location, being one of the most centrally situated residential communities in Dubai, with a business park nearby. These factors provided us with the reassurance that our decision to establish a presence here would be a fruitful one. Our brand’s unique selling points, including the widest selection of drafts, a distinctive culinary offering, warm and friendly service, and stylish interiors, further strengthen our confidence in the decision-making process.

What role does innovation play in your expansion strategy, and how do you ensure that your concepts and offerings remain fresh and appealing to customers?

Innovation is the name of the game and it’s always on our minds. In an industry as dynamic as ours, it is crucial to remain relevant, which is why we dedicate substantial effort to enhancing our offerings and guest experiences. We always have our ears to the ground to discover new and exciting developments that we can adapt and present to our customers in our distinct style. Our food and drinks offering is ever-changing as our talented chefs and bar team consistently strive to surpass market offerings by introducing fresh and enticing options.

What marketing and branding strategies have you employed to build awareness and attract customers to your new locations, especially considering the competitive hospitality market in Dubai?

Social media is one of our most important marketing tools, enabling us to construct a thriving online community that mirrors our physical locations. The emphasis on our PR efforts lies in effectively showcasing our offerings and solidifying our brand positioning. We recognize the significance of conveying our brand messaging successfully. We do believe word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to build loyalty and awareness and this is our daily priority. We also have attractive regular offers such as: Happy Hour, Burger Night, British Roast, and residence offer’s in Dubai Hills. With such a diverse array of offers, we aim to cater to various communities and a wide range of demographics.

Looking ahead, what are your future expansion plans for Royal Orchid Hospitality, and what factors will you consider when choosing new locations?

 We are very excited about launching our new beach club in J1 Beach which was previously the La Mer location. J1 Beach is going to be the newest beach flagship in Dubai, and it will house some of Dubai’s best food and beverage offerings – it is set to be the new luxury hot spot! Building on the success of our acclaimed Koko Bay on West Beach, we have dedicated ourselves to crafting a distinctive beach club concept that will cater to the discerning tastes of Dubai residents and visitors alike. Furthermore, we are excited to share that The Tap House is currently under consideration for new locations, details of which will be unveiled in the near future.

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