DUBAI: A new, second branch of the well-loved izakaya-style restaurant Fujiya has opened in the UAE this June, after its wide success amongst locals in Dubai.
Speaking to Arab News Japan, Fujiya Restaurant’s Partner Akio Hayakawa said the second branch of the restaurant was meant to open in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans were forced to change.
“We are lucky we were able to open this branch,” Hayakawa said. “I had signed a contract, at the beginning of April and I had two months to prepare everything.”
The partner explained that the new Fujiya was previously a dark bar full of stickers. “But I changed everything and made sure it had a Japanese touch,” he added.
Located in Downtown Dubai, the second branch of the izakaya enjoys a larger variety of sushi dishes in order to compete with other Japanese restaurants around it.
“We felt the area was missing this type of concept. There are a lot of fine dining Japanese concepts, but it is missing the casual Japanese style izakaya,” Hayakawa said. “I wanted to bring the same concept as the first branch because it is working very well and a lot of Emiratis enjoy it as well.”
The coronavirus pandemic has not been an easy feat for any business around the world, Hayakawa said Fujiya was no exception.
“During lockdowns, we had to focus on home delivery, which was quite difficult. However, we have been focusing much more on social media like Instagram and it is doing well,” he said.
Most of the ingredients at Fujiya are directly imported from Japan, and the restaurant boasts a large menu including dishes like Japanese BBQ, Japanese hot pot, tempura and sushi.
Hayakawa told Arab News Japan that there were future plans to expand in other GCC countries, like Saudi Arabia. But for now, “the focus remains on the UAE,” he added.