Nando’s, T.G.I Friday’s, Fatburger and Sammach (a seafood joint) have opened outlets at Medina Central inside The Pearl-Qatar.
The Pearl-Qatar has seen many restaurants opening with much fanfare and closing shop within a year or two. The notable ones include Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, which shut shop after running for two years. Some people including Ramsay blamed it on the alcohol ban and he opened two restaurants - Gordon Ramsay Doha and Opal by Gordon Ramsay Doha - in the five-star hotel St. Regis.
Another notable one to shut shop is Quisine by celebrity chef Guy Savoy.
There could be multiple factors for the closure – but I personally don’t think alcohol is the main reason. I would bet on the cost factor. The maximum visitors to The Pearl are middle class and families taking their guests to show the place. They will not spend thousands of riyals on a meal.
The people who can spend that kind of money will go there once to try the food but will not drive all the way there on a regular basis. They will prefer to go to one of the restaurants in a five-star hotel, which is easier to access than The Pearl and of course serves alcohol too.
But the new crop of eateries opened there should do better as they are much cheaper and they cater to a much demographic. This could be a nice attraction to families to spend time in The Pear and have a decen meal there.
Expected to also open later this year in Medina Centrale are Dip N Dip Chocolate House, "Which Wich" sandwiches, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and a bikers’ café. German Doner Kebab and Ziryab restaurants are already up and running.