DUBAI,UAE, 17 January 2022/African Media Agency (AMA)/ – Award-winning global hospitality agency, TGP International, today announced their ambitious global expansion plans for their new food hall concept, Alkebulan. With an initial focus on culinary hotspots, London and New York, Alkebulan, guarantees to offer potential new investors an unrivalled opportunity to be part of this exciting new brand. Curated by former opera singer-turned-chef restauranteur, Alexander Smalls, and officially launched in collaboration with TGP International at EXPO 2020 Dubai earlier this year, Alkebulan is a celebration of African cuisine, art and music. The first-of-its-kind food hall, features ten chef-led concepts from across the African continent, allowing diners to savour a delicious odyssey of flavours and experiences, from gourmet dishes and street bites to fusion fare, all in one destination.
Dubbed as ‘the last untapped cuisine’ the demand for African cuisine on the rise and Alkebulan’s entry into the market is seamlessly timed to deliver a singular and novel dining solution, offering a host of African-inspired culinary and cultural experiences. The concept orbits around setting the table for Africa’s next generation of creators. Not just in the kitchen but on the stage, in the community, and the forefront of the most important social movements. Alkebulan serves as a catalyst for cultural progression in every form, inspiring diverse culinary voices. Part of the food hall’s larger mission is to provide new platforms for African chefs, who are wildly underrepresented in the industry, and create opportunities to help them thrive.
With the demand for food halls across the world rising, owing to its lower rent model, among other cost-efficient benefits, food halls experienced a pre-covid boom and were largely able to sustain operations during the pandemic. Post-pandemic, the food hall model remains an attractive option as more restaurant brands tap into the vast potential to offer a new dynamic culinary experience, penned as the “ultimate champion of choice”. The projected growth opportunities for food-to-go prepared at food halls are set to reach a value of £22.6bn by 2024, a 47.7% increase from 2021.
These changes in food culture alongside an increasing demand for unique dining concepts presents a gap in the market perfectly suited for Alkebulan. As the world’s first African dining hall, Alkebulan offers a unique take on the food hall model by offering an immersive cultural experience for customers, showcasing local art, live music and retail uniquely sourced from the worlds ‘Mother Continent’.
Speaking on the expansion plans, Chef Alexander Smalls, Award Winning Chef and Creator of Alkebulan, said: “Despite its rich culinary heritage, African cuisine has been overlooked and underestimated for many years. With Alkebulan, we look forward to bringing its diverse and spectacular culinary palates to the forefront by introducing a unique dining concept to two of the world’s most thriving food destinations. We aim to not only deliver a taste of Africa but offer a one stop destination that becomes a boiling pot of the various African cultures at the core of its 54 counties and offer opportunities to young culinary entrepreneurs from under privileged backgrounds. We want to provide them space in the food halls to start their own businesses as part of an incubator program, providing support through coaching and mentoring as well as financially.”
Simon Wright, Founder and Chairman at TGP International, added: “Due to our vast experience within the hospitality sector, we see the huge potential for African cuisine and are immensely proud to pave the way with the ‘World’s First African Dining Hall’. With the concept performing so well in Dubai, it is evident that Alkebulan offers an incredible investment opportunity with unsurpassed potential. We see London and New York as the perfect markets to expand, putting Alkebulan on the map as a globally renowned destination for African cuisine. This is not just a dining destination but a community project that supports upcoming African talent and provides a platform for Africa’s next generation of creators. Not just in the kitchen.
About Expo 2020 Dubai
From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as it brings together the planet in one place to reimagine tomorrow.
- With the purpose of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will be the world’s most impactful global incubator for new ideas, catalysing an exchange of new perspectives and inspiring action to deliver real-life solutions to real-world challenges
- Expo 2020 will be the biggest cultural gathering in the world, presenting a visually striking and emotionally inspiring 182 days, as more than 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses, and educational institutions, as well as millions of visitors – create the largest and most diverse World Expo ever
- Expo 2020’s sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability will inspire visitors to preserve and protect our planet, explore new frontiers and build a better future for everyone
- For six months, Expo 2020 will be a must-visit family destination, with thousands of events, amazing exploratory experiences, and free entry for children up to age 18
- Expo is committed to building a more equitable and just world for everyone, while keeping visitors safe by following the latest guidance of the world’s leading medical, science and health experts
- Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, located on a 4.38 sqkm site adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South
- Built with a meaningful and measurable long-term legacy in mind, the Expo site will transform into District 2020 – a model global community that will rethink the cities of the future – after Expo 2020 closes its doors
How to cover Expo 2020 Dubai in person at event time or report on the event remotely
To attend Expo 2020 or cover Expo 2020 remotely using content and assets generated by Expo, you must be accredited.
To kick off your journey with Expo 2020, please ensure that you:
1. Register to access our Media Information System, Tawassul at
Tawassul is regularly updated, providing the latest content assets, including press releases, photographs, audio and video, the electronic media kit, and information on broadcast and photography operations. It also provides you with important information and updates on facilities and services such as media accreditation, visa information for international accredited media, and permits. Access to other media-related systems (Media Asset Management System and Media Bookings System), which will be launched in Q2 2021, will only be permitted to accredited media (see below). Information about these systems can be found on Tawassul.
2. Once registered, submit an Expo 2020 Media Accreditation expression of interest.
Within this expression of interest, please appoint an Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) from within your organisation who will act as the single point of contact with Expo 2020 for media accreditation. Following this, approved media organisations will be provided login details and instructions for the accreditation system to enable them to submit applications.
For support, contact Expo 2020 Dubai’s Media Services team at [email protected] or +971 (0)56 689 2101.
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About World Expos
In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.
World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.
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