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KW23_TO_Almakan_Faisal AlNashmi_PORTRAIT

KUWAIT - Health & Education

Faisal Al Nashmi

Founder, Almakan Group

Bio

A University of Miami alumni with a bachelor’s double major in film and photography, Faisal Al Nashmi also holds a Le Grande Diplome in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu London. He is Director of Culinary Development & Co-Owner of Almakan United Company with restaurants operating locally and regionally. He was selected as the only representative of Kuwait in the worldwide gastronomy event Goute de France hosted by renowned French chef Alain Ducasse. Alnashmi is also the face of Kuwait Airways’ youth campaign. He is President of Kuwait Chefs and director of development of Chef Cuts Consulting, a locally based F&B/restaurant consultancy.

"We opened the first premises in the city in 2014 after looking for the right location for three years."
What is the idea behind Almakan Group?

We opened the first premises in the city in 2014 after looking for the right location for three years. We wanted customers to feel a sense of surprise, as if embarking on a journey, as they entered. We have combined a restaurant, an art studio, and an art gallery, all in one space. Our vision was to support the creative culture of Kuwait. We promoted their combined output in the restaurant through a standalone gallery space available for free to artists to showcase their work for two to four days. We have hosted a great number of artists from Kuwait and the wider GCC. The studio space behind the gallery has been dedicated to workshops, gatherings, lectures, and the overall promotion of art. We operated that space for around seven years, and today we are in the process of reinventing ourselves. We still want to have the chef-oriented, art-connected approach and are in the process of preparing our next location. For the time being, we have three chef-based restaurants around the GCC.

What are your plans for the further expansion of the Almakan’s concept?

We closed the initial location last year. When we did that, we lost a big part of our brand recognition; however, we knew we were going to make a bigger impact and in different markets. Now, in the UAE we have opened our branches under alternative names. We developed a new brand called Table Otto, which was one of our brands that we opened in 2015. Table Otto was the first to enter the UAE market, and of course it made sense for us to move it because the style of the restaurant works well there. It is a lavish, upscale, fresh approach to dining. But, as Almakan, with our artistic approach, we knew that there would come a time where we would be entering a certain market such as UAE, and we would be taking over a warehouse to implement the idea of Almakan all over again. We know that the UAE market has a much bigger number of artists, creatives, and overall appreciation of art and dining, where we offer all technically under one roof. We are also considering Riyadh, which is most likely to be our next location.

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