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Dubai, Late 2010

I've been to Dubai about five times in as many years and this most recent trip in November was definitely different. In years past, Dubai was a city under construction. Building shells outlined the "new Downtown" looming like specters over the city. Construction workers were everywhere, prices were high, and business were bursting with business.

This trip, however, was different. Glorious buildings are finished, yet empty. The massive number of construction workers are fewer, but I was happy to see, that people were still buying.

The specialty beverage market in Dubai, and in the Middle East, is growing rapidly, largely in part because of the heat and the limitation on alcoholic beverages. But the drinks are expensive. At Colors Café I ordered a Mocha Frappe, made with Stasero's Mocha Frappe. It cost 17 dirhams, or $5.50 for a 16 oz glass. At Starbucks, a tall decaf latte and tall caramel latte cost 32 dirhams, just under $10.

Specialty coffee shops are abundant; unfortunately, the customers were not and at these prices, not likely to be. As I make the tour around the Middle East, I am keeping my eyes open for new trends, current flavors and selling concepts that will benefit all our customers.


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