The Malaysia Café at Expo 2020 Dubai has attracted a steady stream of customers among visitors who wanted to sample Malaysian delicacies as well as Malaysian diaspora who yearn for their local favourites.
The cafe at the Malaysia Pavilion houses Nur Malaysia, a restaurant chain under GISB
Holdings, and Marrybrown, the world’s largest halal quick service restaurant.
Filipino Wendell Valderama,45, has been working in the UAE in customer service
since 2013 and this was his maiden trip to Dubai – to visit Expo 2020 Dubai.
Met at the Malaysia Café tucking away at a Marrybrown burger and fries with his friend
Sri Lankan Yousoof Zain 26, Valderama said Marrybrown are famous in both their
countries and comparable to Philippines’ Jollybee.
“When we saw Marrybrown was here, we just had to drop by. But I think the chicken
tastes fresher and more ‘Malaysian’ at this outlet,” he added with a smile.
Marrybrown held a simple launch of its outlet officiated by Ismail Ali Abbas, Vice
Chairman of Al Abbas Group, the master franchisee of the fast food chain in the UAE,
on Tuesday (5th October 2021).
Recalling Marrybrown’s history in the UAE, its general manager Imran Akhtar said he
has witnessed one generation of Emiratis who have grown up enjoying the specialty
The unique fried chicken recipes of Marrybrown has become part of the growing up
experience of young Emiratis since the restaurant first opened here in 2001.
“I am proud that Marrybrown has a strong footprint in this country with over two
decades of dedicated services, we have established strong brand loyalty. We are not
resting on our laurels but constantly striving to improve our products,” said the
Pakistan national who had been with Marrybrown since day one of the company’s
debut in the UAE.
He said product innovation is part of the restaurant chain business strategy with new
products introduced every three or four months, adding that thus far, all the innovative
recipes were well-received by the loyal customer base whether locals or expats.
Imran attributes Marrybrown’s success to the attention paid to the quality of its food,
value for money and its wide range of products from sandwiches to fried chicken, ricebased menu to finger food such as chicken popcorn and the varieties of sauces.
He also revealed that one new outlet will be opened in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
respectively in the first quarter of 2022 to serve the growing popularity of Marrybrown
in the UAE.
Meanwhile, GISB Holdings which owns Nur Malaysia restaurant also held its ribbon
cutting ceremony at the Pavilion. Its Chief Executive Officer Datuk Lokman Hakim
Pfordten said the restaurant opened its first UAE outlet in Sarjah in 2014.
“We started as a small restaurant that could cater only to 30 people. By good
blessings, we managed to acquire an existing Malaysian restaurant in Oud Metha,
Dubai which was folding up, and expanded our outlet in Dubai,” he said.
Worldwide, Nur Malaysia restaurants are currently available in Indonesia, Thailand,
Singapore, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Australia, China, Uzbekistan, Germany,
Egypt, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, United Kingdom and the UAE.
The restaurant’s presence in Expo 2020 Dubai as Malaysia’s café operator will enable
the company to “continue to spread goodwill among the people”, he said.
Of course, it also enables the restaurant to share amazing Malaysian cuisines from
rice dishes, to noodles, laksa and soups such as nasi goreng kampung (village fried
rice), kueh tiaw goreng (fried kueh tiaw noodle), mee hoon sup (vermicelli soup) curry
puff, Malaysian desserts and the famous teh tarik drink.
Malaysian Jeanette Teh, 46, from Petaling Jaya, who visited the Pavilion with her
husband Michael Todd, 48, from Canada, was amazed by the technologies used to
create an immersive experience for visitors at Malaysia’s Rainforest Canopy pavilion.
Teh gave positive feedback on the informative displays at the pavilion exhibits saying
it was good to learn about development in the various economic sectors back home,
“I was looking forward to eating some long-missed desserts at the Malaysia Café,” she