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Thomas Klein International

CONSULTING • DESIGN • MANAGEMENT
HOSPITALITY • ENTERTAINMENT • LEISURE

 

 

 


ABOUT US

OUR PEOPLE

OUR SERVICES

OUR WORK

CONTACT

CHEFS ON THE ROAD FOR A CAUSE


 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT US

Established in 2001, Thomas Klein International (TKI) was founded with the aim to deliver a complete range of design, consulting and management services for investors and operators in the hospitality, entertainment and leisure sectors throughout The Middle East and beyond.

About Thomas Klein International 1

Headquartered in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai TKI's international team serves the hospitality sector with a range of services that includes hotels, restaurants, F&B consulting, spas and retail. With additional offices in Madrid, Chicago and Buenos Aires, TKI is always exposed to wide-ranging and deep information that enriches every single project. And the diverse and talented team members provide a range of comprehensive and specialist skills that are tailored to the needs of each development. Thomas Klein International is one of the few firms of its kind offering both complete business services and complete design services, forming a hospitality consultancy that creates and establishes businesses that are innovative as well as profitable.

About Thomas Klein International 2

Our 8 divisions can function independently or can be a component of a whole project working synergistically to create a seamless running business in its entirety.

  • Hospitality Consulting
  • Architecture and Interior Design
  • Brand Development & Management
  • Pre-Opening Management
  • F&B Consulting, Food Services & Technical Kitchen Planning
  • Business & Financial Consulting
  • Client Representation & Legal Support
  • Operations Management

About Thomas Klein International 3

  • We craft each project from the ground up creating originals not using old formulas.
  • We have over 15 years of presence in the dynamic Arabian Gulf marketplace.
  • We shape each project with a commitment to both form and functionality, ensuring that we deliver solutions that are together engaging and efficient.
  • We provide a wide swathe of services from a single firm, saving the client time and resources and creating a disciplined and tactical approach to each venture.

About Thomas Klein International

Our multicultural team, our global experience and local expertise mean that we are able to dive straight in and provide fast and sharp, ideas, concepts and business solutions.

About Thomas Klein International 4

WORLDWIDE OFFICES:

  • DUBAI
  • CHICAGO
  • BUENOS AIRES
  • MADRID

About Thomas Klein International 5

EXPERTISE:

  • HOTELS
  • RESTAURANTS
  • F&B CONSULTING
  • SPAS
  • RETAIL
  • OFFICES
  • ENTERTAINMENT VENUES
  • MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTS

About Thomas Klein International

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE+ CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE

If you want to be remembered, evoke an emotional connection.

The team at TKI are on a constant global quest for cultural, design, culinary and business information. The company prides itself on its resourcefulness, gathering complex, multi-tiered research garnered from across the world. This research informs, inspires and helps forecast trends, discover best-practices, identify market opportunities and apply practical know-how. It is an ideal mix of business and cultural intelligence when combined with experience and original thinking, offers a clear vision for clients and ultimately, a profitable outcome.

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OUR PEOPLE


 

DANIEL G. DURING

PRINCIPAL AND MANAGING DIRECTOR

The founder and principal of TKI, Daniel G. During was born in Argentina and has spent most of his life living and working across the globe. After several hospitality positions in Germany, France and The Middle East, Daniel joined the Hotel Management School at Chalons en Champagne, graduating in 1986. Daniel then spent 10 years with Hyatt International Hotels and was assigned to executive positions in luxury urban and resort properties in Serbia, Spain and Kazakhstan.

Daniel G. During

In 1997, Daniel joined Wafi City in Dubai as Project Manager in charge of the establishment of the Pyramids Club. He spearheaded the project from its conceptual stages, to design, development and opening. Appointed General Manager of Pyramids three months into the project, Daniel scored one of the most successful openings ever in Dubai in April 1998. His duties as Pyramids General Manager were further extended to Wafi City and MKM Group of Companies, heading up the Food and Beverage Division and tasked with the opening and operations of 17 outlets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"Regardless of scale, we should strive for creative expression and the realisation of our ideas. Budgets come in all sizes, but it should never limit our capacity for innovation."

In April 2001, Daniel left Wafi to establish Thomas Klein International in Dubai Media City. His one-man venture is now a multi-national company with offices in four countries and four continents.
Daniel established his home in the UAE and considers himself both a local and international. Because his life and business are both established here, he feels his passion and commitment to the region provide a strong backbone to his business.

"We can eat in our kitchen and sleep in our beds but we all seek experiences. Humans need a narrative to enliven daily life. That is our job - to provide a story for the customers and a structure that gives owners a healthy return."

Daniel also holds the position of Managing Director for Ping Pong Dim Sum in the Middle East. The popular London-based Asian eatery recently launched its first restaurant in Dubai.

 

MARTIN TARDIO VELASCO

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER & PROCESS MAPPING SPECIALIST


Martin Tardio Velasco obtained an Industrial Engineering degree in 2002 from Buenos Aires Institute of Technology after which he worked as a process re-engineering consultant in various industries including Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and Food & Beverage (F&B Consulting).

Martin Tardio Velasco

In 2007 Martin moved to Dubai where he joined Thomas Klein International as Process Design Manager, optimising operational practices, both from an engineering and financial perspective.

Martin blends in standard operational practices from different industries to ensure projects are run efficiently, minimizing operational costs and hazards and maximizing revenue.

 

MARTIN MARTINEZ

PROJECT MANAGER

In October 2007, Martin moved to Dubai and joined the Thomas Klein International team as a Project Manager.

Martin Martinez

Having graduated University of Buenos Aires with a degree in Law, Martin successfully blends his knowledge in legal matters with his passion for hospitality. Martin was instrumental in the development of the Operations Manuals of various international franchises and he heads the Technical Kitchen Planning team. Martin left Dubai in 2010 to head up the Buenos Aires office. Martin offers a rare combination of highly progressive and unconventional thinking with a down-to-earth management style and supervisory sensibility.

 

 

KARINA VILANOVA

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Karina Vilanova has been in the hospitality industry since 1991 after graduating with a BS in Hotel Management from Florida International University in Miami.

Karina Vilanova

She started her career with Occidental Hotels in Seville for the pre-opening of a hotel prior to the Expo ’92. In 1994 she joined Hyatt International as Director of Rooms at Hyatt Regency La Manga on the southeast coast of Spain.

She also performed extensive Management Operations Reviews at Hyatt properties in Istanbul, Casablanca and Paris for periods of up to six months. In 1996 she moved to Paris as Executive Assistant Manager of the Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine. In 1998 she was transferred to Hyatt headquarters in Chicago as Director of Sales & Marketing for the Worldwide Sales Office. There she was responsible for promoting and positioning all 90 international properties in the tour and travel, incentive, and corporate markets.

In 2000 she moved to Buenos Aires to head up the Sales & Marketing department for the opening of a Relais & Chateaux property on the Uruguayan coast (presently Four Seasons Carmelo), where she was subsequently promoted to General Manager.

In 2004 set up her own business, KV Consulting, a company formed to represent and promote hotels and provide consulting services for new ventures and existing projects. Karina is part of the TKI team, providing hospitality consulting with a particular expertise in Sales & Marketing.

In 2010 she moved back to Spain, where she joined a travel designer company for the high-end market

 

PS STUDIO
PAULA PALOMBO & ERIC SCHALL

Founders and Principals, PS Studio, Chicago
Founders and Directors of Extension Gallery

Paula Palombo and Eric Schall founded PS-Studio in 2000. The practice was engaged in architectural services and interior design in the USA as well as architectural competitions and installations. In 2002 PS studio joined the Thomas Klein International Group to offer architectural services and interior design in the Middle East. In 2006 they founded Extension Gallery, an experimental gallery for architecture and are the gallery's directors and curators.

PS Studio - Paula Palombo & Eric Shall

Paula practiced architecture at Studio Libeskind, Berlin, at Erik Van Egeraat, Rotterdam and SOM, London. She earned her graduate degree from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. She was teaching design studios at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and has frequently been invited for reviews in other institutions of higher learning.

Eric also practiced architecture at Studio Libeskind, Berlin as well as OMA, Rotterdam and SOM in both London and Chicago. He earned his graduate degree at the Princeton School of Architecture. He is co-teaching design studios at the School of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

 

KRISZTINA SZABO

PROJECT MANAGER

Krisztina moved to Dubai in 2010 after six years in Egypt working in the Travel & Tourism industry. Originally from Hungary, Krisztina speaks three languages and has basic speaking skills in Arabic as well.

Krisztina Szabo

She has worked a wide array of jobs in the tourism industry including positions as an administrator, dive instructor, tour operator and outbound travel manager. Krisztina is an Economics graduate with a specialisation in Hospitality Studies. Her experience in the hospitality industry and her superb organisational skills ensure that TKI's range of projects is efficiently managed throughout from inception to completion. Her technical know-how means she is ideally placed to act as a conduit between various disciplines whilst also supervising the project development schedules, sourcing products and keeping everyone focused on getting things done right and on time.

 

MATTHIAS ERDLENBRUCH

PROJECT MANAGER

Matthias moved to Dubai in 2011 to follow his passion for the hospitality business.

Matthias Erdlengruch

A German native Matthias was born and raised in Europe’s true “foodie” city Brussels.

Coming from an upbringing in a deeply multicultural environment means that he is right at home with TKI’s internationally diverse team.

Prior to arriving in Dubai, Matthias worked at the European Parliament in Brussels.

He studied International Business Economics and Management in Brussels after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Business Psychology in Heidelberg.

He has been instrumental in applying his skills as a financial analyst and developing streamlined business finance programming models.

 

ADRIAN BECERRIL GARCIA

CULINARY CURATOR

Born and raised in Mexico City, Adrian Becerril Garcia knew he wanted to be a chef from a young age when his father told him chefs were wise and deeply cultured souls who know, not only about food, but about wine, art, music and travel.

Luke Anokye

So he set his heart on being a chef but was waylaid in his teenage years, when he decided to become a long-haired, rock listening, graffiti creating, Che Guevara loving philosophy student. During this phase of his life, Adrian started to read about Ferran Adria and was deeply drawn to the groundbreaking Spanish chef and his use of science combined with gastronomy. After studying Culinary Arts in Mexico City, Adrian decided to specialize in Spanish food and culture and headed to Seville to continue his studies.

Once he finalized his studies, Chef Becerril-Garcia headed for the Canary Islands to take up his first internship at a Michelin starred restaurant, MB, the island offshoot of the San Sebastian 3-star Michelin belonging to renowned Basque Chef Martin Berasategui.

Chef Adrian then headed back to Mexico City to work under the tutelage of Francisco Mendez, a disciple of Ferran Adria. After which he moved on to the Czech Republic to take up the reins of Ristorante Casanova, where Adrian got to work with Italian cuisine while laying down his culinary ethos of having every menu item made in house, including their celebrated pastas.

In 2012 Adrian arrived to Dubai to revamp the long established Elements Restaurant in Wafi City and to launch Burger Rebel.

Following a successful year at Elements Café and an press-acclaimed launch of Burger Rebel, Chef Adrian has joined the core development team at TKI's, working with both the creative and business skill-set of a great executive chef.

At first, Chef Adrian determines the menu style and defines the product line with the F&B and design teams. Then, he sets about creating each single dish, working tirelessly through rounds of tastings and tweaking to finalize master recipes and market lists. Adrian, as TKI's F&B Consultant, is also responsible for food costing, recipe implementation and chef training. The goal is always to provide clients and ultimately- customers- with a fantastic, innovative and deeply delicious culinary experience.

 

 

TINA NYAGA

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

In 2007, Tina moved to Dubai to sustain her passion for customer service and all around hospitality. With abundant experience in customer relations, Tina joined the TKI team in 2012.

Luke Anokye

In 2007, Tina moved to Dubai to sustain her passion for customer service and all around hospitality. With abundant experience in customer relations, Tina joined the TKI team in 2012.

Tina’s dedication in administration support, customer care and hospitable attributes make her a fitted member of the team. She coordinates the team efforts to achieve TKI’s vision, goals and objectives.

Tina’s experience and hospitality influences help operate Thomas Klein International as a well-oiled machine.

 

 

ANGELO CIPOLAT

PROJECT ASSISTANT

 

 

ANNE OVERWATER

PROJECT ASSISTANT

Luke Anokye

As newest member to the Thomas Klein team, Anne joined the firm to finalize her hospitality management and business administration studies as project assistant; supporting a variety of projects.

A Dutch national, born in Brazil, Anne has lived for 16 years in several countries in South America, Asia Pacific, Eastern and Western Europe and now Dubai. Anne’s abundant cross cultural experience provides her with an excellent foundation to work in an international city and international company.

Anne’s interest for numbers , passion for R&D and a naturally gifted writing style is reflected on her scope of work producing Business Plans and Concepts.

With an appetite for experience, growth, knowledge and hospitality, Anne is a promising new addition to the Thomas Klein team.

 

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OUR SERVICES

 

TKI's wide range of multidisciplinary services is specific to the hospitality industry - the company's expertise lies in the development, design and management of hotels, restaurants, retail spaces and leisure facilities. While TKI specialises in start-ups, clients can enlist services for a full cycle or any particular element of their business where they need expertise – from conception to implementation.

Our clients value the wide range of skills that we offer under one roof. It gives them clarity and allows the client and us as a team to be highly strategic.

FROM CONCEPTION TO IMPLEMENTATION

 

HOSPITALITY CONSULTING


The TKI team has worked across a wide range of hospitality and hospitality related products, including hotels, spas, retail, entertainment venues, offices and mixed-use developments. Food & Beverage Consulting - F&B Consulting - forms the core of Thomas Klein International's services, a particular area of expertise.

F&B Consulting, Hospitality Consulting

Services include:

STRATEGIC PLANNING

  • Benchmarking
  • Competitive Positioning
  • Market Intelligence
  • Trend Analytics

CONCEPT CREATION

  • Creation of a Business Model and Concept Vision
  • Accompanying Style Guides
  • Brand Vision

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

  • Architecture / Interior Design
  • Brand Development
  • Culinary Development
  • Beverage Development
  • Operations & Service Model
  • Process Management

F&B CONSULTING

  • Product Architecture
  • Sourcing
  • Testing
  • Cost/Price Modelling

BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT

  • Performance Standards
  • Policies and Procedures

BUSINESS RE-DEVELOPMENT

  • Business Performance Audit
  • Brand Audit
  • Development of Alternate Models

FRANCHISING SUPPORT AND CONSULTANCY

  • Full advisory and support services for the import, growth or export of franchises.
  • Transforming Concepts into Franchisable Models

INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATION

  • Market Entry Analysis for International Brands,
    Representation and Establishment of Global Brands
  • Compliance Advisory on local laws, regulations and practices
  • Top Talent /Star Chef Representation

 

ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN

Supported by a team of talented architectural, interior and specialist designers based in Dubai Chicago and Buenos Aires, Thomas Klein International conceptualises and then develops designs for hotels, restaurants, spas, retail spaces, business centres and offices. We design for maximum functionality, flow and ultimately financial return for the designated space.

Architecture and Interior Design - Thomas Klein International

Services include:

  • Space Analysis
  • Maximisation of Revenue per square foot
  • Conceptualisation and Design Development
  • Drawing Package
  • Guide for Fit-Out Materials
  • Design Supervision

 

BRAND DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT

The branding team finds the "brand soul" and work to drive business by crafting a story and shaping customer perceptions. The strategic goal is always to create that point of differentiation, a market advantage – something that stands out in a crowded marketplace, gets people interested and keeps people interested.

Brand Development and Management

Our services include:

  • Research and Trend Analysis
  • Positioning
  • Communications Strategy
  • Identity Creation | Naming, Logo Marks, Colour Palettes
  • Applied Graphic Design
  • Graphic Standards Manual
  • Print Production Management
  • Packaging
  • Merchandising
  • Website Development | Strategy, Design and Content
  • Brand Equity Management
  • Brand Auditing
  • Brand Revitalization

 

PRE-OPENING MANAGEMENT

A dedicated TKI team looks after each project from start to finish. They begin with process mapping – formulating a critical path that makes business sense and takes in the myriad complexities of each project.

Pre-Opening Management

Our services include:

  • Process Management
  • Project Management (non-construction)
  • Designer Liaison
  • Sub-consultant Performance Supervision
  • Contractor Performance Supervision
  • Procurement Management
  • Human Resources Advisory & Consulting
  • Recruitment Agency Liaison
  • Selection Support for Specialty Staff (Culinary, Spa)

 

FOOD SERVICES & TECHNICAL KITCHEN PLANNING

TKI takes both chefs and owners in mind when designing and planning professional kitchens. The goal: Make the best use of space and create a logical and dynamic flow that maximises efficiency.

Food Services and Technical Kitchen Planning

Our services include:

  • Space Analysis
  • Logistics Analysis
  • Kitchen & Bar Concepts
  • Kitchen & Bar Schematics
  • F&B Consulting
  • Drawing Package
  • Equipment Specification Book
  • Tender Management
  • Project Supervision
  • HACCP Compliance

 

BUSINESS & FINANCIAL CONSULTING

TKI has advised dozens of owners, investors, operators and institutions with the singular objective of maximizing performance and growth for hospitality businesses. A depth of global business experience, local knowledge and continual monitoring of marketplaces makes TKI well-placed to advise both established or market entry businesses.

Business and Financial Consulting

Our services include:

  • Business Plans
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Market and Competitive Analysis
  • Market Studies: Consumer and Trade Research
  • Financial Performance Audits
  • Return on Investment Analysis

 

CLIENT REPRESENTATION & LEGAL SUPPORT

TKI offers a full scope of services related to ownership and legal issues, from a complete Owner's Representation function to Liaison Services with Local Authorities. The aim is always to make sure that the stakeholders' best interests are at the heart of every decision that is made.

Client Representation and Legal Support

Our services include:

  • Owners Representation
  • Site Evaluation
  • Business Valuation
  • Lease Analysis
  • Sub-consultant s Management
  • Landlords Relationship
  • Local Authorities Liaison
  • Food / Health Authorities Liaison
  • Tender Process Management
  • Value Engineering

 

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

TKI offers post-opening management contracts and operational audits that ensure that once a business is open, standards continue to be consistently met, operations run smoothly and ultimately result in profitability.

Operations Management

Our services include:

  • Daily Operational Management
  • Quality Management and Establishment of Quality Control Systems
  • Property / Asset Management
  • Management of the premises to HACCP compliance and maintenance
  • Procurement, Supply and Logistics Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Accountants Management
  • Public Relations and Marketing Strategic Management
  • Cost Control
  • Labour Cost Review
  • Mystery Shopper
  • Continued Performance Appraisals
  • Performance Audits
  • Training Programmes


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OUR WORK

Completed Projects

 

AL SAMADI CAFÉ & SWEET SHOP

PROJECT: AL SAMADI CAFÉ & SWEET SHOP
SECTOR: RESTAURANT & RETAIL
CLIENT: ABDUL JALIL AL BLOOKI /EMIRATES ASSOCIATE BUSINESS GROUP
LOCATION: DUBAI, UAE

Al Samadi Cafe and Sweet Shop

Founded in cosmopolitan, 1872 Beirut, Al Samadi is a brand offering Arabic sweets and European confectionaries, renowned throughout the Middle East since 1872. Recently, it was decided to revitalise this heritage brand. Under TKI's leadership, the new Al Samadi came to life in a decidedly retro café and sweet shop in the heart of Dubai. A total of Dhs4m was invested into the re-branding project, and TKI was responsible for developing the new concept and brand, as well as the design of the interior of the first French-Lebanese café in Dubai. The project will see Al Samadi Sweets create a new line of cafés as part of the existing Al Samadi Sweets brand in the UAE.

The brand is positioned as an upscale, Arabic heritage brand – entirely home-grown –confidently competing in the global pantheon of luxury sweet brands. It is aimed at both the local market and the foreign market. Amongst Arabs, the name is quite well-known and respected. The revamped, retro style packaging, with its pastel colours, is intended to invoke a kind of nostalgia and playfulness and to appeal to both the older and younger generations. And in order to appeal to foreign visitors and expatriates English subtext was added to the new logo mark.

TKI was responsible for the full scope of the project, from conceptualisation to implementation and management.

PING PONG RESTAURANT

PROJECT: PING PONG RESTAURANT
TYPE: RESTAURANT GROUP REPRESENTATION & ESTABLISHMENT
CLIENT: PING PONG
LOCATION: DUBAI/GCC-MIDDLE EAST REGION

Ping Pong Restaurant interior

This atmospheric London-based restaurant group bills itself as a "Twenty-First Century Tea House". With twelve stylish Central London and City based restaurants, Ping Pong specialises in delicate, handmade Dim Sum, fragrant leaf teas and sensational cocktails. For its first Middle East venture, Ping Pong's executive team enlisted TKI's Principal, Daniel During, as Managing Director to spearhead the establishment at Dubai Mall. Expansion will continue under During throughout the region. During was instrumental in ensuring that Ping Pong's strict brand, operational, interior design and culinary standards and specifications were realised.

 

INDUSTRIAL CATERING KITCHEN

 

PROJECT: INDUSTRIAL CATERING KITCHEN
TYPE: INDUSTRIAL KITCHEN SERVING 240,000 MEALS A DAY
CLIENT: TATWEER, DUBAI CATERING |DUBAI INDUSTRIAL CITY
LOCATION: DUBAI, UAE

Industrial Catering Kitchen

This central production kitchen was designed to provide 240,000 meals for 80,000 labourers per day.  TKI was responsible for the feasibility studies, business plan, master planning and full technical kitchen design for this mega facility.

 

TEAYANA TEA HOUSES

PROJECT: TEAYANA TEA HOUSES
TYPE: RESTAURANT, CAFÉ, RETAIL GROUP
CLIENT: AMS BAESHEN
LOCATION: JEDDAH, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

Teyana Tea Houses

This popular Saudi-based group of modern Tea Houses, Teayana is a restaurant, retail space and even a Tea Museum. With an astounding selection of over 100 leaf teas – ranging from familiar names to very rare teas, Teyana expanded to four outlets across Saudi Arabia and needed a system to streamline future expansion. TKI was responsible for creating all the franchise manuals, as well as analysing and substantially improving financial performance.

 

ELEMENTS CAFE

PROJECT: ELEMENTS CAFE
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: MOHAMED OTHMN AL MOALLIM GROUP
LOCATION: WAFI CITY, DUBAI, UAE

Elements Cafe

The Elements concept was designed for food lovers using only the finest, pure, unadulterated and organic ingredients. Opened in 2002, Elements was a forerunner in this field. The distinctive menu allows the customer to engage fully by not only choosing their type of dish, but also the mode of cooking, the sauces and the accompaniments.

The natural approach extends to the décor and combines concrete, oak and reconstituted leather to create a setting that is warm, inviting and down-to earth. This 167-seat "lifestyle café" also features a popular Shisha terrace.

TKI was responsible for the full scope of the project, from conceptualisation to implementation and management.

 

SPAZIO 77 RESTAURANT

PROJECT: SPAZIO 77 RESTAURANT
TYPE: INDEPENDENT MIXED-USE RESTAURANT
CLIENT: ABDUL RAHMAN AL HASSAN
LOCATION: RIYADH, KSA

Spazio 77 Restaurant

Spazio 77 is Kingdom Tower's signature restaurant, residing on the 77th floor of the tallest building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. TKI developed a design direction where the entire interior would be built around a conceptual traditional Arabic dhow realising the owners' brief for a venue that symbolized cultural diversity highlighting heritage against ultra-modernity.

The spaces that make up the three Spazio 77 restaurants ranged across several levels, from luxurious window terraces and lounges to ship decks. Dining styles were varied from relaxed sofa and lounge seating to café or fine dining, allowing guests to have a wide variety of options: elegant modern fusion cuisine in the fine dining restaurant, Mongolian Teppanyaki , an Oyster Bar, an Espresso Bar at the Brassiere or Italian cuisine in the café. The ambiance of each section was dedicated to the type of food served.

TKI was engaged for F&B Consulting, menu creation, project management, design management and branding.

 

T-JUNCTION

PROJECT: T-JUNCTION
TYPE: FRANCHISE CREATION, CAFÉ & RETAIL
CLIENT: UNILEVER
LOCATION: DUBAI, UAE

T-Junction Cafe

The bright, urban-modern style of T-Junction was developed to reinforce Lipton Tea brand on behalf of owning company, Unilever. The concept was to create a hip, dynamic and fresh alternative to the coffee-bar culture where the focus was on tea as a healthy option.

Set in the iconic Emirates Towers, T-Junction was a prototype brand. Lipton enjoyed 98% market share in the region but its customer base was aging and some vitality was needed to position the brand amongst a younger set.

TKI was responsible for the full scope of the project, from conceptualisation to implementation and management.

 

HASHI JAPANESE RESTAURANT


PROJECT: HASHI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: AL KHARAFI GLOBAL
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Hashi Japanese Restaurant

TKI re-imagined the stereotypical Japanese restaurant at this Kuwait eatery. The style could be described as "punk Japanese" and was deliberately created to contrast with the typical charm-less, minimalistic Japanese restaurants that dot the landscape. A bold approach was needed to signal that this was not your traditional Sushi and Miso soup place; the menu was built around a less explored, more interesting part the Japanese cookbook – open flame cooking. In terms of the design concept the direction had to be one that expressed fire, passion, theatricality because of the type of cuisine; calm, cool, quiet works well for sushi, but not for fire-based cuisine.

TKI was responsible for the full scope of the project from conceptualisation to implementation and management.

 

SHABABEEK RESTAURANT


PROJECT: SHABABEEK RESTAURANT
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: SHEIKA ABU BOUDOUR BINT SULTAN MOHAMMED AL QASIMI
LOCATION: QANAT AL QASBA, SHARJAH, UAE

Shababeek Restaurant

Shababeek is a contemporary Lebanese restaurant that blends classical and modern elements of the Arabic Mediterranean. Located at the cultural hub that is Qanat Al Qasbah, the restaurant serves traditional Lebanese cuisine – using classical ingredients and preparation methods – but with a fresh, modern twist, at once familiar and fun.

TKI was engaged for all aspects of the project with the exception of the interiors, which had already been developed.

 

QANAT AL QASBA

PROJECT: QANAT AL QASBA
TYPE: MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT
CLIENT: QASBA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
LOCATION: SHARJAH, UAE

Qanat Al Qasba

Qanat Al Qasba is Sharjah's ambitious entertainment and cultural hub, commissioned by the Qasba Development Authority in line with the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Supreme Council Member.

It included a new landmark on the Sharjah skyline , the Eye of the Emirates; a 60-meter-high observatory wheel that is the tallest structure of its kind in the Middle East, Africa, and West & Central Asia. The Eye of the Emirates was conceived by TKI International, as a popular springboard to the area's extensive cultural and entertainment attractions, forming the central feature in a one kilometre footprint mixed-use project for which TKI was tasked with the entire Master Development.

The Eye was custom built in the Netherlands using the latest technology and highest safety standards. It holds 42 fully air-conditioned passenger cabins, or gondolas, attached to its external rim, with each gondola accommodating eight people at a time. The capsules were aerodynamically shaped for least wind resistance and tuned mass dampers were attached to the outer rim to prevent the wheel from vibrating at its natural frequency. The large glass windows that surround passengers ensure that the views are magnificent and, because the capsules are secured to the outer rim, the views are unobstructed.

This complex development also included 14 restaurants, 27 retail units, as well as 2 art galleries and a theatre showcasing the best of local talent.

TKI was engaged for the full scope of Master Development, Master Planning and Development, Brand Creation and Management as well as the transition management from a government ownership to private enterprise. This included management of the complex, recruitment, training and eventual handover to a local team after 18 months.

 

UBHAR RESTAURANT

PROJECT: UBHAR RESTAURANT
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: GHADA AL YOUSEF
LOCATION: OMAN

Ubhar Restaurant

Opened in 2009, Ubhar showcases Chief Issa Al Lamki's New Omani Cuisine. This Omani bistro was designed by TKI and the interiors are ideally suited to the theme of fusion – traditional and contemporary. The earthy walls are reminiscent of the fortresses seen around this spectacular Gulf kingdom. Rich woods were used on flooring and on ceiling beams, forming a quiet backdrop which was enlivened by the bright fuchsia textiles - the colour of Oman's national rose. The spaces also pay tribute to Omani culture through the use of handmade Omani pots and the chandeliers which form beautiful shadows throughout, creating a warm, mysterious setting.

TKI was responsible for the Interior Design, Technical Kitchen Design and Menu Development.

 

AL BATEEN HOTEL & RESIDENCE


PROJECT: TECHNICAL KITCHEN DESIGN | CENTRAL KITCHEN FOR 8 RESTAURANTS
TYPE: A 5-STAR HOTEL AND RESIDENCES
CLIENT: AL BATEEN HOTEL & RESIDENCE
LOCATION: JUMEIRAH BEACH, DUBAI, UAE

Al Bateen Hotel and Residence

 

ESCAPE HOTEL & RESORT


PROJECT: TECHNICAL KITCHEN DESIGN, |CENTRAL KITCHEN FOR 14 RESTAURANTS
TYPE: 5-STAR RESORT AND EQUESTRIAN CENTRE
CLIENT: ESCAPE HOTEL & RESORT
LOCATION: AJMAN, UAE

Escape Hotel and Resort

 

O ZONE RESTAURANT & CAFÉ

PROJECT: O ZONE RESTAURANT & CAFÉ
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: O ZONE / DAL GROUP
LOCATION: KHARTOUM, SUDAN

O Zone Restaurant and Cafe

Khartoum's premier outdoor café is so popular, it even got a New York Times write-up. The cafe serves coffee, sandwiches and ice cream, offers Wi-Fi access and is serviced by a well-trained team of friendly staff. Surrounded by greenery, the venue also uses an innovative water vapour cooling system that cools the air through a fine spray of mist.

TKI was responsible for the full scope of the project from conceptualisation to implementation and management.


FEASIBILITY STUDIES

TKI has carried out dozens of feasibility studies for independent clients and international groups including Laduree, Le Notre and premises at Dubai Airport, to name but a few.

Feasibility Studies

 

PRIME & TOAST


PROJECT: PRIME & TOAST
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: THE EPICURE GROUP /SULTAN GROUP          
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Prime and Toast Restaurant

Prime and Toast is well known for the quality of the produce used in their large selection of sandwiches and salads, incorporating only the freshest ingredients and vegetables as well as the best prime USDA beef in their dishes.

In order to draw attention to this devotion to quality and freshness, TKI introduced the 'vertical farming' concept in the latest Prime and Toast food outlet in Kuwait. The feature is based on the concept of vertical farming, invented in 1999 by American professor Dr. Dickson Despommier, to grow food in crowded urban areas.

The vertical farm has been designed to be ecologically-friendly by a team of architects and engineers who devised a system whereby the condensation from the air-conditioning system is used to water the growing plants.  The organic herbs and green-leaf vegetables harvested from the farm are used on the menu.  The flexibility of the menu is also of paramount importance, as it is usually based on the fresh produce available on a particular day.

The vertical farming section and the kitchen take central stage in the eatery with all tables enjoying direct views into the production area.  To add to the ecological ethos of the restaurant, all the wood used in the production of the furniture will be from sustainable forests.

The Epicure Group is the food and beverage development arm of The Sultan Group, the largest business group in Kuwait and one of the largest in the region.

TKI is responsible for the Interior Design.

 

PUBLIC

PROJECT: PUBLIC
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RETAIL GROUP / CAFE
CLIENT: THEODORE ZARAVINOS           
LOCATION: DUBAI, UAE

Public Cafe

Public café is located in 1 Lake Plaza, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai and caters to the residents and businesses in the JLT community.

The cafe is open for lunch and breakfast, serving freshly baked cakes and breads, as well as a selection of healthy salads and sandwiches.
Even though Public is designed as a public venue, it aims to give the patrons a homey feeling.


Arm chairs and wall lights with side tables invite patrons for a longer stay, and a magazine wall is designed to allow people to sit and read while looking at those who come and go. The interior design is simple and minimalist using light wood for the counters as well as the furniture, combined with grey slate walls, as well as a light-hued concrete floor, which provides subtle combinations of roughness, smoothness and softness.

TKI was responsible for the Interior Design and Technical Kitchen Design.

 

 

 

BUTCHER’S DEN

PROJECT: BUTCHER’S DEN
TYPE: RESTAURANT GROUP
CLIENT: THE SULTAN GROUP        
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Butcher's Den

TKI was tasked with the creation of a flagship steakhouse for The Epicure Group in Kuwait, so we decided to firmly place the focus on the product and then develop a setting that celebrates that product through art.  The TKI concept “celebrates the food chain”, from the sourcing to the aging and the carving of quality meat.  The aim is to provoke the customers to think about the sourcing of food. There is also something slightly dangerous and sexy about the brutality of the food chain, the primitivism of fire cooking -when mixed with influences of modern art, it becomes a potent combination.

Design elements range from Andy Warhol’s famous Cow Wallpaper, designed in 1966, to different butcher diagrams on glass installation and the Cow Parade, a covey belt of ceramic cow figurines.  The innocence and beauty of the pastoral, peaceful cow is contrasted with the restaurant’s showpiece – a glass aging room- an altar of sorts for the true carnivore.  Many will be reminded of artist Damien Hirst’s controversial half-cow installations and the brutality of the food chain.  It makes for a jarring contrast with the pop art.
The glass enclosure allows for the most traditional method of ageing meat, known as dry ageing. The meat is hung in a controlled refrigerated environment, and the natural ageing process improves the meat’s tenderness and flavour.   An open theatre kitchen completes the food chain cycle and the eatery also features a private teaching room.

TKI was responsible for the Interior Design and Brand Development.

 

 

BURGER HUB

PROJECT: BURGER HUB
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: AHMED K. AL BADER          
LOCATIO: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Burger Hub restaurant

 

 

BURGER REBEL

 

EL SEREF COMPLEX

PROJECT: EL SEREF COMPLEX
TYPE: MIXED-USE RESTAURANT COMPLEX + RETAIL
CLIENT: EL SADIG HOSPITALITY
LOCATION: OMDURMAN, KHARTOUM, SUDAN

El Seref Complex

TKI was brought into the project after the architectural shell was completed and after the site had gone through several concept-stage incarnations.  The 15 metre high glass-walled structure sits majestically at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. After much thought and research, the TKI team developed a concept for a buzzing, dynamic food hall/market – rich with sights and sounds – that celebrates the true native cooking of Sudan. This involved months of research in order to unlock the secrets of the Sudanese kitchen.  The TKI team then worked with local artisans to develop modern ways of replicating traditional cooking methods in way that meets modern standards of food quality and safety.  Methods such as sand-pit cooking are millennia old and were brought into the 21st Century with a dash of science and a good dose of culinary expertise.

At 35,000 square feet, El Seref is the largest independent food and beverage operation in Sudan and perhaps the region.  The external structure was built before TKI was enlisted and our first mission was to ensure that we remained authentic and natural in terms of interiors:  The walls are tabiya (mud), the floors are brick and the wood for the furnishings is harvested from locally grown trees.  The rooftop features tent structures that pay reference to the nomadic Sudanese but also serve to shade the building and reduce cooling costs.

The project is primarily locavore with an on-site slaughterhouse and butcher shop, fishmonger (Nile Perch are in abundance and are caught, cleaned and cooked all within sight of the guests); breads baked on-site; and most vegetables and herbs locally sourced in Sudan.   There is a central kitchen which supports all 15 food stalls, but there are very few freezers for such a large operation simply because the food is overwhelmingly fresh.  There are also retail stalls including a spice market, vegetable market, a deli with olives and cheeses a bakery and a pastry.  None of the stalls are outsourced – every member of staff will be recruited and trained by TKI.  TKI has also signed a management contract to operate El Seref post-opening.  El Seref will employee approximately 350 people.

TKI is responsible for F&B Consulting, Design Management, Technical Kitchen Design, Project Management and Operations. 

 

PIZZETTA

PROJECT: PIZZETTA
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT GROUP
CLIENT: THE EPICURE GROUP / THE SULTAN GROUP
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Pizzeta restaurant

As The Epicure Group pursues an ambitious growth plan, TKI was brought on board to open a third Pizzettaoutlet.  This casual dining restaurant is famous for serving the only grilled pizzas in the region.  The core of the new outlet's design is based upon the existing concept to ensure continuity, whilst including elements that will inject a new dynamism into the product.

TKI was responsible for the Interior Design.

 

 

PICKLES

PROJECT: PICKLES
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: THE EPICURE GROUP /SULTAN GROUP          
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Pickles restaurant

TKI developed the brand and design for this fresh concept for the Epicure Group: A gastro-burger joint with the quirky name of Pickles.  Quality burgers and sliders are complemented by the restaurant namesake, a wide array of home-made pickles and relishes. 

As there are many well-known burger brands in Kuwait the unique selling point centres on the unique pickles and condiments as well as the freshness of the ingredients.  The outlet even showcases the actual process of making French fries, which includes the cleaning, portioning, and blanching of the potatoes – a true rarity in a casual restaurant.  Diners are also able to watch as buns are freshly baked on site, further enforcing the commitment to fresh, natural cuisine.

The main design element is the plywood wall installation. 15 cm thick plywood has been molded to form a topographic surface, demonstrating the different layers of the burger.

TKI was responsible for the Interior Design.

 

 

WASABI

PROJECT: WASABI
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: THE EPICURE GROUP /SULTAN GROUP          
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Wasabi restaurant

TKI was brought on board to develop the new image and positioning of the Wasabi chain of restaurants in Kuwait for the Sultan Group.

The Sultan Group already has four other Wasabi outlets in its portfolio, but they wanted to launch a totally new, fresh image, so the newest addition to the group of restaurants has a totally new look and feel. Once opened, the new Wasabi restaurant will set the benchmark in design for any additional Wasabi outlets and all the existing Wasabi outlets will be transformed to match the new brand image and positioning. The new Wasabi restaurant is housed in a stand-alone historical building, and is approximately 480m² in size. The new concept is inspired by the wasabi root, its cultivation and farming methods, as well as traditional Japanese arts of paper manipulation. The total investment for the fit out of Wasabi is estimated at approximately US $2 million.

 

 

PINTXOS

PROJECT: PINTXOS
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT
CLIENT: THE EPICURE GROUP /SULTAN GROUP          
LOCATION: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT

Pintxos restaurant

TKI has developed this brand new concept for Epicure Group.

Kuwait's newest nightlife addition – Pintxos is located in the Quibla area of Kuwait City and targets the city's young and trendy socialites.

The design is based around an all-black theme which creates a mysterious, cosy and enticing ambience. The overall vibe of the restaurant is designed to encourage socializing with informal seating and low lighting.

A masterpiece installation of over 2,000 felt cones, each with an LED light, glows just above head level, creating a twilight effect of intimacy and mystery. The LED lights are controlled from a central computer allowing precision settings that create a menu of illumination and art to maintain an interesting and dynamic atmosphere.

The tables are individual pieces of hand-cut basalt, with free form felt ottomans for gathering around and sharing the myriad little dishes on offer on the extensive menu. Each table also weighs in excess of one tonne and is totally one of a kind.

The bar is a solid piece of basalt, perforated with hundreds of small holes allowing light to shine through, creating a richly-textured focal point.

The bar and theatre kitchen serves a selection of tapas-style finger food - the inspiration behind the restaurant's Basque name.

TKI was responsible for interior Design and Brand Development.

Pintxos Interior Design has been chosen as Finalist for Interior Design Magazine Best of the Year 2013 for Hospitality, in Bar/Lounge category.

 

 

 

 

Current Projects

 

 

CRÈME ROYAL

PROJECT: CRÈME ROYAL
TYPE: INDEPENDENT RETAIL GROUP / PATISSERIE & CAFE
CLIENT: ROYAL GROUP
LOCATION: ABU DHABI, UAE

Creme Royal interior

TKI is responsible for the conceptualisation and design of the retail stores and the central production unit for this luxury patisserie.  The first store in Abu Dhabi will be located in Souk Al Merkazi (Central Market), and the second shop will open a few months later in Paragon Mall and will also feature a seating area for on-site consumption of sweets, pastries and light meals.

The hyper-modern interiors are sleek and simple, perfectly showcasing but not competing with the selection of premium products on offer.   Paragon Mall will also house the central production unit, a state-of-the-art facility spread over 250m2.

The group plans to open Crème Royale stores of various sizes across the UAE, endeavouring to capture a sizeable portion of the luxury cake market share.  The total investment for the first two outlets and the central kitchen is budgeted at $ 2.5 million dollars.

TKI is responsible for the Interior Design and the Technical Kitchen Design. 

 

PICKLES AT POINT 5

Pickles at Point 5 Interior Design by Thomas Klein International

 

 

PRIME & TOAST AT POINT 5

Prime & Toast at Point 5 Interior Design by Thomas Klein International

 

 

PRIME & TOAST QUIBLA

Prime & Toast Quibla Interior Design by Thomas Klein International

 

 

WASABI AT POINT 5

Wasabi at Point 5 Interior Design by Thomas Klein International

 

 

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CONTACT

 

HEAD OFFICE | DUBAI

Daniel During

Principal & Managing Director

Dubai Media City
Building 4 | Office G04
P.O.Box 33236,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 4 390 22 88
Fax: +971 4 390 82 10

INTERNATIONAL OFFICES

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Karina Vilanova
Associate Director
+34 91 503 0629

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Paula Palombo & Eric Schall
Architecture & Design Directors
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www.ps-studio.com
+1 773 268 0527

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Martin Martinez
Project Manager
+54 911 6032 60 60

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