Nabil Shaker… Founder of Deals Pub
To further understand the bar and restaurant industry, we spoke to one of the leading experts in Egypt, Nabil Shaker, Founder of the iconic ‘Deals Pub’, ‘Arabesque Restaurant’ and ‘Ahwak Salon de The’. In the following interview, he talks about the most recent trends in the nightlife industry in Egypt, gives us a behind the scenes view of his expanding career, the results he’s achieved and a lot more…
1-Tell us about yourself and your organization/ company.
I studied in faculty of hotels and tourism in Cairo. I have a Masters in food service management, food safety management from Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK. I have lived the hotel life by working in the most famous hotels in Egypt and around the world, yet my dream was to have my own business here in Egypt. I worked for ‘Abercrombie and Kent’ in the hotel division as General Manager of their luxurious Nile floating hotels for 7years. After that I resigned and decided to open my own business and launched ‘Deals Pub’ in Zamalek, which became a big hit and a dear place for the foreign community. I saw a great potential in acquiring other branches and expanding in Egypt so I built a structure for my head office and after a year and half I started operating four branches.
2- Give us a brief about your previous most famous events/projects.
My previous most famous project was the launch of the iconic ‘Arabesque’ restaurant and club which became a landmark in Cairo’s night life down town, followed by the iconic ‘Ahwak Salon de The’ which also became a landmark in Zamalek with the historical ambiance and classic interiors that were created by my business partner in this outlet, famous creative interior designer Haitham Abdel Ghany.
3-How do you manage to stay on top?
My passion for the business is my drive to stay on top. It’s my driving force and source of energy. Traveling and being exposed to divers cultures, values, and traditions has certainly widened my perspective and enriched my outlook to the world. One other important reason is the great team that has been working with me in all of these projects.
4-What separates your brand/ services from the competition?
What separate my brand from the competition is its unique authenticity, sustainability, innovation and new flavors.
5- What’s your philosophy?
My philosophy is to look after my employees because they are the key to success! My theory with my staff is ” If I watch your back, you watch mine “.
6-What trends are emerging in the nightlife scene lately?
The lounge Bar concept is the classy/modern addition to the nightlife scene lately. People are tired of meeting friends in the cramped, noisy and abrasive environment of nightclubs and discotheques. Instead they are demanding upscale evening venues where friends can meet, enjoy sophisticated entertainment and be able to talk to each other without the need to shout at one another
7-How do you reinvent your identity?
I reinvent my identity by creating small wins that keep momentum going, I try to survive the rocky period between career identities, connecting with role models and making time for reflection without missing out on windows of opportunity. My advice to all dreamers is that the work identity explores the process for crafting a more fulfilling future. Where we end up may surprise us.
8- How has nightlife in Egypt evolved in the last 5 years and why?
Egypt’s fluid and ever-evolving nightlife scene has undergone some serious shifts over the years, from lavish dos with glittering go-go dancers to the rise of the underground. I guess people were fed up from the same venues and the dark period that we have been going through politically.
9-In your opinion what’s Egypt’s nightlife missing today?
Egypt’s nightlife is missing the right venues, we have many talented young people with great ideas but they can’t find premises to rent due to lack of licenses and exaggerated rents.
10-What’s new this summer?
This summer I am launching a new surprise to my loyal guests.
11-A successful party is… (in 3 words).
The right crowd, the right venue, the right music.
12- What are 3 things that must be in your bag or car at all times?
My ID, my toothbrush and my mobile phone.
13-If stranded on an island what are 3 items you must have?
Food, water and music.
14-What are 3 products do you love the most for this summer season? (In Technology, Perfume, and Cars)
I like is the i-watch by apple and the phone soap 2.0, which is a phone charger that cleans and sanitizes your phone while it’s charging. My favorite perfume is Tom Ford, Noir de Noir and the car is the new 2016 Range Rover Evoquengenium.