Amal Al Marri's hip beach eatery is making waves in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
What began as an idea between two foodie friends with a passion for food and social media has become one of the city’s most sought-after casual dining spots. Located on Kite Beach (just look out for the queues and funky pop music), SALT has been attracting legions of fans with its cool and simple décor and the tastiest mini burgers around.
How did Salt start out and why? My business partner and I got bored of restaurants. We wanted something new, something that would take people away from malls and get them outdoors. We’re very active people and SALT represents us as well. We wanted to do something simple, for locals to feel like tourists and tourists to feel like locals.
Tell us about the idea behind the name. We wanted a simple name that everyone relates to. People say ‘the salt of life’ and it’s a simple ingredient that you can’t eat food without. So it all started with a salt shaker. We gave out salt shakers to everyone to take a picture with in different locations to show what their ‘salt’ is. People took their shakers to the beach, the desert, to their families. So we learnt that what people are craving in Dubai is simple things. And that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s very simple and chilled.
What was the biggest challenge setting up the company? We faced so many difficulties and we’re still facing them. There’s a lot of regulations regarding food control, and permissions are very hard to get, but we fought for it and we got it. We don’t consider ourselves a food truck – we don’t have a driver’s seat. It has wheels and it can move, but it’s a caravan at the end of the day. We chose these airstreams because they look good, and they are multipurpose, so it met our specifications and the municipality’s requirements.
How did you decide on the menu? Burgers are the simplest. If we get more complicated it’s harder to operate. We don’t have a massive kitchen, so we have to be smart about what we include on our menu. For the moment we only have two options [chicken or wagyu beef sliders] until we can introduce more. Also, burgers are international. But we add our own flavour – with the chicken we add Cheetos – that’s what locals here do; they add chips to different things and we mix and match. That’s our local touch.
What’s next for salt? The road trip. We’ll be hunting for new destinations and experiences and we hope to branch into retail, too. Find Salt at Kite Beach, daily, 2pm-2am. Instagram:@findsalt.