Why did you call this place Circle?
Rama: Circle represents a lot of things. Mainly, though, it’s the shape of a bagel, and we are a bagel shop.
What made you decide to specialise in bagels?
Rama: I fell in love with bagels when I visited New York. I was with Mira, and we were both eating bagel sandwiches on a terrace.
Mira: I remember thinking: We have to bring this back to Dubai. I once heard a rumour that bagels were banned in the UAE
Rama: This is not true! I’ve heard this rumour. Dubai really needed a bagel shop. When we opened our first store in Media City, there were lines around the block.
So the response has been good then?
Mira: Yes, if anything the response has really proven the demand for bagels in Dubai. You sell H&H bagels, which as a New Yorker, I can safely assert are the best in the city. How’d you hear about them?
Mira: When we decided we wanted to open a bagel shop, we were researching bagels. We even tried making them ourselves (laughs), do you remember that?
Rama: Mira and I were up to our arms in flour.
Mira: It didn’t work. We had both spent time in New York and were familiar with H&H bagels. They’re one of the few companies that still does the bagels in the old way: boiling them.
Bagels are boiled?
Mira: Yes, this seals the bagel. After they’re boiled, they’re baked. A lot of places sell ‘bagels’ here, but they’re more like bread rolls with holes in them.
How do you keep your bagels fresh if they’re shipped?
Rama: They arrive half cooked, after they’re boiled, but before they’re baked.
Circle, Dubai Media City, CNN Building, building (04 391 5170). Other locations: Beach Park Plaza on Jumeirah Beach Road (04 342 8177). Open daily 8am-midnight. All major credit cards accepted