First look: Blue Camel draws inspiration from classic Arabic courtyards for the third Awani outlet in Dubai Mall

After completing interiors for two Awani restaurants on The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence and in the Outlet Village Mall, Dubai-based Blue Camel was tasked to design its new venue in the Dubai Mall.

Spanning 700m2, the new Awani outlet by AWJ Investments enjoys a premium location and features an  outdoor area overlooking Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.

“Awani, meaning utensils and dishes in Arabic, is a contemporary restaurant offering Levant cuisine,” says Blue Camel’s design director Mohamed Darwiche, explaining that the new interiors draw inspiration from classic Arabic houses and courtyards, but are fused with more contemporary design elements.

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A glass-enclosed showcase kitchen, built-in benches from cement blocks, industrial custom-made pendant lights and stencil artworks are some of the main features.

The design team also hand-picked all the accessories for the venue.

One of the walls is adorned with hand-made cups and pots, painted in vibrant colours, while the central wall features an oversized portrait of famous Lebanese singer, Fairouz, which is engraved in wood.

“Each wall has a different treatment,” explains Darwiche. “We have experimented with various materials, blending them all together.”

In tribute to traditional Arabic houses, the designer mixed different tiles for the flooring and created fake attics, where they placed an old bicycle, boxes and food cabinets.

The built-in showcase kitchen and a large tree are the main design features seen from the entrance.

Although predominantly known for its fit-out work, Blue Camel’s in-house interior design team, led by Darwiche, is working on projects from the initial design and concept stage through to final completion.

“Having an in-house design team has helped us grow to where we are today,” says Bruno Nakad, managing partner at Blue Camel, adding that its team recently managed to transform the entire interior design, fit-out and overall concept for one of AWJ Investments’ restaurants within a period of two weeks.

“We have been working with AWJ Investments on several F&B projects from concept development to finish, including Catch 22 and Operation Falafel, which are now both successful franchises with expansion plans for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman,” says Nakad.

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