Montreal Gastropreneur, Joey Ghazal, founded The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill in 2015, Dubai's first homegrown New England Seaside Brasserie. Inspired by the summers he spent vacationing on the East Coast, Joey transformed an undesirable garage location at the edge of Dubai's coastline into a city hot spot, which has since won multiple awards and accolades including ‘Best Newcomer’ from What’s ON Magazine 2016, ‘Best Seafood’ from BBC Good Food and ‘Best Restaurant Bar’ from TimeOut.
"I always had a grander vision for The MAINE. I viewed it more as a lifestyle, rather than just a restaurant" says Ghazal, who is positioning The MAINE as the premier New England Brasserie Company in the region with a newly opened MAINE Street Eatery in Studio City and the upcoming MAINE Land Brasserie in Business Bay.
Joey's love for the restaurant business started at the young age of 18 and has endured for over 20 years. He worked his way up the ranks from busboy, to waiter, to manager to head of concept development and marketing for one of Canada's most prolific Restaurant development companies.
Serial developer and all around taste-maker, Joey has developed dozens of popular restaurant and bar concepts across two continents and has been recognized by Caterer Magazine as 'Middle East Restauranteur of the Year 2018' and the '4th Most Powerful Independent Restauranteur in the Middle East' in their yearly ‘Power 50’ issue.
Having earned a reputation for his 'fearless creativity', 'keen intuition' and entrepreneurial spirit, Joey designs all of the spaces himself and is very involved in all aspects of brand creation, menu development, recruitment and training. Joey combines the most sought after talent to create some of the most compelling and sustainable brands in the industry. His multidisciplinary approach has helped him in creating timeless and immersive experiences that always resonate with a sense of event and celebration.
Ghazal is regularly listed as one of 'The Best Dressed Men in the Middle East' by Esquire and has been the face of several International brands such as Remy Martin French Cognac, Bloomingdale’s, Suit Supply and Burj Khalifa, to name a few. A vocal advocate of entrepreneurs in the Middle East, Joey is regularly invited to speak at Hospitality Conferences such as the Hospitality Leadership Forum, The Global Restaurant Investment Forum and the Caterer Hospitality Conference.
He is scheduled to talk about his experience as an Entrepreneur at Google Talks to be streamed on Youtube on June 20th 2019.