Alaya, the latest homegrown concept of Chef Izu and restaurateur Evgeny Kuzin

Alaya, the latest homegrown concept of Chef Izu and restaurateur Evgeny Kuzin

With the aim of creating an entirely new dining experience, Alaya is the latest restaurant to open in Dubai’s renowned DIFC. Masterminded by expert chef Izu and restaurateur Evgeny Kuzin, Alaya boasts Eastern Mediterranean cuisine in a surprising new setting.


“Chef Izu and I are long-term partners, with a shared vision to create homegrown concepts that also appeal to an international audience. Following the expansion of Gaia, ShanghaiME globally and the successful opening of La Maison Ani this year, it is our aim to continue on this path, sharing a new style of cuisine to a wider global audience,” said Kuzin.

The concept draws inspiration from the origin and raw beauty of the diverse Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, magnifying superior products, flavors and dishes to deliver a rich culinary experience with a contemporary signature.

Designed by Richard Saunders and Sagrada, Alaya’s interior brings the beauty and worldliness of the Eastern Mediterranean region to DIFC.

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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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