Walid Al Massih’s take on fine dining at Samakje Harbor

Walid Al Massih’s take on fine dining at Samakje Harbor

Walid al Massih, managing partner of Wam Management LLC and founder of the Samakje Harbor concept, is a reference in nightlight and entertainment. As a director, music producer and live performer, he brings something unique to the table. Here, we discuss the success behind his concept and plans for the future.

What can you tell us about Samakje Harbor and how it blends fine dining with live entertainment?

I founded Harbor971, originally founded in Beirut in 2011 as Harbor201. Moreover, it gained a standout presence in Beirut’s nightlife, showcasing a mix of Arabic and Western music. However, following the Beirut port blast, I relocated and reinvented the concept in Dubai, renaming it Harbor971. Now, located on Palm Jumeirah under the name Samakje Harbor, it continues offering eclectic musical experiences, blending hits from the 70s to the 90s with modern tunes. Moreover, operating Wednesday to Saturday, we have themed nights, including best of classics, oriental jazz, layali Beirut and more.

What factors do you attribute to Samakje Harbor’s rapid success?

The rapid success of Samakje can largely be attributed to the strategic management of Tactile Food Group and its owner Khaled Habib. Moreover, Tactile Food Group, renowned for its expertise in creating and managing dining concepts, defined operational and service standards meticulously. Furthermore, blending Samakje with the Harbor971 brand under Tactile’s management merged high-quality Mediterranean cuisine with engaging live entertainment, creating a unique dining experience. This synergy has not only attracted a steady flow of customers. It also established Samakje as a top destination for Mediterranean flavors in a vibrant atmosphere.

How does Samakje Harbor strike a balance between its focus on seafood expertise and showcasing a diverse range of tantalizing Lebanese mezze and mains?

Under executive chef Ahmad Al Fakier’s leadership, Samakje skillfully blends seafood expertise with diverse Lebanese mezze and main dishes. Moreover, Chef Al Fakier integrates traditional Lebanese culinary practices with innovative seafood techniques, ensuring a rich and varied menu. Moreover, the selection boasts fresh, high-quality ingredients, highlighting Mediterranean flavors while honoring Lebanese culinary heritage. This culinary approach caters to both seafood aficionados and lovers of classic Lebanese dishes, creating a harmonious dining experience.

What are your plans for Samakje Harbor? 

Expanding from the successful merged concept Samakje Harbor, at Nakheel Mall’s rooftop, we are exploring further expansion opportunities within the UAE. Furthermore, this strategic growth reflects our commitment to bringing our unique blend of Mediterranean seafood and Lebanese cuisine to more diners. Additionally, we are considering a return to our roots with a future opening in Lebanon. Furthermore, the great feedback from our clients regarding the Samakje and Harbor971 amalgamation encourages us to expand and enhance our culinary footprint.


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About author

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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