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Chef Izu and Evgeny Kuzin open Alaya in Dubai

The homegrown Mediterranean restaurant is coming to DIFC.

Some of the most popular creations have been achieved through collaborations. Whether it’s Lennon and McCartney or Ben and Jerry, partnerships can be a great way to combine talents. So, we’re excited to hear that Dubai restaurateurs, Evgeny Kuzin and Chef Izu Ani, are working together again and opening a new venue: Alaya. 

Alaya celebrates Mediterranean cuisine and features Middle Eastern influences. Evgeny and Chef Izu have drawn inspiration from their travels, as the new restaurant aims to pay tribute to the richness of the region.


Chef Izu is bringing his usual high standards to Alaya, as he combines carefully selected ingredients with a traditional as well as modern approach. The menu is an ode to fresh herbs and spices, as you’ll find the likes of cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom and the lemony flavours of sumac. Plus, plenty of prime meat and seafood dishes.

Alaya’s décor brings Eastern Mediterranean vibes to DIFC. The marbles and white tablecloths add a touch of luxury, while the open kitchen and green banquettes create an inviting space.  

Chef Izu Ani

Chef Izu explained: “I am thrilled to be continuing my partnership with Evgeny to create another unique homegrown dining concept in Dubai. Alaya is our tribute to the Middle East, born from a desire to bring an entirely new culinary experience to the DIFC scene. Our inspiration comes from a combination of our extensive travels across the Eastern Mediterranean and our deep affection for the region, resulting in an eclectic concept driven by creativity, generosity and honesty.”

Evgeny added: “Chef Izu and I are long term partners with a shared vision around creating homegrown concepts that will 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.”


Alaya is open for reservations from Wednesday 27 July, and if the restaurateurs’ other creations are anything to go by, this is set to be a dining destination. 

GO: Follow @alayadubai on Instagram for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, preferably with the promise of wine, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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