The Crown Prince of Dubai stopped by Chef Izu Ani’s brand new restaurant…

Izu Ani is a local treasure. The celebrated chef is behind some of Dubai’s best-loved restaurants – La Petite Maison, La Serre, and The Lighthouse, to name just a few – so it’s perhaps no surprise that he counts H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum among his fans.

The Crown Prince of Dubai (and influential foodie) was among the first to check out Chef Izu’s latest venture, Greek restaurant Gaia in DIFC, popping in for lunch just five days after the restaurant’s opening.

ALSO READ: A brand new Greek restaurant is now open in DIFC

A delighted Chef Izu shared a photo of his VIP guest to his Instagram:


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It’s clear that Sheikh Hamdan is a fan – and Chef Izu has since been in touch with What’s On to say that the feeling is very much mutual.

“I feel that I am the fan in this situation,” he said.

“Welcoming Sheikh Hamdan into our restaurant was an honour and an incredibly humbling experience. I truly admire his polite and kind nature, and his down-to-earth personality, and this is something I strive to achieve in my day to day life. He is an inspiration, and I am so grateful that he took the time out of his schedule to visit us and support our latest project.”

ALSO READ: 10 royal-approved Dubai restaurants

It’s not the first time Sheikh Hamdan has checked out one of Chef Izu’s restaurants. Last year, he paid a visit to Izu Brasserie in City Walk, where he also posed for a picture with the culinary hero:


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And he previously dined at The Lighthouse in the Dubai Design District (Chef Izu is a part owner). Apparently he loved the cafe so much he visited twice in one week!


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Meanwhile, Sheikh Hamdan’s father, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has been doing some foodie research of his own.

The vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai was recently spotted at Urth Caffe, a hip new cafe in City Walk.

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