Welcome to the shisha market of Dubai, fellow connoisseur! You’ve definitely had an amazing idea with a lot of potential that are literally bubbling and waiting to go up in exotic-flavored smoke. All puns are intended.
There are many ways of getting into the shisha scene in Dubai. A relatively easy one is elevating an already established restaurant or cafe by offering shisha as an addition. But fret not if you’re building a place from scratch. It just gives you all the more potential with its freedom.
While we’re sure you have most of the details and plans in place if you’ve thought of establishing a shisha lounge in Dubai, in case you’re looking for a checklist and additional tips (not to mention, a bonus towards the end), here it is!
But hold on just a little longer. Let’s establish the crux of it all before diving into the five essential tips to opening up the best shisha lounge Dubai can have. Bear in mind that what people will always remember is not how much your shisha was priced, how many flavors you had, what brands you offered, how beautiful your hookah was, or how lip-smacking your food pairing was. What they will remember is their experience. And these five tips are ways to elevate precisely that.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
01 | THE RIGHT STAFF
Often the best experiences are handcrafted ones. And to handcraft experiences, you need a human touch.
This warmth, in addition to the skill set your staff brings to the table, will be what your customers will come back for. After all, which place thrived by having the best equipment, but not the best people to handle it?
Make it a point to invest and carefully hire people who share your passion, are well-trained, and are great at establishing rapport. Ensure that your staff, especially those working directly with your customers, are friendly, approachable, and have a lot of patience. You don’t want them picking fights with your customers or treating them in a way that makes them not want to return.
02 | THE RIGHT AMBIENCE
Next on the list to elevate experiences is the ambiance.
Imagine a shisha lounge with big bright windows, a lot of natural lights, pastel-colored furniture, and hand sketches on the walls. Rather odd, wouldn’t it be?
A shisha session is meant to unwind, relax, and socialize. This is why, people prefer dim lights, comfy chairs, pillows were thrown over, and an overall vibe that can transport them to warm evenings in Arabia.
Think of brown and earthy tones with accents of golds, reds, and oranges – like the setting sun over sand dunes. While it’s not necessary you recreate Arabian Nights, having traces of it just makes a shisha session more ‘homely’. And the more homely your customers feel, the more time they’re likely to spend there ordering and coming back.
Ensure you have highly comfortable seating that invites big groups of people and small groups alike. A mix of private booths and large, circular tables is ideal.
Some of the most common themes in addition to Arabian or Middle Eastern are Bohemian and Egyptian. Whatever your pick, it’s the coziness that counts.
03 | THE RIGHT MUSIC
Arabia reminds us of the unforgettable Arabian Nights soundtrack. It also points to the fact that music is but part of the ambiance of a place.
Chill vibes call for a chill playlist, and if it’s one that can be personalized, there’s nothing like it! We know we’d love to go to a place that allows us to play our favorite tracks while sitting back and enjoying shisha.
With mobile jukebox apps, you can achieve precisely that. These apps will let your customers select and vote for their favorites from your playlist, right from their phones. If the youth is your target audience, investing in a mobile jukebox app and integrating social with mobile is a definite win-win.
04 | AN EXTENSIVE SHISHA MENU
Setting aside the vibes and the human touch, the most important and basic part of a shisha lounge is, of course, shisha!
Stock up on all the popular and trending exotic flavors, and more, to ensure there’s something for everyone. Make it a point to have all bases covered, from fruity and floral to herby and cocoa-based. Add exclusive live cocktails specially mixed by shisha sommeliers. Make a beginner-friendly menu.
Having a wide variety to choose from will not just meet all taste buds, but also invite people to keep experimenting and looking forward to something new.
Once your shisha menu is set, you can pair it up with foods and beverages that complement them the best, and much more. Just like your menu, the options are virtually endless.
05 | THE RIGHT PROMOTIONS
No one would not be enticed by a good offer. Whether it is to buy one and get one, special discounts, happy hours, or exciting combos, promotions will almost always get a good response. Plus, you can also open up your place to be inclusive for non-smokers in groups, with deals on the rest of your menu.
That brings us to a wrap of the five essential tips, but hold on. There’s a bonus tip that can make everything in your venture a lot easier.
BONUS | SHISHA OUTSOURCING
If you’re not sure whether setting up the lounge all by yourself is a great idea, we have one for you. Choose shisha outsourcing instead!
The options shisha outsourcing Dubai has are numerous and top-notch. From setting up your shisha offerings replete with high-quality shisha flavors, hookah and accessories, accomplished shisha masters, and the decor to ideating promotions and marketing tactics, a shisha outsourcing service can take care of it all at a much better price than investing in the entire thing by yourself.
Our recommendation for the best shisha outsourcing service in Dubai is undoubtedly Shisha Art. They serve more than 25 lounges across the UAE and provide exceptional service with their highly skilled team. With a shared passion for the magical clouds of smoke, they also provide shisha on rent and shisha catering services, but when it comes to shisha outsourcing, they’re definitely your go-to partner. Go check them out today, if you haven’t already!
And now, it’s definitely a wrap. We hope you found this post helpful. Wish you all the best in setting up the best shisha lounge!