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French Version

Young leaders in perspective : Azzam Fakhriddin

Alqasr Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel; Vinaigrette Jazz and Salad Bar; Trattoria Casa della Pasta; Nai Mezza Bar; Wild Jordan Café; and Taboula are all
names of renowned places in Jordan
that are interlaced with the surname Fakhriddin.

Starting out with a run down hotel upon their return from Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War, the Fakhriddin family, which was in the textile business, found it best to venture in the hotel market—a decision that proved wise in the years to come. “Jordan was in need of a five-star boutique hotel: Small, personal and provides the right services,” elaborated Azzam Fakhriddin, deputy-general manager of Alqasr, sitting in his office on the seventh floor overlooking western Amman. “We tried to create a good service but in a relaxed family atmosphere, added Fakhriddin, who graduated from the American University of Cairo, Egypt in 1991, followed up by a post graduate degree in hotel management from Switzerland in 1993.

After his academic years, Azzam, along with his older brother Issam, plunged himself wholeheartedly in family projects among which has been the successful and highly classified Fakhriddin restaurant. “Jordan was lacking a good restaurant that serves good traditional food. A

fter exploring the market we acquired the current building in Jabal Amman, which was actually the home of Fawzi Al Mulki, the first prime minister of Jordan during the reign of the late King Hussein,” said Fakhriddin. In 1996 the Fakhriddins established Vinaigrette Jazz and Salad Bar, followed by other projects: Nai Mezza Bar, Trattoria Casa della Pasta and the hotel’s first Sushi Bar in Jordan. “Three years before Vinaigrette we decided that Jordan had the potential for other ventures and new cuisines, and this is when Sushi bar came to existence.

We realized that Lebanon had Sushi bars so why not in Jordan,” exclaimed Fakhriddin, who further added, “when we opened the Sushi Bar, everybody thought it won’t work; however, it did.” As trendsetters, Fakhriddin launched the first low fat and carb outlet at the Wild Jordan Café, a healthy atmosphere where healthy food is served in the first non-smoking venue in Jordan. According to Fakhriddin Wild Jordan Café, which is affiliated with the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature and funded by USAID, is a place where Jordanians can enjoy natural ingredient meals made out of jams from Dana, greens and herbs from various parts of Jordan, in addition to low carb, low oil and last but not least no-canned products.

Are Jordanians flocking to this health food restaurant where alcohol is not on the list? Fakhriddin said, “It’s fully booked, Jordanians can really surprise you.” Fakhriddin believes the older Amman area is where the future lies and that the more established older areas are there to stay. This is why most of their newly established projects are found in Jabal Amman.

Furthermore, he added that a person should follow trends or else he becomes obsolete. This is what accomplished at Nai, which he regards as a place for all seasons as Jordanians are sophisticated clients, an element that adds to the already competitive market. “Eventually my final goal is to institutionalize our company, so as to help promote Jordan as a pioneering country in several industries that will further enhance the Kingdom’s high standards,” said Fakhriddin.

Mike Derderian
The Star

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