Ajaz Sheikh

Zuma’s Regional Director of Operations
Ajaz Sheikh
Ajaz Sheikh

One of only two restaurants in the UAE to make the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list in 2012, Zuma has its Operations Director to thank for being instrumental in picking up awards for this much-loved restaurant.

Tell us about the new certificates that grace the Zuma walls.
At the Time Out Dubai awards we took home the Best Bar trophy and in the Diageo World Class bartending finals in Rio, our head barman took second place, making him the second best barman in the world. Then of course Zuma was ranked 83rd in the prestigious collection of The World’s Best Restaurants 2012 guide sponsored by San Pellegrino. This is a dream come true for me.

How have you been instrumental in these awards? (Don’t be shy!)
Awards are always the combination of more than one person’s efforts, but if pushed, I’d say that my formal hospitality training and experience in the UK has played its part.

So what makes Zuma so special?
There are several points, but one is the way it can transform from day to night. The whole sharing concept gives Zuma its unique daytime energy. Come 6pm the bar crowd starts to wander in and the mood changes – I love this time of day. By 10pm it’s buzzing. I don’t think another venue in Dubai can capture this versatility without compromising on quality or style.

What are your goals for next year?
The opening of Zuma Abu Dhabi!