Interview: Nicholas Paillart

09 Nov 2011

The man who brings great deals to Dubai

Everyone loves a bargain, and it’s unlikely you’ll find one much more rewarding than the dinedubai card, which offers huge discounts at hundreds of restaurants in Dubai.

Nicholas Paillart is the man behind the scheme, and although dinedubai only launched in May, there are already 22,000 cards  in circulation.

By purchasing a card, members can expect hefty discounts at a number of restaurants as many times as they want.

Nicholas came to the UAE in 2005 to expand the OneEmpower group, which is South East Asia’s leading Loyalty Solutions Provider.

He explains OneEmpower’s mission is to put in place systems that benefit both retailers and customers. He explained, “It allows companies not only to reward their faithful customers but equally to create real time reporting on all transactions, behaviour and demographics, so as to be able better understand their profiles and engage in targeted marketing.”

With over 54 million cards powered by OneEmpower’s Loyalty Solutions spread across North and South East Asia, Nicholas felt Dubai was a natural choice for expansion due to its booming economy, retail and hospitality sector and its passion for innovation.

But when Nicholas first opened his offices here, in the midst of Dubai’s boom years, no one wanted to hear about loyalty. Why bother with customer service when we are getting new ones every day, thought many of his potential clients. Only when the crisis hit did people begin to get interested. He explains, “It is only when the crisis started to affect the region that Dubai realised that it is three times cheaper for a company to retain a customer than to acquire          a new one.”

Although he could have chosen any area to expand the loyalty card business, Nicholas explains there are two reasons why he chose dining. He said, “Dubai is an oasis of outstanding cuisines and restaurants, offering diners a multitude of experiences whatever their budget or price range. Honestly it’s mostly because I am a foodie and needed to be passionate about the project. I’m French, having grown up in Singapore and India, and, today, being married to an Indian, I have spent my life exploring different cuisines and wanted to offer people a passport to do the same in Dubai.”

Armed with only a dinedubai card, members just need to search online, the iPhone directory, or look for dinedubai branding at outlets to receive 20 per cent to 50 per cent discounts in over 200 restaurants town.

Soon to launch is the “dinedubai nights”, an evening dedicated to promoting a new dinedubai venue every month. The first will be held on November 21 at Kris with a View restaurant in the Park Regis Hotel in Bur Dubai.

Dinedubai cards can be bought directly in the participating restaurants for only Dhs99. For more information visit

Nicholas top 5 places

1) The Pavilion and Downtown Boulevard Walk
It is a great oasis of creativity where I enjoy catching up with friends, having a bite to eat or doing my work in a creative and inspirational environment. The Boulevard, with its restaurants and cafes reminds me of Europe.

2) Talise Spa
I love the complete rejuvenation experience, romantic, excellent healthy food and an afternoon relaxing by the pool.

3) The Dubai Fountain
I am a hopeless romantic and this was the view from a young lady’s balcony where we spent endless nights talking around Chinese or Arabic takeaways. Today we are married and two years later, she still has the same fascination in her eyes every time the fountain goes off.

4) La Petite Maison
A taste of “La Vieille France” in Dubai. Some of the most authentic and mouthwatering food you will find east of the Bosphorus. My wife cannot get enough of the Pain Perdu desert!

5) Allure by Cipriani
I love to dance to a rhythm I can understand and move to. Allure is a spacious, fresh clubbing experience uniting good looking people and good music. The best part? One can always sneak away to Cipriani’s for a bite or a drink when you need a break!