Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer
The visionary behind the Middle East’s forward-thinking and leading sustainable restaurant, BOCA. Hospitality project director, restaurateur, consultant and food and beverage concept creator based in Dubai, UAE. Omar recruited and worked with talented chefs, restaurant managers, beverage professionals, interior designers, brand specialists and construction experts to create world-class hospitality concepts in the Gulf region. Omar is the Founder and Chief Sustainability Officer of BOCA, a multi-award winning modern European restaurant and bar located in the prestigious Gate Village in Dubai’s International Financial Center (DIFC). He founded BOCA with the belief that there are enough creative people in the UAE to run a forward-thinking restaurant that can rival any world-class concept. He is an advocate of local food and farming, foraging, exploring new food sources, rethinking dining experiences and collaborating across borders and industries. Born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Omar leads the sustainability initiatives of BOCA, which have been incorporated into the restaurant's operations from the beginning. From day one, the restaurant sourced its ingredients locally. BOCA today recognizes, promotes local and sustainable produce, growers, farmers and fishermen. He also introduced native desert plants from the United Arab Emirates into the professional kitchen, emphasized waste reduction throughout the restaurant, and established the position of Waste Officer at BOCA. Recently, Omar converted BOCA to run on 100% renewable energy and led the carbon emission calculation of BOCA to create a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality status. Omar is Gault&Millau UAE 2022 Sustainability Champion of the Year, and an Advisor to the UAE Restaurant Group, an officially registered association in the UAE unifying the voice of the restaurant industry across the country.
See Omar Shihab speak in the following sessions:
Monday 19 September
12:50 - 13:10Embracing Responsible Consumerism