Iconic Saudi fast food chain Albaik heads to Qatar

Are you craving some tasty fried chicken? Well, the region’s favourite is finally coming to Qatar.

Saudi’s famous fast-food restaurant chain ‘Al Baik‘ is sending five mobile restaurants to Qatar during the FIFA World Cup, and two are already on the way.

The food trucks will provide fried chicken to residents and all football fans coming to the Gulf nation, giving them a taste of its popular secret recipe.

“The first two out of five mobile restaurants are on their way to our sister country Qatar to participate in serving our loved ones there during football matches,” AlBaik tweeted.

The original Al Baik opened its doors in Jeddah in 1974 and ran exclusively in the western region of Saudi Arabia for 38 years (Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina).

In the 1990s, pilgrims were supplied by flagship stores near the Holy Mosque in Mecca and a nonprofit outlet at the Mina site during the Hajj season.

In the 1980s and 1990s, its broasted way of preparing chicken was still unique in the region, but with time, Al Baik chicken came to be known as a dish that pilgrims “must eat” when traveling to the kingdom for Hajj or Umrah.

Now, the chain has more than 80 branches in Saudi Arabia alone and has developed a cult following with people intentionally crossing borders to get a taste. So much so that in Indonesia, some online marketplaces sell boxes of Al-Baik that are flown in from Saudi Arabia.

After decades of calls from chicken lovers for the company to branch outside the kingdom, Al Baik finally opened its first two restaurants in Bahrain in 2020, before opening in the United Arab Emirates in June 2021.

The restaurant has since expanded to include sites throughout the Emirates, including City Center Sharjah, Expo City Dubai, and Mall of the Emirates, with an opening in Abu Dhabi on the way.

Earlier this year, a restaurant with an almost identical logo and name popped up on the streets of New Rayyan, attracting hundreds who thought it was an official Al Baik branch, many of whom waited up to 90 minutes in the queue.

The Saudi restaurant chain was quick to deny it on Twitter, stating that they would take legal action against the Qatari replica.

But now, the chicken icons are finally coming to Qatar, and for real this time.

However, the locations of the five trucks in Qatar have not yet been made public just yet.

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