A beloved Dubai institution is collaborating with Adidas to launch a limited edition sneaker series that has already become the talk of the town and we’re here for it.
The institution is none other than the humble Ravi restaurant that has welcomed royalty, diplomats and notable celebrities — here’s looking at you Snoop — over the 44 years it has held strong and welcoming in the bylanes of Satwa.
As part of its global adilicious campaign, athletic brand Adidas is working with 11 restaurants in 11 cities, as part of a series that will serve up 11 culinary inspired silhouettes. For the MENA region, the onus falls on Ravi’s, the family-owned Pakistani restaurant that is spearheaded by its patriarch, Chaudary Abdul Hameed.
Speaking to Gulf News about the collaboration, Ravi Managing Director Waheed Abdul Hameed, the oldest of three sons who will one day shoulder his father’s legacy, said the idea took root close to a year ago.
“They approached us nearly a year ago, asking us to be a part of their global campaign where 11 restaurants from 11 cities around the world would see their legacy imbibed in a limited edition athletic wear,” Waheed said.
Calling his brothers Waseem Abdul Hameed and Waqar Abdul Hameed the original ‘sneakerheads’ in the family, it didn’t take them long to hit upon the idea that a limited edition Superstar Ravi sneaker was a step in the right direction.
“We were a part of the creative process from the beginning, having multiple meetings with the creative team and a design team that flew down especially from Germany to finalise the look of the sneaker that would represent our brand,” the 43-year-old explained.
The end result was a reinterpreted take on the Adidas Original Superstar, adapting the green colour to symbolise their Pakistani heritage. The design also features a custom sock liner with a hand-drawn map signifying the meaning of the name Ravi, which takes its identity from the life-giving Ravi River in Northeastern Pakistan.
Other design elements have also been customised, with the heel tab branding including the year Ravi opened, with the name in English and Arabic on either shoe, as well as three sets of laces.
The restaurant owners also hand selected six hero dishes, which have been added to the tongue of the sneakers with English on one side and Arabic on the other. Each pair of shoes are delivered in a special edition takeaway style box and comes with a detachable hangtag featuring the restaurant’s logo.
“My family has worked so hard to bring Ravi to where it is now, it has become more than just a restaurant with staff and customers, it has become a home that many grew up with. To say that Ravi had a humble beginning and is now representing Dubai as a key city with Adidas is a milestone to celebrate” Ravi founder Chaudary Abdul Hameed said in a statement.
Story of Ravi
Founded in Dubai as a family-owned business in 1978 by Chaudary Abdul Hameed, the Pakistani expat’s plans for Ravi was to serve food that reminded the community of their homes left behind to pursue their luck and forge a new life for themselves in the UAE. The motto was a simple one, one that Ravi imbibes even today — providing home cooked meals at an affordable price.
Over the years, Ravi’s fires have continued to burn, serving as a culinary destination, almost a must visit hotspot for tourists, locals and celebrities. Music superstar Snoop Dogg, Usher, and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder have also been spotted tucking into its chicken tikka and Haleem.
“It really means a great deal to us as a small family-owned business to find its recognition in pop culture,” Waheed stated. “The pandemic was hard on everyone and it’s only now that we find ourselves back on even keel. To be given such a recognition by a global brand is truly an honour for us.”
Asked whether the family plans to take the Ravi brand across the GCC and Waheed didn’t shy away from taking the legacy to the next level. “We are open to going anywhere where people will have us. And a GCC expansion is a step in the right direction but also need to have the right conditions in place. Hopefully, it will happen soon.”
Footwear meets food
It’s no secret that local restaurants have come to represent the heart and soul of the world’s most iconic cities. To pay tribute, Adidas Originals is celebrating thriving food cultures of some of the world’s largest metropolises — working directly with the owners of pioneering restaurants, for its adilicious sneaker series.
In Dubai, Adidas Originals is launching the Superstar Ravi sneaker, in collaboration with Ravi restaurant, where footwear meets food in an effort to celebrate community focused restaurants in cities around the world.
Covering 11 restaurants in 11 cities, the series presents 11 culinary inspired silhouettes, all driven by the mantra — authentic food, real people, fresh sneakers. The designs tell the story of each restaurant, reflecting their aesthetic and paying a homage to venues and people who play an important role in the fabric of their communities.
In Dubai, the limited edition Superstar Ravi sneakers will be available for sale on June 23 online through Adidas shoes and select retailers exclusive to the emirate.