Doha Rocks Café opened its third café lounge on Friday, 17 October, 2014 at Barwa Village in the presence of customers, guests, friends and media.
The café lounge was officially opened by Chairman of Gulf STAR Group, Mohammed Mansour Rashid Al Khater, and Panakkad Syed Munawar Ali ShihabThangal, with Gulf STAR Group Managing Director P.K. Abdulla; Business Director Naveed Abdulla and Operations Director Nishad Abdulla. Other guests included Madappat Aboobacker, MD of Safari Group and M.P Shafi, MD of M.P. Traders besides customers, friends and family. The opening also celebrated Samco’s 40th anniversary in Qatar.
Samco was established in 1974 by Felix D’Souza, a lawyer at Her Britannic Majesty’s Court, and an avid chef who found himself with more time on his hands as cases were being handed over to Qatari courts since 1973. Samco’s sandwiches and juices were created by D’Souza and chefs from the Gulf Hotel (now the Doha Marriott Hotel), with the sandwich and juice bar being patronized by all residents of Qatar since its inception. Samco reopened as café lounge Doha Rocks under the ownership of Gulf STAR Group at the same location, near Doha International Airport in May 2009. A second Doha Rocks café lounge was opened at Beverly Hills Rayyan in 2011. All three café lounges offer the signature Samco sandwiches and juices besides specialized menus created to cater to the neighbourhoods.
“I feel glorified and humbled at the same time as the Samco tradition will remain forever with the opening of the third café lounge,” said D’Souza. “Samco has served over three generations of Qataris and expatriates, including members of the Royal family. Young Qataris who would go abroad to study would tell us Samco was their first stop upon landing in Qatar. They continued to patronize us introducing their children, the third generation, to Samco and telling me they first visited Samco with their parents as children.” Expats too, who went back home over the years and would return to Qatar on a visit, made sure Samco was on their list of stops telling D’Souza how much they missed Samco sandwiches and juices. D’Souza said he is incredibly proud of Naveed Abdulla who has gone beyond the promise he made to him when Abdulla took over Samco in 2009 and is happy the Samco tradition of being a household name in Qatar will live on.
For Naveed Abdulla, the Doha Rocks project initially began with an idea of having a place to hang out in with friends, and he approached D’ Souza with this idea in mind. “But when I heard about Samco’s legacy and its popularity among the Qataris and the Saudis, I was excited to take on the challenge of keeping the legacy alive and growing it with the trend of progress in Qatar,” said Abdulla. He assured D’Souza he would not ignore the hard work and dedication of the many people who had worked with Samco over the years and would do justice to the brand if given the opportunity to take it further. “Today I can very proudly say Samco Doha Rocks is a combination of the traditional Qatari favourites served with an international flavour to all our clients, and we are the ONLY brand in Qatar with customer service excellence of over 40years,” said Naveed Abdulla.
“I have just completed a decade with Gulf STAR Group last month and I do recognize the efforts put in by each of our team members in building the company to what we are today, and it is truly an honor to be associated with such a brand name which has been very popular in every household. Our commitment to all the people, who work here and who love us as customers, will continue to drive us to strive for excellence.”
The original Samco Doha Rocks café lounge specializes in Biryanis and offers from the live Grill and Tandoor station, and the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The Beverly Hills outlet specializes in pizzas and pastas and the newly opened Doha Rocks at Barwa Village specializes in a Mexican menu explained Tanseem Hassan, Gulf STAR Retails’ brand manager, thereby enabling the brand to reach out to the entire spectrum of the café-lounge loving market. Doha Rocks currently serves over 20 flavours of Italian hot and cold coffees and a cinnamon coffee, exclusive to the café lounge. It employs state-of-the-art technology in its kitchens and is wi-fi enabled. “Everybody can enjoy a power lunch or dinner in our meeting room as you grease the wheels of a business deal with some fine food in a first-class atmosphere. Whether the meal is with an employer, investor, client or friend, our impressive setting, delicious food and above all, impeccable service will help you seal the deal,” said Hassan.
Doha Rocks has signed contracts with several internationally recognized brands over the last two years as a result of Abdulla’s search to introduce new and notable products to all their clients. It is associated with many of the sporting events in Qatar identifying itself as the preferred Health Food provider. Some of the Sports events Doha Rocks has been associated with this year in Qatar include the IHF (International Handball Federation) 2014 Super Globe Qatar; the Qatar National Sports Day celebration 2014 at Aspire Park; the Female University Football tournament 2014; the Middle East Shuttle Badminton tournament 2014; the Gulf Cricket tournament 2014 and the Rugby Ramadan League 2014.
“The new outlet at Barwa has been a gift offered to me on my completion of a decade by the Doha Rocks team and they have promised to surprise me again with the opening of our fourth outlet in West Bay in the coming few months,” said Naveed Abdulla. “I take this opportunity to thank every member of our team and their family for their support and for believing in our aspirations and dreams. Our vision is firmly fixed on the day when the world wakes up to a steaming hot cup of Doha Rocks coffee!” concluded Naveed Abdulla.