If you are a sweet lover, you can definitely find any kind you desire in Dubai. DubaiBlog, has decided to visit Sebastiano’s pastry shop to taste some of his cakes. We asked him how things were going in Dubai. Sebastiano was so easy in front of my video-camera that we decide to interview him. This has been the occasion to receive some useful tips, especially for those who are looking for a job in confectionery.
Sebastiano spoke to us saying “My name is Sebastiano Maio, I am 37 years old and I am from Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Messina. and I have been living in Dubai for seven years. I deal with managing my point of sales, I started to work as a confectioner when I was sixteen, in my uncles’ pastry shop. Since then, I started to like this job and I understood that this was the job meant for me. One day, I decided to take the plunge, that was to go abroad with the intention to let people know about Sicilian confectionery. I chose Dubai, as I had heard about it and I tried my chance by taking a week vacation. I contacted some experts who told me a lot of things and gave me some tips how to start my business in Dubai. I eventually decided to remain and try my luck. I have to say that I did not find a big difference regarding the way to managing a pastry shop between Italy and Dubai apart from some difficulties that may occur to find some ingredients.
In both cases you are very busy and involved in many things, manpower is cheaper than Europe and this makes it easier to start-up and run a pastry business. Honestly, I have never been hired as a pastry worker in Dubai, because I started up my own activity here as soon as I arrived in this country. Low-cost labourers make it difficult for westerners to find a job in confectionery small businesses. Nevertheless, the confectionery industry and the big luxury hotel chains with their restaurants, are always in need of professional profiles and they may offer great job opportunities. In this case, there is a chance to be hired by a big group which is looking for an Italian pastry maker.
Tiramisù is one of the most favourite Italian sweet in Dubai, besides pistachio cakes and ice-creams. We have introduced the typical Sicilian Granita, with a bit difficulty at the beginning but now we are proud that many people are coming here every day to order it. Two seasonal cake such as Panettone and Colomba have also had a big success. It is always very nice when foreigners come in my shop to order these typical cakes. At the beginning, the 90% of my customers were Italians, but little by little the situation changed and now 50% are Italians and the remaining 50% are from all nationalities. My pastry shop is a meeting point on Friday for many Italians living in Dubai, but during the week the majority of customers are people working nearby that like to come here to have breakfast and taste my products.
I am a fan of Juventus and every year there is the Global Soccer event. In particular, I have been informed that Cristiano Ronaldo would have probably participated in to this event. Therefore, I offered to prepare a customized cake for him with a G7 shape. I was pleased to know that he liked the cake very much and to hand the remaining part, the seven, upon his explicit request. These are the opportunities which only Dubai can offer. In Sicily, it is very difficult to have such opportunities and this is why I am so pleased.
As for salaries, that big luxury hotel chains offer wages starting from 10,000 AED/ month as a start, perhaps with accommodation. However, salaries may vary depending on the job description and the specific qualifications required. Pastry chefs do not just prepare desserts. They also organize the venues, coordinate the kitchen staff, and manage the relationship with the suppliers. They must have a good ability to prepare their sweets with a certain speed and readiness to fulfil requests, maybe even unexpected ones for VIP customers. With 10,000 AED, which is about 2,000 €, it is possible to live in Dubai with no problems or constraints but If you lead a normal lifestyle, with no excess like going out every night, eating in expensive restaurants etc.”