A Japanese restaurant based in the Gate Village of Dubai International Financial Centre


A Japanese restaurant based in the Gate Village of Dubai International Financial Centre, the initial idea of Zuma was conceptualized by the German Chef, Rainer Becker, based on the izakaya style of Japanese informal dining. Becker took the inherently casual dining concept and elevated it to world-class status. With its sophisticated layers of flavor, Zuma has been well-received and has garnered impressive critical reviews and awards – including ‘Best Japanese Restaurant’ at Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2009 – and continues to consistently rank among the top 100 restaurants in the world.

The concept

Using the traditional Japanese house or ryokan as a starting point for their concept, the Japanese interior design company, Studio Glitt (http://thejasgroup.com), developed a modern and unique design which was based around four basic materials: wood, steel, glass and stone.

A nod to its location in the Gulf was cleverly achieved through the subtle but distinctive use of Arabic patterns with the restaurant occupying 11,000 square feet over two floors, with a striking three-dimensional feature wall as a central focus.

The solution

Studio Glitt initially specified lighting products of Japanese origin, however, these were either not available or did not comply with Dubai regulations. So, through close collaboration with Studio Glitt, Acoulite sourced competitive alternatives suitable for the concept; this was inclusive of custom-designed tubular lighting encased in laser cut metal – reminiscent of bamboo – enhancing the traditional Japanese feel. Acoulite’s ability to suitably interpret the special fittings originally in Studio Glitt’s design effectively kept the overall look cohesive without losing any intrinsic detail.

Services Provided




Interior design

Studio Glitt