Duncan Fraser-Smith boasts an impressive reputation as a dynamic influencer, disruptor, creator and innovator in the regional and international food and beverage industry
Thanks to his broad experience and success in key management roles within the hotel and restaurant industry across the Middle East & Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia over the past 25 years, he is well respected around the globe.
In 2008 Duncan left Australia and a progressive career in food and beverage operations in hotels and restaurants to take up his appointment as Global Manager of Hospitality Operations at Qatar Sports City and the Katara Cultural Village for Aspire Zone Foundation. He then moved to UAE in 2010 to take over as Group Director of Design, Food and Beverage for IHG. This role saw him creating and developing over 150 different food and beverage concepts for the group – that is one of the largest in the world – across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.
In 2013 Duncan set up The Cutting Edge Hospitality Agency and was involved in some of the region’s most dynamic projects. He was instrumental in bringing acclaimed Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton to open Marina Social in Dubai. He led the launch of CLE Restaurant and Bar with Michelin-starred chef Greg Malouf, and executed one of Dubai’s most high profile openings. He created the unique Intersect by Lexus concept, the second to open world wide and relaunched Pierre Garnier’s Choix Patisserie and Restaurant, to name a few.
Duncan’s entrepreneurial spirit also led him to create a preferred partnership with Endemol Shine Group, the TV production company for Master Chef, to launch the world’s first Masterchef restaurant, opening in Dubai in 2019.
In 2016, whilst consulting on a project for The FIrst Group, Dubai’s leading developer of landmark property and partnerships with the world’s leading hotel operators, he joined the group as the Vice President of Food and Beverage to establish the company’s F&B operations and strategy. Since then, he has been redefining and creating ground-breaking concepts, such as “Barbary’, Beastro and Blacksmith in Dubai.