Chef Izu Ani receives UAE Gold Card visa for his dedication to Dubai’s culinary landscape


Chef Izu Ani, the founder of some of Dubai’s most loved culinary concepts, has been awarded a UAE Golden Visa for his dedication to the restaurant industry in the emirate.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai introduced the UAE Gold Card Visa in 2019, which grants permanent residency to exceptional members of the community.

Chef Izu Ani says, “I feel honoured and proud to have been recognised with the UAE Gold Card Visa. To me, Dubai is not a transient place, it’s somewhere that we can call home, rather than just pass through. It’s a destination that allows us to grow. When we invest in ourselves, in our passions and projects, we plant the seeds of development. Seeds that can grow into cities, where we can spread our roots. With hard work comes reward and recognition, and it is so inspiring to live in a place where we can achieve our goals. Dubai enables us to see the world with the eyes of a child, to explore and build our dreams into our realities, and for that I will always be grateful.”

Chef Izu lives by the ethos that life is not about ownership, everything is loaned and borrowed and when you learn that nothing belongs to you, you can consider that you have learned only a small portion of what there is to learn in life.

His career began in London, after discovering his love for cooking in his home economics classes at school. He joined Michelin starred The Square in Mayfair, London, and was was inspired to travel to France to experience Nouvelle cuisine first-hand and lived there for 6 years, which influenced his culinary style and encouraged his flair for French flavours. 

Since relocating to Dubai in 2010, Izu has enhanced the culinary offering of the region with exquisite flavours and unrivalled attention to detail through leading the kitchens of La Petit Maison and La Serre, before launching YSeventy7, his own creative consulting and management agency, specialising in the food and beverage industry.

With YSeventy7, Chef Izu has launched many well-loved and respected concepts including GAIA in partnership with Evgeny Kuzin, Carine, The Lighthouse, Izu Brasserie & Bakery, Sum+Things in Riyadh and Izu Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental, Doha. 

Most recently, the chef announced the launch of Kitch-In, a partnership with Evgeny Kuzin and Accor Hotels. Kitch-In is an integrated food-technology platform that brings acclaimed chefs and food scientists together to deliver premium cuisine at affordable prices.