If you ask any Dubai resident, Ravi is the place to go if you’re craving authentic Pakistani cuisine without breaking the bank. The quaint eatery nestled in the neighborhood of Satwa, has been operating since 1978 after it was founded by Chaudary Abdul Hameed as a family-owned business.
Staffed with Pakistani chefs, waiters, and bus-boys, Ravi has remained the go-to spot for those seeking delicious and affordable Pakistani dishes. The restaurant has even been frequented by rap legend Snoop Dogg, R&B singer Craig David, as well as One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder, who in 2019 endorsed Ravi on his Instagram account, writing “Anyone ever traveling to Dubai – we always hit Ravi – it’s a 10. Get it. Food is good when you eat it,” alongside a photo of himself standing in the rain and pointing at Ravi’s storefront.
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Now Adidas is paying homage to the iconic restaurant revered by locals, expats, tourists, and celebrities alike, dropping a new limited edition Ravi Superstar sneaker in collaboration with the eatery.
The Ravi Superstar sneaker is peppered with references to the Pakistani heritage of the restaurant’s owners, including the green colorway of the footwear, which also includes a custom sock liner with a hand-drawn map design signifying the meaning of the name Ravi, meaning “River,” which is in Northeastern Pakistan. On the heel tab, the year Ravi opened alongside the name in English and Arabic is embroidered.
Adidas also worked directly with the restaurant owners, giving them some creative control by allowing them to handpick six hero dishes, which have been added to the sneaker’s tongue in English and Arabic on either shoe. Meanwhile, each pair of trainers are delivered in a special edition takeaway style box with a detachable hangtag featuring the restaurant’s logo.
“My family has worked so hard to bring Ravi to where it is now, it has become more than just a restaurant with staff and customers, it has become a home that many grew up with. To say that Ravi had a humble beginning and is now representing Dubai as a key city with Adidas is a milestone to celebrate,” said the Ravi founder in a released statement.
The new drop is a refreshing and much-needed celebration of the culinary hotspot, and we only hope that Ravi and its employees were compensated ethically and fairly beyond free products and promise of publicity.
Meanwhile, Adidas isn’t the first athletic giant to earn praise for engaging a cultural restaurant owned by a person of color. Nike also previously teamed up with Al Asrar Bakery in Satwa on a limited-edition t-shirt.
The Ravi Superstar sneaker, which will be available from June 23 at select retailers in Dubai and online, is part of Adidas’s Adilicious series, which celebrates iconic eateries in 11 cities worldwide.
The partnership comes just weeks after Adidas announced collaborations with Gucci and Balenciaga, begging the question: Is Adidas in its collab era?