I can’t make a complete comparison against all Starbucks branches in the Middle East simply because I’ve only visited Starbucks in Kuwait and Dubai. I can say that the similarities are striking, so I’m going to work off the assumption that all Starbucks branches in the GCC offer similar products.
Well, I know that as a chain coffee shop, Starbucks ought to be similar worldwide, and it mostly is, but each region usually offers something a little unique to add some local colour, like the green tea frappucino with white chocolate pudding in Thailand or the cherry blossom latte in Korea (that was a short-lived special, but it was amazing). In Korea, they also sold Jeju Green Tea (why it was Jeju Green tea and not Jiri Green tea is a mystery to me), while in Thailand, they offered a special blend if coffee beans produced in Thailand.
So what does Starbucks in the GCC offer to celebrate its regional uniqueness? Not too much, actually. Of course they have old favourites like yogurt with granola.
They do have a halloumi sandwich (I don’t have a picture to share, but I’ll come back and modify this post when I do) as well as a trio of wraps with Arab/Mediterranean specialties, like this one:
But short of a halloumi sandwich and wrap, I don’t really see much on offer at Starbucks in the GCC that embraces this part of the world. When it was PSL season, Starbucks offered pumpkin spice lattes. Now that we’re moving into the Christmas season, Starbucks is offering gingerbread lattes and toffee nut lattes and, as much as I love toffee nut lattes (and feel nostalgic for the days I could get a toffee nut frappucino from the Starbucks in Thailand), I can’t help but be a little disappointed that Starbucks in this part of the world isn’t doing a little bit more to put their regional stamp on their products. Starbucks, it would be so easy to appease me. Just add Arabic coffee to your menu. Or offer a cardamom latte. Not only would that be insanely, ridiculously delicious, it would jive well with this part of the world.