A rendering of the Cova café opening in Dubai next month.

MILANESE BREAK: Cova, the historic Milan-based coffee and pastry house controlled by French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will open its first café in Dubai in January at the Dubai Mall shopping destination.

Replicating signature decorative elements of the historic unit on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone, the café will feature mosaic flooring, golden mirrors, velvet sofas, crystal chandeliers and a mahogany and marble counter. In addition, the venue will include a wide terrace overlooking The Dubai Fountain, the city’s Opera House and the Burj Khalifa tower.

“The location we chose is as beautiful as Via Montenapoleone in Milan, as both are at the center of luxury districts,” said Cova chief executive officer Paola Faccioli, adding that the goal is to bring the Italian savoir-faire in the city and to be “Made in Italy ambassadors in the Middle East.”

The Cova Café in Dubai.

The Cova Café in Dubai.  Courtesy Photo

The executive explained that the opening marks a further step in the company’s expansion strategy, which was set in motion in 1994 with the launch of the first café in Hong Kong.

Established in 1817 by Napoleon Bonaparte’s soldier Antonio Cova, the coffee house is currently present in 27 cities, counting units in Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Monte Carlo. Unveiled in the spring, the latter was developed in partnership with Flavio Briatore’s lifestyle firm Billionairelife.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the company. For the occasion, last April the historic café in Milan reopened its doors, after being restored and expanded by 323 square feet. Another key change involved the use of the building’s courtyard designed at the end of the 17th century by Giuseppe Piermarini.

LVMH acquired a majority stake in Cova in 2013 from the previous owner, the Faccioli family, which remains a shareholder and manages the Milan location. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

At that time, LVMH’s acquisition came as a surprise, as Prada Group for months had been rumored to be keen to buy Cova. The fashion company eventually took control of Cova’s rival pastry shop Pasticceria Marchesi.

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