Originally started in Saudi Arabia, Bateel sells seven varieties of plain dates and 19 that are filled with different nuts or fruits. The combination of being a flavorful, healthy snack — dates are fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free, gluten-free — and elegant gift boxes has made Bateel a popular gift item in the Middle East and beyond. Oprah named a Bateel gift box as one of her favorite things in 2019.
People who are new to the brand may want to start with some of the company’s plain dates. The seven varieties vary in terms of the texture (some are more chewy than others) and sweetness. From there, shoppers can choose dates that are filled with a range of candied fruits and roasted nuts. Other products include date-based chocolates, jams, and even date-infused balsamic vinegar.
“The date production itself is done in an organic and environmentally friendly way,” Maissan Almaskati, president of Bateel USA, tells CultureMap. “There’s no pesticides used in the process. Every single date is hand picked. Every single date is scanned. It is by definition a gourmet experience.”
The dates can be packaged in gift boxes at all price points, including multi-tier wooden boxes with elaborate designs that cost over $300. Still, going to Bateel doesn’t have to break the bank.
“Someone can walk in and spend $5 or $10 if they want to buy a few pieces or they can buy a gift box that’s $200,” Almaskati says.
Bateel’s first U.S. location opened in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, MI, a city with a significant community of immigrants from the Middle East. Houston’s diverse population and ties to the energy industry made it an appealing choice for the company’s second American outpost.
“We found that with the oil industry, there’s a lot of familiarity with the Gulf region,” Almaskati says. “People who travel through Dubai will know Bateel.”
Find Bateel just off Queensbury Lane next to Grimaldi’s and across from Bowl & Barrel.
“We are thrilled that Bateel USA has chosen CityCentre as its home to extend their presence in the U.S.,” said Robert Williamson, senior vice president for CityCentre owner Midway, in a release. “CityCentre is a thriving destination for locals and tourists alike, and we look forward to sharing Bateel’s unique offerings with our loyal community as the holiday season rapidly approaches.”