Dubai: Sindh Punjab restaurant’s owner 'Pappi Singh' passes away

Tributes pour in for the culinary legend, with residents fondly remembering his warm personality and welcoming nature


Nasreen Abdulla

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Pappi Singh celebrating during a cricket match in 2022
Pappi Singh celebrating during a cricket match in 2022

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2023, 12:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Jun 2023, 2:34 PM

Food lovers in the UAE mourned the loss of a culinary legend. The managing partner of Indian restaurant Sindh Punjab, Gurwinder Singh, died earlier this week. Sources have confirmed that his last rites will be conducted on Thursday.

Fondly known as Pappi Singh, he was a recognisable presence at the Bur Dubai branch of Sind Punjab that has been operating for more than 45 years.

Leading tributes to him was Emirati food enthusiast Peyman Rashid Al Awadhi who posted on Instagram he was sad to hear of the death of “an icon in the Dubai food scene”. A few months ago, Al Awadhi had recorded an Instagram reel with the food connoisseur for his channel @dubaieats.

“Pappi Singh was the young man who helped his uncle open and run Sindh Punjab restaurant since 1977 and frankly grew to become the face of the restaurant. He had such a warm demeanour, and I loved seeing him and speaking with him, as he stood behind the counter when I visited. #RIPlegend,” he wrote.

At his restaurant, his employees were heartbroken.

“He used to treat us like his brothers,” said one who did not wish to be identified with his voice choking. “I don’t know how we can go on without him. He was in the restaurant everyday welcoming people with open arms and always asking about their welfare. People used to stop by just to chat with him because he was just so happy to talk to them and listen to them. We are going to miss him more than I can express in words.”

Established in 1977, Sindh Punjab became one of the most recognizable Indian restaurants in the country and was often visited by celebrities including Bollywood stars, cricketers, and politicians.

Popular food enthusiast Arva Ahmed who runs food tours at Frying Pan Adventures said she was heartbroken. “ He treated our guides and guests on our Indian food tour like family- always with open arms and insisting that we eat to our heart’s content. A huge irreplaceable loss for the local community,” she posted.


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