Franchising could lead retail recovery
Franchise options could prove the key to bolstering the region’s retail industry, according to International Expo Consults, organisers of Franchising Middle East (FME).
Recently released figures have shown that retail figures are rallying, despite a drop of up to 30 percent in sales in leading markets such as Dubai earlier this year.
“According to Dubai retailers, the slowdown is slowing down, and while the summer is expected to remain pretty flat, recovery is expected towards the end of the year,” said Abdul Rehman Falaknaz, President of International Expo Consults.
“What is interesting is that, despite the slowdown in sales, international brands are continuing to flock to the Middle East, showing the resilience of franchising as a business model,” Abdul Rehman Falaknaz added.
Dunkin’ Donuts, the world’s leading coffee and baked goods chain, opened its 55th store in the UAE at Al Bawadi Mall, Al Ain, in June. The opening coincided with the international celebration of the 15,000th store opening of Dunkin’ Brands in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
The opening of the Al Bawadi Mall in Al Ain followed the launch of a Dunkin’ Donuts store in Enoc 1203 in Ras Al Khaimah-Sharjah highway and is part of Dunin’ Donuts UAE’s expansion plans to see 16 new outlets in operation built at a cost of AED 8 million.”
US burger chain Wendy’s is set for rapid regional expansion following the signing of a franchise agreement with Saudi Arabia-based Al Jammaz Group, which will see the opening of 135 outlets across the Middle East and North Africa.
Wendy’s/Arby’s Group will open its first restaurant in Saudi Arabia in early 2010. The outlets will be dual branded to offer a wider menu choice.
Wendy’s is the third largest fast food chain in the US, after McDonald’s and Burger King. There are currently more than 6,600 Wendy’s and 3,750 Arby’s in the US and 21 other countries and territories.
FME, the region’s leading exhibition for the franchise sector, will take place March 2-4, 2010 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.
The event, the largest gathering of franchise leaders in the Middle East, will provide unparalleled opportunities for franchisors to access entrepreneurs and investors.
The exhibition will showcase franchise opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region and highlight investment and business avenues open to entrepreneurs, holding companies, and small and medium business owners.
Global brands represented at the last edition of Franchising Middle East included Cremeria Vienna, Subway, London Dairy Café, Reno Italy, Tasti D-lite - USA, Raving brands - USA and Crown Concept from Australia.
The show has earned the enviable reputation of being the ideal networking opportunity for the franchising industry in the Middle East, which industry analysts have estimated is worth US $30 billion.
FME is the largest international franchise exhibition in the Middle East and is supported by the IFA (International Franchise Association).