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Relam Investment to Develop Las Iguanas, Oriel and Bella Italia (UK) in UAE

05 Nov 2018 - UAE-based conglomerate RُELAM Investment has acquired the exclusive rights to the brand of Casual Dining Group, the owner of Las Iguanas, Bella Italia, and Oriel Grande Brasserie in the UAE. Signing the franchise deal was officially announced during a launch event attended by both parties at Las Iguanas, Royal Festival Hall, paving the way for RELAM Investment to open 11 restaurant in the UAE over the next four years.

Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of nearly 300 mid-market restaurant brands including Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, has agreed a new franchising deal for its Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Oriel Grande Brasserie brands in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the partners are currently looking at several high-profile locations in Dubai for the debut site, and are also keen to explore opportunities in Abu Dhabi for further openings.

The agreement represents a partnership between RELAM Investment and CDG, who will become its primary food and beverage partner in the region. RELAM Investment is a well-respected global investment company based in Dubai, specialising in a range of investments, including real-estate and technology. After recently committing to invest £300m into technology and real estate in India, this will be the company’s first food and drink investment.

The deal sees the first ever franchise for Oriel Grande Brasserie, CDG’s premium all-day restaurant concept, that currently operates three sites, all of which are at airports & offers A timeless taste of Paris & serves luxurious and timeless French inspired dishes. Crafted by chefs in an open kitchen, from scratch and paired with carefully selected drinks. While the food across all of the brands will be reflective of their UK counterparts, all of the sites will be ‘dry’, but will serve a range of specially created mocktails which were showcased on the launch night.

Mr. Sultan Ali Rashed Lootah, Chairman & Managing Director of RELAM Investment, added: “When we look for partners, we don’t just want well-known brands, we want operational experts who are the best in class and reflect our company values. CDG specialises in creating unique and memorable customer experiences and we are confident there is significant demand for its brands across the UAE, as the taste for European cuisine rises. The food scene across the UAE, particularly in Dubai, is vibrant and exciting at this moment in time and we are very much looking forward to working together on this new partnership.”

Steve Richards, CEO, Casual Dining Group, said: “This latest agreement clearly demonstrates, once more, our ambition to gain a foothold in foreign markets, taking key learnings from the UK and applying them in other countries. We’re much more than just high street operators and our businesses is diversifying as we seek new ways to utilise the expertise across our business.

“Finding the right franchise partner is crucial to ensuring our brand standards are met overseas. Naturally we are delighted to work with RELAM Investment, who know how to run exceptional venues, and understand our business.

He added: “We look forward to working closely together over the next four years to grow their estate and will take momentum from this deal as we seek out new opportunities for our brands across the globe.”

The move adds further momentum to CDG’s growing overseas franchise portfolio, which already boasts agreements in Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ireland; to name a few. The group is exploring further franchising opportunities in Asia, Europe and North Africa.

The Casual Dining Group:

The Casual Dining Group is one of the largest independent mid-market restaurant operators in the UK, with over 300 sites located across the country. The Casual Dining Group operates primarily under the Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Las Iguanas and La Tasca formats in the UK, although also operates restaurants that trade under the brands of Belgo, La Salle, Huxley and Oriel. It also has restaurants in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, which operate under franchise.

About Relam Investments

One of the fastest growing companies in various investment and commercial sectors such as real estate, oil and natural gas, healthcare, energy, industry, sports, education, water, agriculture, retail, food and beverage. Funding Startups specializing in areas such as smart banking, e-commerce, business transactions, communications, data management, investment, automated transfers, fleet management, shared economy and services. RELAM Investments is based in the UAE, & has presence in Vietnam, India, as well as the GCC, Turkey, and Egypt.

About Sultan Ali Rashed Lootah:

Sultan Lootah occupies the role of the Chairman and Ceo of Hetachain and Managing partner of vault investments, sultan lootah petroleum, chairman of Emirati- Norwegian chamber of commerce in Oslo as well as the chairman of vietgate General trading he was CEO of the Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum foundation from October 2012 to July 2014 and he handled the role of Acting CEO and the Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Development at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation from 2008-2012.

Lootah brought to the Foundation a rich experience and outstanding competency in developing innovative and goal-oriented solutions. His exceptional leadership qualities and acumen for critical thinking made him an obvious choice to lead the Foundation’s initiatives that aim to combat unemployment in the Arab world.

In his current role, Lootah is responsible for overseeing the conceptualization and implementation of programmes that drive employment opportunities and entrepreneurial activities across the region.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Lootah served as Director of Projects at The Executive Office in Dubai, where he led the development and implementation of key initiatives for consolidating the emirate’s status as a global economic force.

As the Director of Information Technology in the Dubai Department of Economic Development, Lootah played a key role in formulating the department’s strategy and bolstering its overall efficiency.

Starting his career as a software programmer at Mashreq Bank, he was associated with the Public Prosecution department for a year. he moved to Al Thuraya Telecom as a Testbed Engineer, before joining DED.

A member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development, Lootah holds a High Dip. in Business IT from the HCT and an Executive Diploma in Public Administration at the Lee Kuan Yew College, Singapore. An EMBA holder from HCT, A recipient of the 2006 Dubai Government Excellence Award for Best Distinguished Government Employee.