WORLD FRANCHISE REVIEW News MENA 31 News Middle East & North Africa Harvey Nichols (UK) opens in Qatar Harvey Nichols is opening the franchise store in partnership with Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana group. Harvey Nichols will add a great shopping experience to Qataris and expats alike. With the 2022 FIFAWorld Cup, Qatar is paving the way to becoming the centre of attraction in the Gulf region. Hertz UAE retains its ranking as the favourite car rental brand Hertz UAE, a part of the Al-Futtaim Automotive Group, has retained its ranking as the favorite car rental company rated by customers booking through Rentalcars.com for the third year in a row. Customers have evaluated Hertz UAE as their preferred car rental solutions provider at six important airports in the UAE. Al Hokair Group (SAU) signs an exclusive agreement with IHG (US) Al Hokair Group has now signed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and this agreement will help to usher in the debut of the world-famous Holiday Inn Express brand within Saudi Arabia. Expect to see 10 hotels that will be operated under long-term franchise agreements in Saudi Arabia. Mint Trading Partners launches Man’oushe Street (UAE) in Bahrain Man’oushe Street, a fast food restaurant serving Middle Eastern street food. Mint Trading Partners, a restaurant business management group that holds the franchisee rights to Wafflemeister, announces the launch of Man’oushe Street, a fast food restaurant serving Middle Eastern street food. Mint Trading has signed a franchise agreement to develop 8 new Man’oushe Street branches in Bahrain and 7 in the eastern province of KSA. Missguided (UK) to open 15 stores in MENA The Missguided brand, which sells fast, affordable fashion, is set to open in Dubai first by the end of this year, followed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon. UK-based online fashion brand Pakawaste (UK) expands its Middle East franchise Pakawaste Ltd. has expanded its franchise in the Middle East, with the introduction of its baling and conveying machine products into Abu Dhabi and Oman, through agreements with two local distributors. Pakawaste products are also in demand across Europe, the Far East and the USA. Missguided has collaborated with MENA retail giant Azadea Group on a franchise deal to open 15 stores in the region in the next three years, including online stores and an app. Majid Al Futtaim opens $82.2m carrefour distribution hub in Dubai UAE malls and retail firm Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has opened an $82.2m regional distribution centre for its Carrefour franchise in Dubai. MAF, which has the rights to operate the French supermarket chain in 38 countries, said the new facility at National Industries Park in Jebel Ali Free Zone was four times larger than any existing centre and came under a Dhs30bn ($8bn) UAE investment plan announced in 2016. Solo Tacos (Kuwait) to franchise in Oman Under the patronage of His Highness Sayed Taimur bin Shabib bin Taimur Al Said, Solo Tacos, a Mexican restaurant was opened at Al Qurum Complex on April 24. Solo Tacos is a franchise which originated in Kuwait and offers Mexican cuisines based on the taste of street fare in Tijuana Baja California Mexico. Melt Shop (US) to expand its presence in Kuwait Melt Shop, the pioneers of the melted sandwich movement, announced today that its newest franchised restaurant is now open in Fahaheel, Kuwait. This marks the brand’s second restaurant in the country. The new Melt Shop is the second of a seven-unit development deal in the Middle East with Ali Alghanim & Sons. Perry Ellis International (US) to develop Gotcha brand in North Africa Perry Ellis International, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with Kennek FZE in North Africa to source and distribute a full range of products from surf boards and wetsuits to casual wear and footwear under the Gotcha brand. Kennek plans to open eight Gotcha mono-brand stores in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in the next four years and further African expansion on a franchise basis in the future with the first launch in November 2018. Ascott (Singapore) expanding in the GCC with plan for 5,000 homes by 2020 Ascott Limited, a mid-market serviced apartments provider with 40,000 residences across the US, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, is in discussions with two Dubai-based robotics firms as it looks to use robots to conduct basic services at its properties, such as bringing clean towels to its guests. “Ascott is exploring new technologies across the serviced residence sector as automation becomes an integral part of business,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional general manager. IHG (US), Arabia Hotels sign 2 properties in Giza, Egypt InterContinental Hotels Group has signed a deal with Arabia Holding subsidiary Arabia Hotels to develop the first IHG properties in Giza, Egypt. The 200-room Holiday Inn Giza Sun Capital and the 150-room Staybridge Suites Giza Sun Capital are set to open in 2023. World Franchise Associates hosted Spanish Doughnuts franchise discovery day World Franchise Associates hosted the first ever Spanish Doughnuts Franchise Discovery Day on April 9 – 10, JWMarriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. During the two-day event, Spanish Doughnuts executives met with potential investor operators in the GCC, India, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. The brand currently has stores in Australia and Indonesia. More (UAE) to open its restaurants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Popular Dubai cafe brand More has announced a franchising expansion after signing off new outlets in Kuwait and Bahrain as well as a soon to be opened outlet in Jeddah. Another franchisee agreement has been signed with Bahraini partner Samhaan Holding and the first outlet is due to open in the late summer at Gravity Village.