The 5th Franchise UAE Expo, which is being organised by Franchise Middle East, from September 25 to 26, has further boosted its standing with the prestigious UK Franchise Development Services giving it a 3-star rating, and local organisations like Khalifa Fund and Dubai SME extending their support.
“The franchising model continues to produce success stories around the globe. More significantly, the world’s eyes are focused on the Gulf because of the strong presence of smart and cash-rich entrepreneurs who are either ready to bring new brands into the local market, or poised to take their home-grown brands to overseas markets,” said Mansour Al Suwaidi, General Manager of Franchise Middle East
“Our efforts to position Franchise UAE Expo have finally yielded fruit, and the recognition from prestigious franchising associations from the UK, Italy, France, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and other developed markets is a great motivator,” Al Suwaidi added.
Khalifa Fund, which awarded finance to 69 projects in the first quarter of 2013 to the tune of Dh51 million ($14 million), will send a delegation to the Expo to study how the Fund could assist entrepreneurs in adopting the franchising model. The fund was set up in 2007 to help develop local businesses and encourage entrepreneurs from the region to start their own companies.
Similarly, Dubai SME, which looks at boosting the SME sector, will be sending a delegation to gain insights into new franchising models and how local entrepreneurs could tap into this growing sector. The SME sector in Dubai constitutes 95 per cent of registered businesses in Dubai, contributing 40 per cent to Dubai GDP, and accounts for 42 per cent of the total workforce.
Franchise UAE Expo will be targeting successful local brands that are ready to explore new markets across the region and globally, while at the same time providing a networking platform for international franchisors looking to enter the Gulf markets. “There are several UAE brands that have become huge success stories. There is no reason why they should not expand to wider markets, given their niche products and unique expertise,” says Al Suwaidi.
According to Franchise Middle East, among the local brands ripe for expansion to new markets are Al Fanar, the chain of Emirati cuisine restaurants; Mandilicious, another popular restaurant chain; as well as brands like Reem Al Bawadi, Tealand, Heritage of Henna, etc.
“The local brands have excellent scope to take their products to markets in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India and other booming markets,” said Al Suwaidi. “We are witnessing strong interest from buyers across the Middle East, either looking at taking local brands to their markets or seeking to bring their brands to the UAE.”