Al Qamzi Inaugurates the 1st Edition of The Global Franchise Market

Dubai – United Arab Emirates,14th of November, 2016 : Under the patronage of H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), inaugurated today the 1st edition of The Global Franchise Market (TGFM) that is being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Following the opening ceremony, Al Qamzi accompanied by key officials, businessmen and top-notch speakers had a tour in the exhibition area where they explored the latest local and international brands, products, and services highlighted by more than 60 participating exhibitors.

“Franchisee businesses have contributed substantially to the strength and diversity of the economy in the UAE, and Dubai particularly counts franchising as a key enabler of investment attraction, entrepreneurship and economic development. The present policy focus of Dubai and the UAE in general presents vast opportunities for investors to expand the franchising model to specialized services, from traditional strongholds like retail, real estate management and food and beverages,” commented Al Qamzi.

From his side, Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of INDEX Holding said: “With no doubt, franchising in the Middle East is recording a significant growth. According to the latest report released by Dubai Chamber the UAE’s franchise business is worth over AED 1.1 billion. We can sense a positive response from investors in the region as franchising is a key source of new business opportunities, and this is why we felt that there is a need for an event like The Global Franchise Market that supports the franchising industry and provides franchisees and investors an ultimate platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience.”

He added: “The Global Franchise Market is hosting in its 1st edition more than 60 brands from the region and abroad, and it is witnessing a remarkable participation from the food and beverage brands. It is evident that the F&B sector in the UAE is booming. According to Euromonitor International, the F&B franchise sector in the MENA region is expected to grow at 7.4 per cent over the next four years and there is about 19,000 extra F&B outlets expected in the UAE by 2019.”

From his side, Imad Charafeddine, Chairman of Francorp Middle East says: “There is a widespread awareness gap in the market due to the distinctive nature of the franchising model.”

He further states, “We have been approached by individuals and business groups daily seeking investment opportunities with little or no understanding of how franchising works. With TGFM, we endeavor to provide franchisors with a platform to gauge the market potential for their business, meet potential clients and make new deals to expand their operation. On the flipside, we are undertaking widespread awareness program by conducting franchising seminars and workshops to offer investors easily accessible tools and resources to enhance their franchise research and discovery process.”

Alongside TGFM, Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, and ‘aswaaq,’ have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which entrepreneurs registered with Dubai SME will be allowed to operate franchised retail outlets under the brand name ‘aswaaq mart.’

Commenting on the partnership, Saeed Matar Al Marri, Deputy CEO, Dubai SME, said it’s a significant step for Dubai SME towards achieving its goal of supporting SME growth and enhancing the sector’s contribution to the national economy. “Dubai SME is committed to developing entrepreneurship and SMEs in Dubai, and strengthening the emirate’s position as entrepreneurial hub. Our development programmes and initiatives are aimed to stimulate innovative ideas of the youth and motivate them to participate in the national economy.”

Al Marri added that the MoU brings vast investment opportunities for entrepreneurs through allowing them access to an established trademark. “As a national enterprise specialised in sales and marketing, aswaaq has the knowledge and experience required to manage and operate retail outlets, has won global certifications for quality and food safety, and stands out in terms of the quality of their products and services. Dubai SME is pleased to be associated with such a prominent home-grown retail brand.”

Al Qubaisi too expressed his delight over aswaaq and Dubai SME coming together, saying that his organisation has always been keen to provide Dubai SME members with the appropriate environment to practice business and grow sustainably and competitively.“Together, we have launched the ‘Matijari’ initiative, which aims to diversify the investment opportunities for Dubai SME members and contributes to stimulating the national cadres to achieve entrepreneurial excellence and business success.”

Running parallel to the exhibition, The Global Franchise Market Conference brings together international experts in the franchise industry to discuss various topics in the industry forming a platform for learning and networking with professionals in the field of franchise business.

The Global Franchise Market (TGFM) Conference & Exhibition is organized by INDEX Conference and Exhibition and with the sponsorship and support of Franchise Souq and Francorp Middle East, the world’s leading franchise consulting firm. The event will be running until 15th of November, 2016 at the Dubai International convention and Exhibition Center.