Charley’s Grilled Subs ‘Beefs Up’ Presence in Dubai

Charley’s Grilled Subs, the 454-unit Philly Steak restaurant chain has grown to 15 restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, the most recent which opened Jan. 19 at the Dubai International Airport in Terminal 1.

The Dubai expansion is ­­­­­­­­led by prominent businessman Mohammad Al Madani, Chairman & CEO, Al Madani Group of Companies (AMG). In addition to overseeing the development in the UAE, the group this month also signed a partnership agreement with Charley’s for exclusive master franchising of the sandwich chain for Saudi Arabia and Oman.

The recent opening is significant since Dubai airport is the 14th busiest airport in the world and is a window to the Middle East, Europe and Asia. In 2010, the airport was visited by more than 43 million passengers. Airports have been a steady point for Charley’s growth since the company first located in Pittsburgh International Airport in 1991. Since then, Charley’s airport presence has grown to eight other airport locations domestically. The Dubai airport marks the country’s first international airport presence at a time when the brand is looking to increase restaurants throughout major airports.

Charley’s, which currently operates in 46 states and 16 countries including Japan, Germany and Saudi Arabia, has been well received in international markets due to their quality of ingredients and appeal of steak sandwiches worldwide.

“Grilled sandwiches like the Philly Steak have long been a part of many cultures around the world, which is one of several factors that makes a concept like Charley’s well-suited for both airport and international expansion,” said Bob Wright, Charley’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Partnering with a seasoned franchise veteran like Mohammad Al Madani is beneficial to us internationally because he can help carry out our brand mission in other countries.”

Charley’s was founded in 1986 by the company’s CEO, Charley Shin. In addition to its booming international growth, Charley’s continues its rapid U.S. development as well.  Plans call for the franchise to have at least 500 restaurants open by 2012.

Charley’s Grilled Subs is famous for their hot, fresh made-to-order Philly Steak Sandwiches and other 100 percent USDA certified choice steak, chicken and deli subs, gourmet fries and freshly squeezed lemonade. The company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has more than 450 locations worldwide in 46 states and 16 countries. Founded in 1986, more than 90 percent of all Charley’s Grilled Subs restaurants are run by franchisees. For more information, go to