Majid Al Futtaim Ventures and Daud Arabian Announce Milestone Joint Venture Partnership in Gourmet Gulf

Daud Arabian and Majid Al Futtaim Ventures announce a joint venture agreement covering their mutual investments in Gourmet Gulf Company (, a leading food and beverage (F&B) restaurant company in the Middle East. The partnership marks a first entry into the Middle East F&B market for Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, which operates as the growth engine driving new enterprise development for Majid Al Futtaim Holding. Gourmet Gulf holds the exclusive development and franchise rights in a number of Middle East markets for top-tier brands such as California Pizza Kitchen, Morelli’s Gelato, YO! Sushi and Hummingbird Bakery.

A successful operator with a growing presence in the region for more than 7 years, Gourmet Gulf currently operates 25 F&B outlets across the Gulf.  The Company was founded by Daud Arabian in 2006 and led by its CEO, Sami Daud.  The joint venture will bring Daud Arabian’s and Majid Al Futtaim Ventures’ experience across the MENA region to Gourmet Gulf, consolidating its considerable depth of experience in the regional food industry.

“The Middle East and surrounding markets are experiencing some of the fastest growth in the world, particularly in the food industry. This partnership enables Gourmet Gulf to scale our operations and propel our rate of expansion in a dynamic, but considerate manner to maintain our leading position in the F&B franchising sector,” said Sami Daud, CEO, Gourmet Gulf.

Commenting on the agreement, Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures said:  “This is a landmark partnership as our first investment in the Middle East F&B sector.  Gourmet Gulf is a very well respected operator with an exceptional portfolio of brands and a solid track record in the region.  Combining this with our retail expertise makes for a compelling alliance, and we are confident of mutual success.”

Operating from its headquarters in Dubai, Gourmet Gulf is scheduled to open over 10 restaurants in the next six months.   Sami Daud said:  “Our objective is to have well over 100 outlets in operation by 2020, a goal that we are well on our way to achieving.  In addition to the opening of new outlets of our existing franchise brands, we are also in the final stages of signing a number of new concepts for the region which will launch very early next year.”

Gourmet Gulf currently operates restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.  Its portfolio of brands includes California Pizza Kitchen, Morelli’s Gelato, YO! Sushi and Hummingbird Bakery.   Gourmet Gulf employs more than 1000 people and is expected to double its restaurant base in the next 2 years.

Daud Arabian is part of the Oman-based Daud family of companies, a diverse, Gulf focused group of companies engaged in industrial, oil & gas, building materials, retail and property sectors.  With over 50 years of group business experience in the region, Daud Arabian has a unique understanding of the markets and opportunities afforded.  In support of its business objectives, Daud Arabian enjoys extensive business and finance relationships throughout the MENA region, Europe and the United States.

Daud Arabian was set up to look after the UAE headquartered retail and restaurant businesses.  Its first venture was the setting up of Gourmet Gulf Company in 2006 and which it has been successfully leading since inception.

In 2008, Daud Arabian set up its retail focused arm, Retail Arabia International. Retail Arabia International is today the regional developer/owner of the world famous, Hamleys toy store, House of Fraser department store and Oscar de la Renta to name a few.

Daud Arabian has additionally set up a separate India specific food & beverage subsidiary and partnered with JSM Corp to own and operate Hard Rock Café, California Pizza Kitchen, Shiro, Trader Vic’s, and Pinkberry across India.

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures LLC is responsible for developing and managing new enterprises that complement and reinforce Majid Al Futtaim Holding’s leadership in shopping, retail and entertainment.  The Company’s expertise spans across a complementary collection of wholly-owned businesses that mark Majid Al Futtaim Ventures’ dedication to delivering superior customer experiences.

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures is responsible for all leisure, entertainment and cinema facilities at Majid Al Futtaim malls in addition to expanding its brand portfolio within third-party malls region-wide.  Concepts include the region’s first indoor ski slope at Ski Dubai and the region’s first indoor waterpark, Wahooo! in Bahrain from Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment to premiere viewing experiences with VOX Cinemas from Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas.  Other strategic businesses include Majid Al Futtaim Fashion, which represents key brands such as Juicy Couture, Halston Heritage, Hoss Intropia and Abercrombie & Fitch; and Majid Al Futtaim Finance, which offers practical money solutions with the Najm Visa and JCB credit cards.  The newest addition to the Majid Al Futtaim Ventures portfolio is Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare, which aims to provide advanced care across the region.

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures has extended its expertise to include first-class multi-technical and energy management services through a strategic joint-venture with industry leader Dalkia Group, to form MAF Dalkia.