MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is pleased to announce the recent opening of its first international restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on September 1, 2013.

Located at the Ibn Battuta Mall, the restaurant is one of four new country launches planned for MOOYAH in the Middle East before year-end.

The Ibn Battuta Mall restaurant is the first of at least 10 restaurants to be owned and operated by AWGAL Investments, which has entered into a multiunit development agreement with MENAFEX, MOOYAH's international development partner for the UAE.

AWGAL Investments is led by chairman Abdul-Wahab Galadari and president and CEO Zubair A. Razzaq.

"AWGAL Investments is proud to launch MOOYAH in the UAE," Razzaq says. "We believe the brand stands out in a highly competitive restaurant market. The great quality of the food, fun family nature of the restaurant, and regionally based MOOYAH operations team were the driving influences behind our decision to partner with MOOYAH."

Founded in Dallas, Texas, MOOYAH has seen tremendous growth in the last several years, expanding from a Texas brand into an emerging national player. The brand is in 11 states and has nearly doubled its number of restaurants from 25 to 48 in 2012.

In 2013, MOOYAH is continuing its expansion, with plans to grow domestically and abroad, to total nearly 65 restaurants. Internationally, the brand is developing in Canada and Latin America, in addition to the Middle East.

"As we come off the heels of our 50th restaurant opening in the U.S., there is no better time than now to expand internationally," says Bill Spae, MOOYAH's CEO and president. "MENAFEX's experience in successful multibrand support and international development, along with its excellent connections and enthusiasm for the MOOYAH brand, all make MENAFEX the perfect partner to spearhead our growth in the Middle East."

MENAFEX is a uniquely focused company that was founded on the concept of providing complete development strategy, brand adaptation, and implementation, along with operations support for foodservice brands internationally.

Its success is also attributed to its support from dedicated, brand-focused personnel in a development region. MENAFEX is led by CEO and president Stephen Getty, who, in addition to being a classically trained chef, has more than 20 years of global business operations experience in outsourcing and procurement, as well as quality and efficiency engineering.

"We're thrilled to bring MOOYAH to the Middle East," Getty says. "The concept is fun, the people are great, and the focus the brand places on food quality is intense. There's a passion and commitment to excel that you just don't normally find, and we know that the people of the Middle East will love the fresh food and better, customizable burgers that MOOYAH offers its guests."

Beyond MENAFEX's development for MOOYAH in the UAE, the company has strategic partnerships and expansion plans in place to develop MOOYAH in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar before the end of 2013.

"The MOOYAH brand is special because, while they want to drive sales and grow, they want to have fun and maintain the core brand DNA and quality while doing it," Getty says. "At MENAFEX, we sincerely believe MOOYAH is poised for greater growth. They have established an incredible foundation in the United States, through the strength of their process, solid strategic plan, honest leadership team, and commitment to quality in food and operations. These factors, along with great individual country operators, will fuel their growth internationally."

Spae adds, "As our brand continues to evolve domestically and internationally, we are committed to keeping it simple, while still relevant to appeal to our guests' individual tastes and favorites."

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