Smoothie King announced its expansion into the Middle East, with the opening of its first location in Dubai on September 1. Through its partnership with Al Ghurair Retail, Smoothie King is providing guests at the BurJuman Shopping District with nutritional smoothies that live up to the brand’s founding vision to create “Smoothies With a Purpose.” This location helps bring the 800-plus unit brand closer to its goal to surpass 1,000 global locations by the end of 2017.

Just a decade since its inception, Al Ghurair’s commercial reach spans more than 20 countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and boasts an eclectic roster including financial services, food and commodities, construction, education, prime technologies, printing and real estate. Al Ghurair has supported the evolution of Dubai from a port city to a dynamic and cosmopolitan metropolis by developing brands there since the 1960s. The group employs more than 70,000 people across the Middle East. A division of the company that will be implementing Smoothie King’s expansion, Al Ghurair Retail, currently represents six fashion brands and plans on opening 45 Smoothie King locations over the next four years throughout the GCC, starting with this location in the United Arab Emirates. Additional expansion is planned for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.

“We are thrilled to introduce Smoothie King as our first ever food and beverage brand, and a meaningful new addition to Al Ghurair Retail’s rapidly expanding portfolio of companies in the UAE,” Al Ghurair Retail General Manager Laurent Cabioch says. “Al Ghurair Retail has seen the increasing demand for healthier food and beverage products for those on the go and Smoothie King will meet this demand. We are eager to build upon this opening and take the concept from Dubai into the rest of the GCC.”

The GCC retail market has experienced a recent dramatic upsurge and now accounts for 54.5 percent of international retailers in the United Arab Emirates alone. Al Ghurair recognized Smoothie King as a high-performing franchise opportunity to add to its roster and is eager to introduce “Smoothies with a Purpose” to a new audience in the Middle East.

Smoothie King’s fine-tuned business model and high-quality products have positioned the company for international growth. One-off juice and smoothie businesses have been popping up all over the world, but Smoothie King differentiates itself as an originator and innovator in this space with more than 800 locations across the world, evolving to meet customers’ nutritional needs since 1973. The mission since the company’s inception carries through to today: to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

“We are looking forward to AG Retail building our brand awareness and expanding our presence across the Middle East, while preserving brand integrity and allowing new guests to try our purposeful smoothies,” says Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim. “This new location will help people in Dubai live a healthier lifestyle, adding to our international presence and helping us reach more people across the world.”

Smoothie King offers a wide variety of smoothies made with high quality ingredients, created to help meet its guests nutritional goals including weight loss, weight gain and increased energy. Smoothie King is currently located in the Republic of Korea and the Caymans, with plans to open in Trinidad and Tobago this fall. Dan Hannah, vice president of International Business Development, says the company is eyeing development in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.

Franchising, Growth, News, Smoothie King