US pizza firm eyes major Gulf region expansion

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Anthony Russo, owner of the award-winning Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal Fired Italian Kitchen, is eyeing a major expansion in the Gulf region.

The company said on Sunday that it has awarded exclusive UAE territory rights to Dubai-based Prime Hospitality, a division of Ghobash Trading and Investment Company.

It has also signed other agreements to enable growth in the region which will see the restaurant chain opening at least 26 outlets in Gulf countries over the next decade.

Prime Hospitality will be operating Russo's Restaurants throughout the UAE, with first openings planned in Dubai and Abu Dhabi later this year.

Numerous expression of interest were received by Russo's after the 2011 Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai, it said in a statement, adding that the company has set up a new office in the UAE city.

Russo said: "We chose Prime Hospitality as our partner for the UAE as their philosophy is similar to ours: a commitment to quality and fresh ingredients while offering our customers a most memorable experience for a reasonable price."

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