By Elizabeth Broomhall
Diverse retailer also plans to debut Billionaire fashion line in Abu Dhabi this year
UAE retailer BinHendi Enterprises is eyeing five new restaurants brands and plans to open a second outlet of the luxury Billionaire fashion boutique this year, the president of the company said.
The fashion line, owned by ex-Formula 1 boss Flavio Briatore, will be debuting in Abu Dhabi. The company is also in negotiations to open a number of its retail outlets in Qatar and Kuwait, Mohi-Din BinHendi told Arabian Business.
“Yes we are opening [Billionaire],” he told Arabian Business. “In Abu Dhabi, the problem is that it is becoming so popular you can’t get proper real estate for retail. So at the moment we’re looking at different possibilities, but I think one of them is going to work, the Etihad mall.
“We are also going to open some of our retail businesses, such as Joe’s Café, Japengo and Joseph in Qatar and Kuwait.”
The Dubai-based conglomerate, which counts more than 50 brands in its franchise portfolio, said is mulling a string of new food and beverage brands to launch in the Gulf.
Existing BinHendi-run outlets include coffee chain Second Cup, and the restaurants Duck King, Café Havana, China Times and Ruby Tuesday.
“In the F&B business we create our own brands, and at the moment I have five on the drawing board,” the president said.
BinHendi also spoke out on the future of troubled television channel City7, which lost more than half its staff during the financial crisis in 2009. The station launched in 2006, with the aim of creating a channel that would appeal to both Emiratis and expatriates.
BinHendi said last year he would be open to selling the media unit to the right bidder, but this week said the station is off the table.
“I get calls all the time asking if I want to sell it, but my answer is no. I’m going to service all the emirates and provide the news for everybody to hear and understand and to know what’s happening in our part of the world,” he said, adding there were no more job cuts planned for the station.
“I’ve done that it’s over, no more [staff cuts] this year. The cutting down of expenses has been done for the channel.”