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Sat 25 Apr 2009 11:26 AM

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Favourite London restaurant to open across ME

Kuwaiti businessman buys franchise for Italian eatery near Harrods, plans 22 more.  

A wealthy Kuwaiti businessman is planning to bring a slice of London living to the Middle East with the launch of a chain of Italian restaurants, after being so impressed by the original Knightsbridge eatery.

Retail mogul Shaikh Marzouk Al Kharafi has bought the franchise rights of Signor Sassi, which he plans to open in 22 countries inclluding Kuwait, Dubai, Riyadh and Cairo.

The original restaurant is located near the high-end department store Harrods and is a favourite lunch spot for Arab shoppers.

The first franchise will open in Kuwait in July, according to UAE daily Gulf News.  

Kharafi's family is one of the richest in the Arab world - one his relatives is hoping to buy Liverpool Football Club.

The family's enormous business empire, the Americana Group, already owns the regional rights to Wimpy and KFC and is the single biggest shareholder in Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

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