Mohammed Alshaya is the undisputed king of Gulf retail. Whatever you do this weekend, you are likely to come across one of Alshaya's ventures, which include Starbuck's, H&M and Debenhams.
The Alshaya Group has diverse holdings in a number of industries in the Middle East region, including real estate, construction, hotels, multiple retailing, information technology and advertising.
Its hotel division owns the Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait and the Oberoi Hotel in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Its automotive division holds exclusive dealerships in Kuwait for Mazda and Peugeot cars, as well as for Michelin tyres and Mobil lubricants.
Alshaya, who was appointed chief executive of the retail division in 1990, has overseen the expansion of the business' franchising operation. It now includes more than 1,700 stores in 16 countries across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Alshaya recently said that he plans to open 200 new stores this year, despite group revenue currently being down by 15 to 17 percent on the year. The company reportedly plans to add around five new names to its stable of 40 international brands, including US high street fashion retailer Express.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.