It grew from one retail franchise store in Kuwait in 1983 to operating over 4,000 stores across the GCC. Today, Alshaya Group franchises 90 of the world’s best-known retail brands including Starbucks, H&M, Mothercare, Debenhams, PF Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Victoria’s Secret across, employing over 53,000 people across MENA, Russia, Turkey and Europe. One of its most recent deals in 2018 included the opening of two Beauty Wonderland stores by celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury in Dubai, including a 1,688 sq ft flagship store in The Dubai Mall. The openings follow the success of her Middle East debut store in Kuwait. Alshaya also brought Blaze Pizza, a restaurant upstart backed by basketball star LeBron James, to Kuwait in March last year. The partnership will also see the brand expand to Mexico, Asia and Europe.
The multinational business and family owned enterprise boasts 1.2m sq m retail space, but besides its brand franchise business, its diverse portfolio includes property investment, commercial trading, joint ventures and mall developments. One of the oldest companies in the Gulf, it also opened the region’s first five-star hotel and the first Sheraton outside of North America in 1965.
In 2018, Mohammed Alshaya, the executive chairman of the Alshaya Group of companies, called for the Kuwaiti government to accelerate the privatisation of partially government-owned co-op society stores to avoid competing with the private sector. “My country [Kuwait] has businesses that compete with the private sector, which they [the Kuwaiti government] are trying very hard to privatise. We want them to privatise,” he told Arabian Business.