By Andy Sambidge
US-based restaurant chain opens third outlet in Gulf under deal with Kuwait's Alshaya
The largest Cheesecake Factory restaurant in the world has opened at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.
The US-based eaterie, occupying 2,120 sq m with 526 seats, is the brand's second opening in the UAE.
The launch was announced by Kuwait-based retailer MH Alshaya Co, the first international licensee for The Cheesecake Factory.
"The response to The Cheesecake Factory's international debut in the UAE last summer and at The Avenues in Kuwait last month was truly overwhelming, and we are delighted this momentum is being sustained by opening in such a prime location at Mall of the Emirates," said Duncan Garrood, president of Alshaya's food division.
The Cheesecake Factory Inc, the New York-listed restaurant chain, last year signed a deal with Alshaya to franchise its outlets across the Gulf in its first overseas expansion.
The deal allowed for 22 restaurants to be built over the next five years in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.
The UAE restaurant market is set to grow 30 percent to $780m in the next four years and will be dominated by American-style fast food brands, an industry expert said in November 2011.
Branded table-service restaurants generate about $600m a year in the UAE, a number set to swell to $780 by 2015, said Stefan Breg, founder of Tribe Restaurant Creators in Abu Dhabi.
In a poll of dining outlets in the Gulf state, Tribe found American brands comprised up to 47 percent of food and beverage offers in Dubai malls.
IHOP, Papa Murphy's and Russo's New York Pizzeria are among other US food brands looking to expand into Gulf markets.
Alshaya is the franchise operator for over 70 of the world's most recognised retail brands.
It will be interesting to see how this will work with the current franchise agreement in Saudi where already many Cheesecake Factory outlets are working for the last 15 years in Jeddah , Riyadh and khobar
What is this juvenile obssession with superlatives in this region 'largest, tallest, most expensive' etc, etc, etc?
Simply because the UAE does not already face enough health related issues in the near future, and we surely need more greasy American stuff in our diets...
The Midlle East has a high context driven culture.
I recommend you google the meaning and you will understand.
M. Snappa you hit right in the middle.
I've been wondering the same for quite some time.
Just to clarify in Arabic language such superlative derivatives come under the root verb "afal Ø§ÙØ¹Ù„" the English equivalent in using est at the end of the word.
It seems they are trying to hit each and every possible word under that root !
It's the same juvenile obsession we got from The West, being told repeatedly, The West has the biggest, tallest, richest, best of everything.
The tables have turned. Get over it.
Is it really a juvenile obssession to always strive for bigger and better things - surely this is part of how civilisation progresses itself? In this case it is a very, very trivial example and no-one would argue that having the World's largest Cheesecake Factory is anything to particularly celebrate and it is in fact little more than a marketing exercise. However, if no-one had ever strived to build the world's tallest building, for example, how quickly would contruction techniques evolve? New scientific discoveries are very often prompted by competition (or war) so a wish to surpass the acheivement of others is far from facile but to be applauded.
"..more greasy American stuff.." Never been to the Cheesecake Factory have you Hisham? The food is good, the portions are large, thanks to Al Shaya the prices are 30 to 50% higher than the States but so are many other international brands. Overall, if you going out to eat and want a good meal Cheesecake Factory does a good job, even in Dubai.
Not your 100 mile diet, surely
It seems you haven't been to the Cheesecake Factory in Dubai or the US. The "Cheesecake Factory" in KSA is just a small shop that sells the cheesecake by slice or whole cake, no food etc. If you go the US or the ones in Dubai now you will see a full menu with more food items than types of cheesecake, which is amazing in itself as they have a lot of kinds of cheesecake! The food is actually somewhat healthy compared to other places like TGIF, but the portion sizes are insane.... luckily they have "half portions" of almost everything. So the real question is when does KSA get the real deal Cheesecake Factory, because they have had the shops selling just cake since the 90's!