Business / #ForbesBusiness

April 16, 2019,   5:12 PM

German Doner Kebab Enters Saudi Arabia's $22 Billion F&B Market

Jamila Gandhi


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Imran Sayeed, Global CEO, GDK

Gourmet Doner Kebab (GDK) have announced expansion plans in Saudi Arabia, opening the doors to its first outlet in Riyadh by August 2019 as it looks to expand within the Kingdom’s $22 billion market.

The Scotland-heaquartered kebab chained is part of the Hero Brands fast-food portfolio and will be franchised by The Ajlan Company – a major player within the Saudi retail sector. It represents international brands such as Valentino, Brioni, Gianfranco Ferre, Krizia Jeans, Cavelli, Trussardi, and sports brands of Puma, Nike, Adidas, Reebok within the Kingdom and has the master franchises for global brands such as Hugo Boss and Athlete’s Foot among others in Saudi, Lebanon and Egypt.

GDK's expansion into Saudi Arabia further strengthens its presence in the Middle East, where it already has 19 stores across United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.

The brand's growth regionally comes as the preference for dining out grows among the local youth. According to a report by MENA Research Partners, “catering concepts fueled by home and office delivery and online food ordering are gaining popularity in KSA.”

“We are very excited to be announcing our ambitions for Saudi Arabia as our growth plans for the Middle East gather further momentum,” says Imran Sayeed, Global CEO, GDK.

Statistics by MENA Research Partners reveal that the Kingdom alone accounts for over half of the GCC’s food and beverage sector, which is valued at $45 million. With 29 million residents, it remains the Middle East’s largest population with a growth rate of 3.3%. This is followed by the UAE, which is growing at a rate of 31% while the region’s third largest F&B market, Kuwait, is set to grow at 9.6% annually.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia’s restaurants registered sales worth $22 billion with fast food consumption estimated to contribute $4.5 billion.

As the Kingdom aims to diversify its revenue streams away from oil, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) found the food processing industry is well-positioned to grow with investments up to $59 billion by 2021, creating opportunity for international chains like GDK to tap the developing potential.

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