Baskin-Robbins opens 500th Saudi store in Dammam

From left, Mohammed Yahya Kazi, member of the executive committee of the board of directors of GICC; Shabeer Shah, general manager of GICC; Bill Mitchell, president of Dunkin’ Brands International; John Varghese, vice president of Dunkin’ Brands International; and Osama Saleh Yadkar, deputy general manager of JTCL.
Updated 07 November 2017
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Baskin-Robbins opens 500th Saudi store in Dammam

Baskin-Robbins recently opened its 500th Saudi store in Dammam.
To mark the milestone, Galadari Ice Cream Company (GICC), master franchisee for Baskin-Robbins in the Middle East, and its subsidiary Jumeirah Trading Company Ltd. (JTCL), along with Dunkin’ Brands International, partner company of Dunkin’ Donuts, called a press conference on Nov. 1 at the Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Convention Centre.
The event was attended by a number of senior representatives from the companies, including Bill Mitchell, president of Dunkin’ Brands International; Mohammed Yahya Kazi, member of the executive committee of the board of directors of GICC; John Varghese, vice president of Dunkin’ Brands International, Shabeer Shah, general manager of GICC; and Osama Saleh Yadkar, deputy general manager of JTCL.
Dunkin’ Brands International President Mitchell told Arab News: “The opening of our 500th store is a major event for us because our partnership with Galadari has been in place for 35 years and they have been a wonderful partner. They have helped us test new flavors and images ... we have built a very close relationship over the years.”
Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shop restaurants. Based in Canton, Massachusetts, it was founded in 1945 by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in Glendale, California.
The company is known for its “31 flavors” slogan, with the idea that a customer could have a different flavor every day of any month. The slogan came from the Carson-Roberts advertising agency (which later merged into Ogilvy & Mather) in 1953.
Mitchell added: “Our founders who created the concept in 1945 started the slogan and we believe in it today, it makes people happy.”
Kazi of GICC said: “This ice cream industry in the Kingdom has gone from strength to strength, achieving an annual growth rate of six percent. We are growing along with the industry at a comparable rate.”
The company has focused on increasing its customer reach by opening outlets in new geographic regions and introduced the concept of neighborhood stores across Saudi Arabia, offering convenient home delivery options and entering into tie-ups with reputed local aggregators.
Baskin-Robbins aims to focus on delivering flavors that are close to the Saudi culture, such as dates. “We know that the Saudis love flavors such as caramel, cream, vanilla and dates. So we are working on new flavors that incorporate these elements,” Mitchell added.
As part of its commitment to local economic development, JRCL also adopted an ambitious Saudization policy to recruit and develop local talent, from frontline staff to senior executive management.
Over 37 percent of Baskin Robbins’ staff are Saudis. It has also been an active partner of the Disabled Children’s Association since 2012.
GICC currently operates more than 800 stores across the GCC. It is also a joint venture partner with Dunkin’ Brands for the Baskin-Robbins business in Australia where there are currently more than eight locations. Baskin-Robbins currently has more than 7,900 restaurants in 52 countries around the globe.
The company has introduced more than 1,000 flavors since 1945.


Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Updated 20 September 2018
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Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Emirates NBD, a banking group in the Middle East, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of its first branch in Alkhobar in the Eastern Province. Emirates NBD now covers three key regions in Saudi Arabia with a presence in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. 

As Saudi Arabia progresses plans for economic reform, in line with its Vision 2030, Emirates NBD’s presence builds on the growing economic and trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Following the establishment of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently announced The Strategy of Resolve, a joint vision for economic development through 44 joint strategic projects within a five-year time frame. 

UAE-based Emirates NBD is the first non-Saudi bank with a significant branch network across the Kingdom. The bank offers retail, private, business and wholesale banking across its network of three full-fledged branches in the Kingdom, in addition to corporate finance advisory, project and syndicated finance through Emirates NBD Capital KSA, the bank’s investment banking arm.

Emirates NBD also operates in Egypt, India, Singapore, and the UK with representative offices in China and Indonesia. 

“Our presence in Saudi is integral to Emirates NBD’s growth strategy as we continue to explore opportunities in the GCC region’s largest and most dynamic economy,” said Hesham Abdulla Al-Qassim, vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD. 

“Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a landmark economic transformation and we look forward to continuing to support Saudi individuals and businesses looking for a trusted banking partner.” 

Emirates NBD recently renewed its partnership with the Kingdom’s Kafalah Program, which aims to promote financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the country.

Loai Abduljawad, CEO of Emirates NBD KSA, said: “Emirates NBD’s expanded network strengthens our offering to individuals and corporates in Saudi Arabia looking to invest and trade across the MENA region and beyond. Our superior value proposition, built on the bank’s unique ‘high tech + high touch’ philosophy of offering customers a modern banking experience complemented by personalized advisory services, will enable us to strengthen customer acquisition in the Kingdom as we continue to support the country’s long-term growth and development goals, as outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.” 

Emirates NBD is a leading banking group in the region. As of June 30, 2018, its total assets were 477.5 billion dirhams, ($130 billion). The group has a significant retail banking franchise in the UAE and is a key participant in the global digital banking industry, with over 90 percent of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The bank was declared the “Most Innovative Financial Services Organization of the Year” at the 2017 BAI Global Innovation Awards.