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

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.

ALJ to drive foreign investment in auto sector

Updated 16 August 2018

ALJ to drive foreign investment in auto sector

Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ) and Japanese company Kosei Aluminium (Kosei) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP), driving foreign investment into Saudi Arabia’s auto manufacturing sector.

The MoU seeks to explore the manufacturing of automotive aluminum wheels and components in Saudi Arabia and is the first major Saudi Arabian-based automotive components manufacturing venture intended to produce export products for worldwide markets.

Long-term plans for the venture involve the establishment of a factory in Saudi Arabia, as a global hub for Kosei, contributed by Saudi Arabian Mining Company (MA’ADEN). The volume of wheels produced is expected to represent a significant market share in the world.

The MoU, signed by NICDP Vice President Abdullah Al-Hazani, on behalf of NICDP President Homood Al-Tuwaijiri, Kosei CEO and President Shunkichi Kamiya, and Abdul Latif Jameel Vice Chairman and Deputy President Hassan Jameel will see Abdul Latif Jameel, Kosei and NICDP undertake a study into the technical and financial feasibility of manufacturing automotive aluminum die casting wheels and components in Saudi Arabia. This would contribute to the development of the manufacturing industry in the country — a key priority of Saudi Vision 2030.

Kamiya said: “It is our pleasure to sign this MoU with NICDP and Abdul Latif Jameel, to discover the enormous potential and various opportunities in the Kingdom as well as the MENA region. I am pleased to state that, the timing of Kosei’s global vision 2021 and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 are so apt that, it has brought the three parties together to conduct the feasibility study and work toward achieving the goals.”

Al-Hazani said: “We are glad to have this MoU signed with Kosei Aluminum, one of the prominent global automotive suppliers in Japan, and Abdul Latif Jameel, one of the biggest automotive business expertise established in Saudi Arabia.”

 Signing this MoU is a part of NICDP’s plans and activities to develop a globally competitive automotive industry, together with growing a strong automotive parts supply base, in Saudi Arabia, which is in line with Vision 2030 to diversify economy in non-oil sector in the kingdom.”

Jameel said: “This MoU explores the exciting potential to bring manufacturing skills and jobs to Saudi Arabia and marks the first Saudi Arabian venture in large-scale automotive components manufacturing for export. The agreement is an important step in NICDP’s efforts to develop the manufacturing industry in Saudi Arabia in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030, and strives to make a valuable contribution to the Saudi automotive cluster.” 

The signing comes ahead of the expected visit to Saudi Arabia by Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, and follows a visit by King Salman in March 2017, during which Saudi Arabia and Japan agreed to deepen existing bilateral relations between the two countries and establish a solid strategic partnership, as part of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030.