Emirates conglomerate AAHG snags franchise rights to 6 Filipino food retail brands

8 January 2015, Interaksyon

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) conglomerate has bagged the rights to open outlets of six Philippine food and beverage retailers overseas.
In a briefing today, Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG) executives identified the six small franchise businesses as Binalot, Jay-J’s, Fruitas, Mochi Creme, Zagu and Fiftea.
“AAHG has chosen some of the best Filipino food and beverage brands for Little Manila to bring the popular cuisine from Philippines, to cater not only to the vast Filipino expat community, but also to those eager to explore the different gastronomic delights throughout the United Arab Emirates and in different international markets,” AAHG chief executive officer Mohammed Khammas told reporters.
Binalot offers Filipino dishes wrapped in banana leaves, while Jay-J’s specializes in the chicken inasal dish from the Visayas.
Fruitas offers fruit shakes, while Mochi Creme specializes in ice cream. Zagu retails pearl shakes, while Fiftea sells tea.
AAHG plans to offer the six brands under one roof dubbed “Little Manila.” The company aims to launch 20 such restaurants over a five-year period.
“For starters, we will be opening our first outlet in Dubai by the end of quarter one,” said Abdulla Mahmood, AAHG director for marketing and corporate communication.
Clark investment

Khammas said AAHG is also exploring investments at the Clark Special Economic Zone.
In the same briefing, AAHG and the Philippines’ Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) signed a memorandum of understanding for possible projects in what will become the Clark Green City.
“The strategic alliance will cover assets of BCDA and future plans,” BCDA president Arnel Paciano Cassanova said after the MOU signing.
“What we signed is the MOU in preparation for a final memorandum of agreement once we come into final agreement. Basically, it pertains to the big businesses that they have. Some of it would be located in Clark Green City. It will be a major development once we complete the agreement,” he said, adding that the final agreement will be signed within three months.
Khammas said AAHG is interested in tourism projects, both family entertainment and the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market.
“Whatever we do here is very strategic, very long-term and have huge economic impact. It will create jobs in the thousands,” he said, without citing a figure.
AAHG earlier announced that it would bring to Manila this year the Asia Pop Comic Con, an international comic and pop culture convention.
Besides retail and entertainment, AAHG is also in the business of real estate, construction and logistics. Established in 1977, the conglomerate has a 5,000-strong workforce across 20 countries.