Al Ahli Holding Group, and BCDA tie up for tourism projects

9 January 2015, Philstar

Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG), a conglomerate from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has forged a partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to develop tourism-related projects.
BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova told reporters following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AAHG chief executive officer Mohammed Khammas yesterday, the strategic alliance would cover undertaking developments in areas under the agency.
“The strategic alliance will cover assets of BCDA and future plans. What we signed is the MOU in preparation for a final memorandum of agreement (MOA) once we come into final agreement. Basically, it pertains to the big businesses that they (AAHG) have. Some of it would be located in Clark Green City. It will be a major development once we complete the agreement,” he said.
Casanova added the two parties are also exploring opportunities in Metro Manila.
Khammas said the partnership would involve development of projects related to the tourism industry, family entertainment as well as the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions sector.
He declined to say the exact amount needed for the undertaking, hinting that it would involve “very significant investment” in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
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“Whatever we do here is very strategic, very long-term and have huge economic impact. It will create jobs in the thousands,” he said.
The parties aim to complete the final MOA for the undertaking within two to three months.
In the same event, AAHG also announced that it has secured the franchise rights for six Filipino food and beverage brands such as: Binalot (Filipino fast food), Jay-J’s (chicken inasal), Fruitas (fruit shakes), Mochi Creme (ice cream), Zagu (pearl shakes) and Fiftea (tea).
AAHG intends to have the six brands under one roof or under a Little Manila-themed restaurant in the UAE and in other international markets.
“For starters, for Little Manila, we will open our first outlet in Dubai by the end of the first quarter of 2015,” Abdulla Mahmood, director for marketing and corporate communication of AAHG said.
AAHG plans to rollout over 20 Little Manila outlets in different international markets in five years.
“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,” Khammas said.
Earlier, AAHG announced that it is holding the Asia Pop Comic Con, an international comic and pop culture convention in Manila this year to jumpstart its business in the country.
Established in 1977, AAHG is engaged in various business activities such as real estate; construction; engineering and infrastructure; retail and trading; technology and logistics; lifestyle and fitness; entertainment; as well as hospitality and innovative developments.
The group has 5,000 employees and presence across 20 countries.