The UAE’s homegrown Sumo, Sushi & Bento will expand to Saudi Arabia under a franchise agreement with Arabian Fields Trading Company, with the first outlet to open in Q1 2017 in Dhahran City.
Darami Coulter, global marketing and communication manager, Sumo International Inc commented: “We believe there is tremendous potential for Japanese cuisine in the Middle East region and we are very excited about working closely with Othman Al-Zahrani, and the Arabia Fields Trading Group in Saudi to introduce the same high standards of quality and taste that has become our hallmark and which people have liked, in the UAE. Al-Zahrani has great entrepreneurial spirit and we know he will brilliantly convey the brand’s ethos, while introducing nuances that will make it highly suitable for the local market.”
Othman Al-Zahrani, CEO of Dhahran Catering said: “I am tremendously excited about bringing the brand alive here in KSA and introducing it to people who I know have a great appetite for Japanese cuisine. I have been very well supported by the operations team at Sumo Sushi and the set-up process has been very straightforward. I will certainly be introducing the same modus operandi and attention to detail that has contributed to its success in the UAE, Bahrain and Oman.”
Expansion of the brand to Saudi Arabia follows Sumo Sushi & Bento’s first opening in Oman earlier this year in partnership with franchisee, Naranjee Hirjee. Two more Oman outlets are expected to open over the next two years.
There also three Sumo Sushi & Bento outlets in Bahrain, while Kuwait and Qatar are on the radar for future expansion.
Established 16 years ago in 2000 with just 10 employees, Sumo Sushi & Bento currently has 10 outlets in the UAE and 149 team members in the corporate office and corporately owned outlets, while the franchises have over 500 employees.
Coulter added: “In general the Middle East offers superb opportunities for the brand to thrive – people here, particularly the younger generation, are becoming increasingly well-travelled and have experienced great sushi in other parts of the world, and we are confident that they will find our well-priced, responsibly sourced offering very appealing. Consequently, we are heavily focused on exploring opportunities and locations for new outlets in the region, with Kuwait and Qatar firmly in our vision for further expansion.”