The Kuwait-based franchise group says there are ‘vast opportunities’ in the Middle East and plans to open 250 Starbucks stores annually across the region
A Starbucks store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | Photo credit: Alshaya Group
Alshaya Group has reaffirmed its strong commitment to Starbucks in the Middle East. Speaking at the annual Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) 2023 in Dubai, Alshaya CEO John Hadden said “amidst vast opportunities, the Middle East stands out as a thriving retail hub,” adding that with 90% of Alshaya revenues are generated in key countries, such as Saudi Arabia
, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.
Alshaya Group became Starbucks’ Middle East and North Africa (MENA) franchise partner in 1999 and now operates around 2,000 stores across Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.
Accepting Starbucks’ award for ‘Most Admired Transformation in the Food Service Sector’ at the Middle East-focused retail event, Hadden said the coffee chain’s “journey in the region continues to flourish.”
“Notably, we've seen significant growth in female workforce participation in Saudi Arabia, while the expanding presence of Starbucks amid healthy competition is driving our ambition further. Our plan is to open 250 more outlets annually, aiming for 3,000 outlets in the next five years from the current 2,000,” he added.
In July 2023 Alshaya opened its 400th store in Saudi Arabia
, a key growth market for the chain, and one where it has invested heavily in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 – a government framework seeking to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, promote the Kingdom’s tourism and hospitality industries and improve employment opportunities for women.
The Middle East has become a key global hub for coffee commerce
, with World Coffee Portal data
showing the branded café segment grew 10.5% to exceed 8,800 outlets in 2022. Boosted by one of the world’s fastest growing developed economies, Saudi Arabia’s branded coffee shop market expanded 18.5% over the last 12 months to reach 3,556 outlets, making it by far the largest in the Middle East.