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Apparel Group takes a bite of UAE's AED2.2B casual dining sector.

Summary: After opening introducing Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop to the UAE in September, Apparel Group is looking to open 120 more Tim Hortons shops in the GCC over the next five years.

The Dubai-based fashion and lifestyle brand conglomerate already has plans to open five outlets in the UAE alone before the end of 2011.

"With the growth in Canadian expatriates and the number of travellers who now visit the country, we know the popularity of the brand will grow here too. Tim Hortons already has more than 3,600 plus locations worldwide; as a launch market, the UAE offers an ideal environment through which to grow the brand's popularity to the other Gulf States," said Nilesh Ved, Chairman and CEO of Apparel Group.

With a casual dining sector valued at Dh2.2 billion at the start of 2011, the UAE is expected to grow to Dh3.24 billion by 2015, according to a report issued by Horizons and Tribe Restaurant Creators.

In Canada alone, Tim Hortons attracts more than 40 per cent of all customers of quick service restaurants (QSRs); and Apparel hopes to replicate this success in the Middle East, adding to the 2 billion cups of coffee served annually.

"The family centric values and socialising habits of this region make it a logical place for introducing the brand internationally," said David Clanachan, Chief Operations Officer, US and International for Tim Hortons.

Apparel is looking further afield than the traditional 'mall' locations, according to Ved: "We have identified locations we feel are suitable. Tim Hortons can adapt its cafes and bake shop concept to fit a variety of situations and venues, catering to the tastes and demographics of the area. According to the Horizons report, the casual dining sector in the UAE is expected to grow by close to 50 per cent over the next four years, which shows us that there's plenty of room for new options and expansion."

Tim Hortons has been recognised as one of the 'World's Hottest Brands' in 2010 by Advertising Age Magazine's Insight Global Report in 2010, as one of 'Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures' by Waterstone Capital, 'Canada's Most Reputable Companies' in 2010 by Marketing magazine, 'Newsmaker of the Year' in 2010 by Restaurant News.

Apparel Group handles global fashion labels including Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole and Aldo.

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Date:Oct 5, 2011
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