IMG tucks into dining industry with Spanish deal

The Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group (IMG) has signed a deal that marks the Dubai-based conglomerate’s entry into the food and beverage sector.

IMG plans to open the first international outlet of Spain’s Asador de Aranda Group in the first quarter of next year, and expects to open 12 more in the Middle East in the next 10 years, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

The company said it was looking at locations in Dubai such as Jumeirah Beach Walk, Dubai International Financial Centre and City Walk, and that the restaurants would be in stand-alone venues, not in malls.

The Spanish restaurant chain with 17 outlets serves traditional Castilian cuisine.

“The demand for quality food and beverage options is set to increase as we edge closer to Expo 2020, particularly given the current growth in the UAE tourism sector,” said Naveed Dowlatshahi, the vice president for food and beverage department at IMG.

In the UAE, restaurant revenues are expected to swell to US$2.8 billion this year from $2.6bn last year, according to Euromonitor International.

Separately, IMG is developing a $1bn indoor theme park on the outskirts of Dubai.

When it opens, the 1.5 million square feet IMG Worlds of Adventure will have 28 food and beverage outlets serving food from around the world. The theme park will also have 20 retail outlets.

It was due to open this year but IMG declined to say when it was due for completion.

The park expects to attract 20,000 visitors a day.

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