United Arab Emirates

October 30, 2007

Fatburger to open in United Arab Emirates

Santa Monica Fatburger Corp. plans to open three restaurants in the United Arab Emirates. The development is represented by Fatburger franchisee Khalil Asfour of Vetra Investment with the first Fatburger restaurant scheduled to open in Dubai in 2008. Fatburger, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon.-based Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc.has a total of 91 restaurants more than a dozen state as well as China and Canada.

Filed under Agriculture and Food, United Arab Emirates by

September 27, 2007

Warner Bros. in multibillion-dollar joint venture with UAE firms

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. studio struck a multibillion-dollar joint venture deal Wednesday with two Abu Dhabi companies that will build a huge entertainment complex in the Persian Gulf region:

The partners have agreed to build a theme park, a hotel and multiplex cinemas in Abu Dhabi, the leading power in the United Arab Emirates. They also plan to produce movies and video games as well as undertake Web initiatives as part of the deal, which is arguably the most ambitious gamble yet by a U.S. entertainment giant in a region traditionally wary of Western culture.

Flush with cash from the oil boom, the Persian Gulf monarchies have been in a race to attract foreign investment in real estate, finance, healthcare and technology. Over the last year, Abu Dhabi and its smaller neighbor Dubai have made cross-cultural alliances with Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures in an effort to establish entertainment hubs in the Arab world…

Bahrain has emerged as a center for consumerism and tourism in the Middle East. Establishing an entertainment beachhead is seen by the emirates as helping to shake its reputation as lacking cultural attractions. The strategic alliance between Warner Bros.; ALDAR Properties, Abu Dhabi’s leading real estate developer; and the newly established Abu Dhabi Media Co. represents the Burbank-based studio’s first venture into the region.

“We think it’s a region of the world that has great potential and opportunities on many levels,” Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Barry Meyer said. “This is a unique arrangement for us. There’s nothing of the size, scope and breadth that encompasses so many of our businesses.”

In a conference call with Meyer from Time Warner’s corporate headquarters in New York, top executives from ALDAR and Abu Dhabi Media also expressed enthusiasm for the new arrangement. “We’ve found the right partner to start building our entertainment and media infrastructure,” said Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, chairman of ALDAR. “In the next five years, we hope to be the leader in the region. To do that, we need to attract world-class names, and Warner Bros. is certainly a very trusted name.”

Filed under Joint Ventures, Media and Entertainment, United Arab Emirates by

February 6, 2007

USC Grad appointed VP Business Development of Dubai Holding

UAE national Salem Bin Dasmal has been appointed Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Tatweer, the managing company of Dubai Holding entities in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Holding is a holding company that belongs to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Mr. Bin Dasmal was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Dubailand- a huge entertainment complex being built in that country. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Northrop University, as well as a Masters in Public Administration and a Masters of Accounting from the University of Southern California.

Filed under People on the Move, United Arab Emirates by

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