Belhasa Hospitality seeks more top global brands

DUBAI - Belhasa Hospitality LLC said that it has acquired a majority stake in Italian restaurant 800Pizza, further cementing its increasing presence in the UAE leisure and hospitality sector and supporting growing confidence in it.

By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Sat 9 Apr 2011, 11:21 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:31 AM

The acquisition also provides an indication that Belhasa Hospitality — operating under the umbrella of the Belhasa Group — is aiming to expand its presence in this industry, banking on consumers’ return of focus to quality leisure retail chains, a sector expected to grow strongly in Dubai.

In an e-mailed statement to Khaleej Times, Belhasa Hospitality said that the firm is confident in this present venture and future ones, with economic activity gaining steam again.

Aside from this, it also cited escalating tourism, increase in disposable income, and return to growth of sectors such as finance and construction as factors that will contribute Branded leisure retail and recreation concepts are the areas of interest Belhasa Hospitality has begun to strongly develop. “At the moment, Belhasa Hospitality is mostly focusing on the UAE’s hospitality market,” the statement said. “There are many opportunities… brands are interested about the UAE’s potential.”

Belhasa Hospitality furthered that it is currently in discussions with other groups, but declined to divulge them. It did reveal though that England’s Ben’s Cookies is on board, but did not give further details. “As part of Belhasa’s leisure retail strategy, its objective is to have a portfolio of world-class brands each growing in its area of specialisation supported by a central bank office function,” the statement said.

The Belhasa Group — founded in the 1960s by Dr Ahmed Saif Belhasa — has been a leader in Middle East trade and commerce for almost half a century and with this acquisition, 800Pizza will have the financial support and management backing of the group to tap the opportunity for growth in the region.

“The time is ripe for the partnership; we have had many requests in the past from potential partners but this time I strongly believe we have finally found the right partner to move forward with,” said Alessandro D’Ubaldo, the founder of 800Pizza, which has been reviewed extensively by the Arab Press.

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