Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chowking steps up global forays

Manila Bulletin
March 26, 2006


Chowking steps up global forays

Chowking Food Corporation stepped up its global expansion with the recent opening of a fifth store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), boosting its international presence to 17 stores.


Dubai-based Chowking Orient, a franchisee of Chowking and the owner and operator of Chowking stores in the UAE, inaugurated its fifth store in Al Satwa, Dubai. Other Chowking stores are located in Al Ghurair, Karama, Sharjah, and Ajman.


Chowking Al Satwa mostly caters to Filipinos in Dubai, though the store also attracts local Arabs, Indians, and other nationalities in the area.


Chowking stores have also become a favorite dining place for most Filipinos in Dubai and serve as the venue for birthday parties, baptismal receptions, reunions, company parties and other events.


Chowking started its Dubai operations with two stores in October 2004. Since then, the network has grown to five with another store scheduled to open next month.


With the steady patronage of Filipino customers and a growing base of other nationalities, Ahmed Lafir, UAE Territorial Franchisee of Chowking, is looking towards an aggressive store expansion program.


"We are very excited with the prospects of Chowking, not only in the UAE but also in the region," Mr. Lafir said. "In the coming months, we are determined to expand the business further. And with the support I’ve been receiving from the mother company in the Philippines, I believe I have made the right move to invest in the brand."


Recently, the franchise owners also invested in a central commissary and distribution center located in Al Rashidya.


Chowking president Rufino de la Rosa said UAE will be a leading and important market in Chowking’s international expansion. According to him, this is the perfect time to expand in UAE, which is the center of commerce and trade in the Middle East. Economic activity and tourism are buzzling in this part of the world.


Chowking is a member of the Jollibee Group, the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines. The group has a combined network of more than 1,300 stores worldwide.


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