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Daman JV to invest Dhs 150m in GCC’s F&B sector

Daman JV to invest Dhs 150m in GCC’s F&B sector

The joint venture, called ICON Arabia, is planning to bring 15 new food and beverage brands to the region

Dubai-based asset management firm Daman Investments announced that it has formed a joint venture partnership with Canadian firm ICON Legacy Hospitality to invest in the Gulf’s food and beverage market.

The joint venture firm, which will be called ICON Arabia, will invest nearly Dhs 150m into the Gulf Cooperation Council’s F&B market, a statement said. Through the partnership, the group is planning to bring around 15 new F&B brands to the market.

ICON Arabia will also have other investors participating in funding the projects, the statement added.

Each restaurant concept will be launched under a dedicated investment vehicle. Investors contributing Dhs1m or more will be able to participate in niche F&B ventures operated by the JV.

Daman Investments said that it will play a key role in fundraising and seeding these projects.

The first three restaurants under the JV will open in Dubai in early 2016. They include the American outlet Weslodge, Canadian-based Byblos and an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Farzi Café.

“The F&B sector in the GCC continues to develop rapidly, with the United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular evolving into an international culinary destination for restaurateurs and diners alike,” said Daman’s head of deal structuring and advisory Sumit Mehta.

“We are using the UAE as a launch-pad to roll out concepts across the region while offering investors the opportunity to participate in our dynamic fund.”

The UAE’s F&B market is estimated to grow by 17 per cent to $13.2bn in 2018 from 2014, a report by Euromonitor International showed.

Such massive potential has attracted many firms to invest in the region’s F&B sector.

Another Dubai-based firm Marka said that it has spent about Dhs 600m in acquiring F&B and other retail brands. The company is planning to spend an additional Dhs 250m on acquisitions by the end of this year.

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