UAE-based Cravia Holding, parent company of franchises of Cinnabon, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Zaatar w Zeit (ZwZ), is expanding its operations into Saudi Arabia, said a press statement on Monday. The company has signed joint venture agreement with Rawabet Elokhowa Company (part of Al Rajhi Group), one of the Kingdom’s foremost conglomerates operating in the fields of real estate, banking, manufacturing, as well as food and beverage. The agreement will result in a SR30 million (Dh29.3 million) investment in the establishment of Wraps Arabia, which will be responsible for ZwZ’s growth and expansion in KSA. The strategic partnership kicks off immediately with the opening in September in Al Tahlia Street, Riyadh, of what will be the largest ZwZ outlet in the world. Cravia Holding CEO, Walid Hajj commented; “Building on the enormous success we have enjoyed in the UAE over the last decade, we are now ready to take our brands further afield. As the largest market in the region, our entry into Saudi Arabia represents immense growth potential, which we hope to achieve through our partnership with one of the most respected companies in the Kingdom and indeed the whole region.” After the debut of ZwZ in Riyadh, the company will embark on an aggressive expansion plan with 57 additional outlets scheduled to be opened over the next few years. “This ambitious expansion programme is a testament to the demand forecast for the brand,” said Hajj. “The introduction into the Kingdom comes in parallel with that of a new brand identity for ZwZ. The enhanced new identity is modern and reflects a more international brand appeal.” With these new developments, Cravia will leverage its existing infrastructure to manage operations in the Kingdom, benefitting largely from the economies of scale in terms of, among others, purchasing and manpower. “Expansion into Saudi Arabia is a natural progression for the group, given the history of our parent company, United Group, which has its roots in the Kingdom, and our vast experience in that market. We go forth with fortitude and a mind-set to be as successful in Saudi as we have been in the UAE,” Hajj added. Al Tahlia Street was chosen for the ZwZ launch due to its prime location as an important fashion, shopping and commercial street – one of the most prestigious and popular in the capital. “Its strategic location is ideal as it is a major destination made up of a vibrant mix of cafés and international cuisine,” Hajj adds. “This is symbolic of the way we operate – strategic and efficient. We pinpointed where the brand needed to be in order to create awareness, brand recognition and exposure.” The record-breaking 420 square metres venue will seat about 200 across two separate dining areas – one for families and the other for singles. Delivery service will also be available. “When entering into any new territory, it is important to understand the distinct requirements of your new audience. And while changes will be made to accommodate cultural differences, the outlet will mirror all aspects of service excellence and food quality found in every other ZwZ restaurant.” Cravia Holding’s foray into the Kingdom will significantly boost sales and help fuel further expansion plans.