Hospitality Development Company (HDC), the development company responsible for hotels and restaurants on The Pearl-Qatar, has announced it will \"aggressively\" roll out its brands across the Middle East in the next couple of years. Its primary focus will be on Dubai, followed by Istanbul, general manager Walid Maalouf said in comments published by Hotelier Middle East. “For most of our brands we are already in talks about Dubai. We have locations for Megu and Pampano and are in the final stages of negotiations,\" he said. \"We are also looking at Istanbul. It\'s a market with 11 million tourists, and over 40 million people living there. We are looking for F&B partners, and we are in negotiations with two different Turkish partners for two boutique hotels,\" he added. HDC, which currently operates 10 restaurants on The Pearl-Qatar, denies that the current expansion plans have been prompted by falling profits on The Pearl due to the alcohol ban which came into place December 12. Maalouf said instead that plans to take the brands across the MENA region have been there from the start. \"It can be an encouragement to speed up that [expansion] process,\" said Maalouf, \"but it is expressively not a cause to an effect.\" As well as working on the roll-out of the brands, HDC will launch F&B concepts on The Pearl later this year including The Social Club, an Italian ice cream concept and a New York better burger brand. Maalouf also revealed that the company still hopes to open Nikki Beach hotel and resort, the first in the Middle East, by the end of 2012.