Colors Touch, the Emirati lifestyle and fashion venture, said on Tuesday it was diversifying its interests into the confectionary and food sector with the launch of its homegrown chocolate brand Choco Laty. The retailer said the first and flagship outlet of Choco Laty is set to open at Arabian Centre in Dubai. It also said it had plans to expand the brand\'s footprints across Dubai in the first phase this year and across the UAE and GCC in a second and third phase. Fuad Abdul Raza Rahma, founder and chairman, said: \"As a new entrant into the chocolate market we are aware of the competition but we are confident that Choco Laty will carve a niche for itself soon as a homegrown brand which is made out of a blend of Belgium chocolates and indigenous ingredients like dates from the UAE.\" Choco Laty will bring a range of chocolate varieties to the UAE market including different types of date-based products, traditional sweets and a blend of cookies and others like cup cakes, pastries soon. \"Chocolate consumption in the UAE and the region has been on an upward momentum and we believe that Choco Laty will be a welcome addition to this growing market,\" Rahma added. He said the plan was to make the brand a household name in the UAE first and then branch out into GCC markets on a franchise-based formula. According to an AC Nielson\'s retail audit, the UAE chocolate market is estimated to be worth around AED546m and is growing at a pace of 27 percent in terms of value and 14 percent in terms of volume. \"The growth outlook and the growth potential for the chocolate market in the UAE and the region are robust and we are confident that Choco Laty will gain in this scenario,\" Rahma said. He added that Colors Touch is also in the process of starting an Arabic restaurant chain which will open soon. Colors Touch started out this year as a fashion and lifestyle venture with a boutique chain for Arabic casual designer wear for women and make-up cosmetics. The cosmetics business of Colors Touch, undertaken through a sister company, Colors Makeup Paris, plans to enhance the brand portfolio further adding new global brands as well as by creating own brands in the cosmetics segment.