Franchising in the Middle East and North Africa

asked about 2 years ago

Keen to draw international companies to the region, the Middle East and North Africa is one market you should consider if looking to expand your franchise.

A Thriving Market

With a growing population of around 315 million people, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region offers exciting business opportunities for companies looking to expand into new markets. The gross domestic product of the MENA region sits at around $1.4 trillion, which means it comes as no surprise that the Middle East and North Africa has become a global hotspot for franchising. Franchises from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, German, and Australia are commonly found throughout this area.

“Franchising is a cost-effective and low-risk way to expand into a new and emerging market,” says Derek Cafferata, CEO and President of franchise experts All State Franchise Finders. “More and more companies are keen to grab business opportunities that are arising in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Most opportunities are within the restaurant, hospitality, and retail sectors, as this region, which has traditionally been so closed to Western brands and culture for so long, is desiring more of our Western culture and lifestyle. This is understandable when you consider that average age of the population in this MENA region is around 26 to 30 years of age. It is this younger Gen-Z demographic that is keen to have access to Western brands.

The Top 5 Regions to Franchise

A huge amount of change has taken place within the Middle East and North Africa over the past 2 or so decades. Always having been known for its wealth internally with oil connections, this region has now relaxed its economic borders, making it easier to enter this financially lucrative market.

According to business and economic experts, the top five regions within the Middle East and North Africa considered ideal for franchising are the United Arab Emirates, with a vibrant and diverse economy that is not just about oil, Qatar, which has worked hard over the past decade to attract overseas investment, Bahrain, who is very keen to become less reliant on its oil, Saudi Arabia, which has recently opened its capital city to some major international companies, and Egypt, who is strategically placed between Europe and East Asia.

Key Franchising Points to Consider

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the regulating authority governing franchising within the region. Franchisors looking to expand into the Middle East need to ensure they comply with the regulations set out by the GCC.

One requirement of franchising into the Middle East and North Africa is that a local franchisee must head up the expansion as laws around foreign ownership are quite strict and will limit any possible expansion.

Derek Cafferata is keen to point out cultural considerations. “Cultural considerations also need to be clearly defined and met” says Derek. “A franchise that is not sensitive to cultural or religious differences, requirements or expectations will struggle to expand successfully into the region.”

Expert Advice with ALLSTATEFF.COM

Derek Cafferata leads an experienced and knowledgeable award-winning team of franchising experts at All State Franchise Finders. He brings with him more than 30 years’ experience in the franchising industry in the United States and around the world. ALLSTATEFF.COM are there to help you will all your franchising needs. If you are interested in franchise expansion, then contact the team at All State Franchise Finders on 1-800-544-2161 or visit ALLSTATEFF.COM today. ALLLSTATEFF.COM are your award-winning franchise experts.