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We speak to Zooba's CEO and Founder Christopher Khalifa about the plans for his food chain in the Arabian Gulf.
"When we opened our first branch in Zamalek back in 2012, a Zooba in every major city in the world was the dream," says Christopher Khalifa, the CEO and founder of Zooba, a fast food restaurant that makes fancy Egyptian street food. Zooba has partnered with SADF Trading and Development, a company operates and scales an F&B franchise as well as embraces the Egyptian food chain's core values and conscientious approach to hospitality. "With 20 locations agreed over the next seven years, this partnership brings us one step closer to making that happen," Khalifa tells Startup Scene.
"The opportunity to share our brand of Egyptian street food and culture with our neighbours in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is a source of great pride for us," says Khalifa; adding that they're not interested in adapting their menu to any new market we’re entering. "Zooba will always be Zooba," he says. "Anywhere you come across us. We might occasionally introduce a few seasonal or limited menu items inspired by local dishes or flavours, but our menu will always stay true to our Egyptian roots."
Asking him about Zooba's geographical choice of expansion, Khalifa told us that the main reason behind this choice was that Saudi Arabia is the biggest market in the Arabian gulf region and has always been Zooba's priority for expansion in the region. "Bahrain is a natural compliment to Saudi Arabia due to its close proximity and as a result was a no brainer for us to include under the same partnership," he adds. However, a bulk from the 20 Zooba branches over seven years will be located Saudi Arabia simply due to the relative size of the two markets. The exact split is still undecided.
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