Panda Express, America’s favorite Chinese restaurant with close to 1,700 locations across the world, opens for the first time in Dubai this September 2014. The family-owned, fast casual dining establishment offering a wide variety of freshly wokked entrees, launches at Al Ghurair Mall at the end of Septemberand The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence in the month of October.
The Panda story began when Andrew Cherng and his father Master Chef Ming-Tsai Cherng established Panda Inn in 1973 introducing the robust flavors of Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine to the locals of Southern California. Andrew, with little money but a lot of heart, expanded his vision with the creation of Panda Express in 1983. The foundation for the restaurant’s tasty flavors, amazing recipes and fresh concepts was well-received and loved that today, with the help of Andrew’s wife, Peggy, Panda Express is widely known as the world’s leader in American Chinese dining experiences.
The signature entrée that has set Panda Express apart for almost three decades is its Orange Chicken. While many have tried to replicate it, none measure up to the original tender, juicy chicken pieces lightly battered and wokked tossed in a sweet and mildly spicy chili sauce. Other favorites to look forward to are the award winning Honey Walnut Shrimp, Shanghai Angus Steak, Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef, and Chow Mein, all prepared on site and served hot, fresh and fast.
“We are extremely excited to launch Panda Express in Dubai. One with the founder’s vision for continuous growth and innnovation, we are planning to roll out 100 stores across the GCC by 2020,” says Sami Daud, Executive Chairman of Gourmet Gulf, the company behind this project.
Gourmet Gulf Company, a leading food and beverage restaurant company in the Middle East holds the exclusive development and franchise rights for top-tier brands such as YO! Sushi, California Pizza Kitchen, Morelli’s Gelato, Azkadenya, Dalloyau and Hummingbird Bakery. Operating for more than seven years, the company has 25 F&B outlets across the Gulf. In 2013, Gourmet Gulf under Daud Arabian entered a joint venture agreement covering mutual investments with Majid Al Futtaim Ventures.
About Gourmet Gulf:
Gourmet Gulf currently operates restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Its portfolio of brands includes California Pizza Kitchen, Morelli’s Gelato, Azkadenya, Dalloyau, YO! Sushi and Hummingbird Bakery. Gourmet Gulf employs more than 1000 people and is expected to double its restaurant base in the next 2 years.
About Daud Arabian
Daud Arabian is part of the Oman-based Daud family of companies, a diverse, Gulf focused group of companies engaged in industrial, oil & gas, building materials, retail and property sectors. With over 50 years of group business experience in the region, Daud Arabian has a unique understanding of the markets and opportunities afforded. In support of its business objectives, Daud Arabian enjoys extensive business and finance relationships throughout the MENA region, Europe and the United States.
Daud Arabian was set up to look after the UAE headquartered retail and restaurant businesses. Its first venture was the setting up of Gourmet Gulf Company in 2006 and which it has been successfully leading since inception.
In 2008, Daud Arabian set up its retail focused arm, Retail Arabia International. Retail Arabia International is today the regional developer/owner of the world famous, Hamleys toy store, House of Fraser department store and Oscar de la Renta to name a few.
Daud Arabian has additionally set up a separate India specific food & beverage subsidiary and partnered with JSM Corp to own and operate Hard Rock Café, California Pizza Kitchen, Shiro, Trader Vic’s, and Pinkberry across India.
About Majid Al Futtaim Ventures
Majid Al Futtaim Ventures LLC is responsible for developing and managing new enterprises that complement and reinforce Majid Al Futtaim Holding’s leadership in shopping, retail and entertainment. The Company’s expertise spans across a complementary collection of wholly-owned businesses that mark Majid Al Futtaim Ventures’ dedication to delivering superior customer experiences.
Majid Al Futtaim Ventures is responsible for all leisure, entertainment and cinema facilities at Majid Al Futtaim malls in addition to expanding its brand portfolio within third-party malls region-wide. Concepts include the region’s first indoor ski slope at Ski Dubai and the region’s first indoor waterpark, Wahooo! in Bahrain from Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment to premiere viewing experiences with VOX Cinemas from Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas. Other strategic businesses include Majid Al Futtaim Fashion, which represents key brands such as Juicy Couture, Halston Heritage, Hoss Intropia and Abercrombie & Fitch; and Majid Al Futtaim Finance, which offers practical money solutions with the Najm Visa and JCB credit cards. The newest addition to the Majid Al Futtaim Ventures portfolio is Majid Al Futtaim Healthcare, which aims to provide advanced care across the region.
Majid Al Futtaim Ventures has extended its expertise to include first-class multi-technical and energy management services through a strategic joint-venture with industry leader Dalkia Group, to form MAF Dalkia.