Smoothie King is expanding into the Middle East, beginning with multiple locations in Dubai.
The New Orleans-based company announced Thursday that the expansion will happen through its partnership with Al Ghurair Retail, whose commercial reach spans more than 20 countries. Al Ghurair plans to open 45 Smoothie King locations over the next five years, beginning with the United Arab Emirates before moving into Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim said they’re confident the partnership will help expand their presence worldwide.
Smoothie King is currently located in Korea, Grand Cayman and Singapore. Company officials say they’re also eyeing development in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and Brazil.
Founded in 1973, Smoothie King has grown to more than 650 locations across three continents.
Kim bought Smoothie King Franchises Inc. in 2012 from co-founders Steve and Cindy Kuhnau through his SK USA Inc. firm. A South Korea native, Kim learned about the company while he was a graduate student at Boston University. He later became a franchisee and opened more than 100 stores in his home country.