Hamleys heads to the Gulf

Stores to open in Dubai, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
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Toy store Hamleys is to open its doors in three Gulf countries in the first quarter of 2009 in a franchise deal worth $6 million, according to Arabian Business.

Hamleys will be setting up first in Dubai, taking up 33,000 sq ft in one of the flagship units in the under construction Dubai Mall, followed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Investment company Al Ghussein Global Investments apparently paid a $3 million premium for the brand, Arabian Business reported.

"This is the first time Hamleys has left Europe and is a significant deal for the region," Mohammed Al Ghussein, CEO of GCI said.

GCI has entered into the deal in conjunction with Dau Investments and estimates that the Dubai store will turnover $9.5m in revenues after it is opened for just over two years.

The news follows Toys R Us' opening last week of its first store in Dubai.

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