The American chain expects to follow up the launch of the store, in Dubai’s BurJuman mall, with 45 more across the GCC in the next five years.
Al Ghurair Retail, a division of the family-owned trading giant, has secured the rights to operate the franchise in the region.
It is the first move into the food and beverage sector for Al Ghurair Retail, which currently represents six fashion brands. Al Ghurair also owns and manages the Al Ghurair Centre, another mall in Dubai.
Founded in 1973, Smoothie King has over 800 outlets in America, South Korea and the Cayman Islands.
The firm has said it is also considering plans to open in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Australia, as well as in new locations in the Americas, with a view to having 1,000 outlets by the end of this year.
“With the demand for healthy food and beverage options on the rise in the UAE and across the region, our foray into this sector through this partnership with Smoothie King couldn’t have been timed better,” said Laurent Cabioch, general manager of Al Ghurair Retail.
“People are increasingly becoming more health conscious and are proactively seeking out healthier and active lifestyle options. Smoothie King is the industry’s first and original nutritional fruit and function-based brand offering fresh blended smoothies and we definitely see potential for growth and expansion.”
Al Ghurair operates in more than 20 countries, and employs 70,000 people across the region. Its core interests are in construction, foods, resources and property, with additional interests in energy, printing, education and retail.