Dine Brands International announced plans to open multiple Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar and IHOP restaurants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the first location scheduled to open in Dubai later this year through an agreement with established IHOP Franchisee Mohamed Makawi.
“Mohamed, as a long-time IHOP operator in the U.S., is an ideal franchisee to lead the new openings of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants in the UAE market. His passion for our brands, cultural understanding of the Middle East market, paired with his focus on creating exemplary guest experiences, position him to succeed in this new endeavor,” says Tony Moralejo, president, International, Dine Brands Global, Inc.
“We have seen success in this market through our ghost kitchen operations and are excited to be re-establishing brick-and-mortar locations for our two world-renowned brands. The UAE is one of the fastest developing nations in the world, and the country’s increasing tourism business and consumer demand for casual and family dining restaurants reaffirm it as an important growth market for Dine,” adds Moralejo.
“For over 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of developing the IHOP brand in the U.S. With this new venture, I look forward to gaining the support of the communities we plan to serve internationally,” says franchisee Mohamed Makawi. “We’re going to hire a local team and are confident guests in the UAE will love joining us in our restaurants for IHOP’s world-famous pancakes and familiar comfort foods, as well as Applebee’s craveable American fare.”
Dine Brands International continues to place emphasis on growth in markets, including North America, The Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.