Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 27 March 2016 – Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA) the first public joint stock retail operator in the UAE, today announced that nine new Cheeky Monkeys Playland & Sweet Surprises franchised outlets are being planned for Saudi Arabia via an agreement with a reputable franchise company in the Kingdom. Over the next five years, and when the franchise agreement is finalized between Marka and it’s partner in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom will see Cheeky Monkeys franchises opening in Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh. This expansion will represent the first international expansion and first franchise agreement for Cheeky Monkeys, which is the region’s leading ‘edutainment’ destination for children under six years of age.
Nick Peel, the Chief Executive Officer of Marka commented, “This franchise expansion underlines our commitment to strengthening the presence of our brands not only in the United Arab Emirates, but also across the GCC region. The high demand for children’s edutainment has enabled us to expand the scope of Cheeky Monkeys and we are excited about the prospect partnering with a leading franchising company in Saudi Arabia to further expand our retail network.”
This regional franchise expansion follows the recent launch of the latest Cheeky Monkeys’ venue at Al Naeem Mall in Ras Al Khaimah earlier on this year, which was the first time the ‘Play. Learn. Celebrate’ initiative had debuted anywhere outside of the emirate of Dubai.
“We are confident that Saudi Arabia has just the right demographic to embrace the ethos of Cheeky Monkeys, with a growing young population requiring educational and learning facilities in an enjoyable, fun and interactive environment,” added Peel. “This franchise expansion is yet another step in the right direction for us in what is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting year as we continue to build a well-balanced portfolio of global and home-grown fashion, hospitality and sports brands.
Cheeky Monkeys provides a variety of classes specifically formulated to enhance toddlers’ developmental skills for which it has become famous. The company conducts more than 2,000 children’s events every year and it was named the “Best Soft Play Venue” at the 2015 TimeOut Dubai Kids Awards.
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