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28/08/2017 - 07:00hs

Brazilian launches coffee shop franchises in Dubai

The Açaí Spot, the first coffee shop specialized in açaí berry in the United Arab Emirates, is now franchising. The goal is to open from 30 to 50 stores in the next five years.

Press Release

Marcio Saboya wants to expand the network throughout the Gulf region

São Paulo – In the next few weeks the first franchise outlet of The Açaí Spot, coffee shop created by the Brazilian Marcio Saboya in Dubai, will open at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the emirate’s financial area. It’s the first step for the brand’s expansion, which is planning to reach 30 to 50 stores in the Middle East in the next five years.

It was in a flight from Dubai to São Paulo, when Saboya was still an Emirates Airlines flight attendant, that the idea of opening a coffee shop specialized in açaí berry in the United Arab Emirates came up. The Brazilian, born in São Vicente, 71.3 km from São Paulo, moved to Dubai in 2008 because of the job in the airline.

“I’ve always had this idea of my own business. After six and a half years working at Emirates, I thought it was time to pursue this goal. I saved money for two years and opened the coffee shop in April 2015,” said Saboya in an interview to ANBA.

Still little-known in the UAE, the açaí berry turned into Saboya’s great bet, with the menu bringing items based on the Amazonian fruit. Juices, smoothies, açaí berry in the bowl and the mixing with other fruits are some of the options for the clients, who also find other typical items of the Brazilian cuisine, such as the cheese bread.

Despite the references to Brazil, Saboya’s focus was never solely the Brazilian community that lives in the emirate. “Since the beginning, the goal was to serve the international customers,” he said. Proof that his bet was successful is the opening of other business of the same type in Dubai. “But only ours specializes in açaí berry,” explains the Brazilian, who celebrates the fact that The Açaí Spot was awarded as one of Dubai’s best coffee shops.

The success led the brand to adopt the franchise system. The first franchise will be owned also by Brazilians. “The location, at DIFC, is great. I believe that it can double the sales of the first one, which is located in Deira (a Dubai district),” believes the entrepreneur, who states that he buys nearly a ton of açaí per month – all bought from suppliers in Dubai, which also supply the cheese bread and other items sold at the coffee shop.

According to Saboya, there are ongoing negotiations for the opening of two other stores, one in the UAE and other in Saudi Arabia. His expansion is focusing on the Gulf region. “Of course we can go to other places, but logistics make it a little more complicated,” he explains.

Quick info
The Açaí Spot
Where: Centurion Star Tower - Shop 20 - Port Saeed, Deira - 2587 Dubai
From Monday to Thursday, from 8 am to 11 pm; Friday to Sunday, from 9 am to 11 pm.
Phone: +971 4 295-9099
Information: http://www.theacaispotcafe.com/

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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