Ajman to be F&B hub? Ajman to be F&B hub?

UAE-based food and concept and design agency Figjam eyes Ajman for expansion plans, and participated in the Ajman Franchising Expo 2015 to follow this bid.

Figjam managing director Sanjay Murthy said he believes that Ajman will be a key part of Figjam’s UAE development, and added: "Continued existence in Ajman is important to us and this event gave us presence and position in the minds of industry leaders in Ajman."

Organised by the Ajman Chamber of Commerce and inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, The Ajman Franchising Expo was designed to showcase the city’s capabilities and attract industry leaders, investors and global SME’s looking to explore business prospects across all industry sectors.

Murthy continued: "The event offered great networking opportunities. Ajman is a strong market and holds significant growth potential for us.

"We met with some very prominent Ajman figures who we would not have necessarily had access to otherwise. The expo also generated a lot of press attention, which was another big positive for us."

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During the event, Figjam discussed plans for continued company growth into Ajman and hinted at possible registered offices in addition to the current Dubai head office.

"Although at this time it’s too early to put anything in writing we held some encouraging meetings which we are hopeful of signing deals on the back of," revealed Murthy.

With a total population of 297 million and growth rate of 3-5% per year, the MENA region is thriving as is the franchise industry, calculated at more than US $30 billion with an estimated annual growth of 27%.

Murthy said: "Not everyone can be a franchisee and while franchising is a very viable option it is easy to forget there are other great alternatives out there. The UAE food sector is changing, food trucks, street vendors and pop-up concepts are all gaining popularity thanks to the municipalities updating regulations.

"As the country matures franchising will continue to hold it own but independent concepts will become increasingly important in crafting an identity for the UAE’s food persona. We are interested in working across the board in order to develop this wonderfully diverse foodservice market."


He also predic F&B franchises playing a major role in Ajman's development throughout 2015 and beyond.

Figjam is also a sponsor of the Caterer Middle East Awards 2015, and Murthy is a regular columnist with Caterer Middle East.