du awards store franchise to AST Telecomm

du signs first franchise licence for the UAE, to help drive Emirati entrepreneurship

Tags: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company FranchiseUnited Arab Emirates
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du awards store franchise to AST Telecomm du intends to make other franchise deals available to Emiratis to encoruage the SME sector in the UAE.
By  Mark Sutton Published  June 28, 2010

du has awarded its first franchise license to AST Telecomm LLC, to open a licensed du store in Dubai.

The franchise deal was made through the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme for Young Business Leaders - part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (MBRE), with the aim of boosting entrepreneurship among young Emiratis. AST Telecom is owned by Emirati brothers, Ali Sulaiman Al-Taher and Shahin Sulaiman Al-Taher.

Under the agreement, AST Telecomm will open a du outlet in Dubai's Dragon Mart, selling du products and services. du is franchising 18 out of its existing 35 shops and five new franchise outlets this year.

Farid Faraidooni, chief commercial officer, du, said: "We are pleased to award our very first franchise license to AST Telecomm LLC, in partnership with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme, confident in our belief that this greenfield company will prove to be a great success in the future. This first-of-its-kind franchise scheme is in-line with our Emiratisation strategy, giving local entrepreneurs the chance to develop our country's SME business sector, thereby enabling them to contribute to the UAE's economy.

Ali Sulaiman Al-Taher, CEO of AST Telecomm added: "The du franchise initiative is a bold, courageous and timely move that reflects du's brand image and corporate values. It demonstrates du's commitment towards a more liberal telecom sector and has come at a time when the market needs it the most."

"We are pleased to be a part of this scheme, in partnership with du, which comes in-line with our commitment to affiliate with different organisations in Dubai to strengthen the participation of UAE nationals in the business sector. This project is a great way of helping small and medium businesses to develop and grow," said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development.

Al Janahi Added:"This move today will encourage other entities to come and benefit from this initiative and we have already received overwhelming response from different companies. Our role today goes beyond financing as we provide SMEs with consultation in order to strengthen their businesses."

du has announced a dedicated E-mail address franchising@du.ae where people can apply for a franchise opportunity.

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