Dubai: Dubai-based Al Ghurair Investment plans to expand its retail business in the region over the next three years, according to the group’s newly appointed chief executive, Adil Toubia.

The group currently has six retail brands, including the new additions to its portfolio: UK-based Boux Avenue Lingerie, French clothing brand Morgandetoi, and Prenatal, which sells clothing, accessories, toys and toiletries for mothers and children.

“We want to grow the six brands first within the UAE and the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council],” Toubia said at a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

He declined to say the number of brands the group wants to introduce in the region, and the size of the investment for the expansion.

Al Ghurair Investment plans to bring fashion and food and beverage brands that are new to the region, and possibly its “own ideas,” he said.

“We’re focusing on high-quality, affordable fashion. We’re not trying to target the top tier of the market because we feel that segment is fairly well represented in the UAE and even in the GCC,” he said.

Al Ghurair Investment operates in a range of sectors, including retail, construction, property, energy, food, education and publishing. The company aims to consolidate its businesses in the coming years.

Facilitate growth

“The best years for Al Ghurair Investment are ahead of us…our challenge in the organisation is to take the jewel that we have and introduce more systems, processes, procedures and corporate governance to facilitate the growth of the company going into the next level,” he said.

Last year, the group’s only shopping mall, Al Ghurair Centre, underwent an expansion, adding 130 outlets.

“We have a very large land bank and we intend to develop that going forward, not necessarily around malls. Mall of the World is planned so we don’t feel this is a particular niche that we want to be dominant in,” Toubia said.

He declined to discuss the group’s plans for the land bank, but said that it has created a three-year strategy to develop the land bank.

In terms of the group’s financial position, Toubia said that it has “a solid footing” and is not considering an IPO (initial public offering).