A Forever Rose store in Mercato Mall. First founded in London in 1999, Forever Rose was acquired by Al Samadi and introduced to the UAE in 2014. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Ebraheem Al Samadi, Chief executive of Al Samadi

Dubai: Al Samadi, a Dubai-based hospitality and retail company, is planning to expand Forever Rose in the Gulf region and reintroduce it into the UK market.

After the success of Forever Rose in the region, Ebraheem Al Samadi, chief executive of Al Samadi, said the company will open 20 outlets under the brand, including in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

“Forever Rose has been getting the most attention [compared to Al Samadi’s other brands] in the past year or so. There is nothing like it in the market. We don’t have a competitor,” Al Samadi said in an interview.

Two of the 20 stores will open in Dubai, and one each in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kuwait, he said. The remaining will be present in Saudi Arabia, where Al Samadi sees strong demand for Forever Rose roses.

“Saudis will come to [the Mercato branch] and they will take every product there and we will have to restock the next day … so when we realised the amount of requests from Saudi Arabia and the amount of emails from investors, we decided to expand in Saudi Arabia and serve the entire country,” he said.

The stores are all scheduled to open this year, except for the Saudi Arabia outlets, which are expected to open next year.

Forever Rose sells two kinds of roses — the Forever Roses and Garden Roses. The former are grown using the volcanic soils of Ecuador, South America and do not need water or sunlight to retain their freshness. Prices per rose for the Forever Roses start from Dh500, while prices for the fresh Garden Roses, imported from the Netherlands and Ecuador, start from Dh35.

First founded in London in 1999, Forever Rose was acquired by Al Samadi and introduced to the UAE in 2014.

The expansion will be self funded, Al Samadi said, adding that it will cost $25 million.

Al Samadi is also in talks to have a Forever Rose outlet in Knightsbridge, London, which could open in the third quarter of this year. This would be the first Forever Rose location after the one at Harrods closed in 2007. The company is also eyeing a presence for the brand in Paris, Los Angeles and New York, Al Samadi said.

“Knightsbridge is renowned for Middle Eastern families and high net worth individuals … we are focusing on serving our customers from Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. They have an attachment to the brand, so when they come here they can rest assured that they can get the same products that are available in their homeland,” he said.

Britain’s exit from the European Union will not impact the company’s expansion plans in the UK, he said. “But it might help us get a premium discount on our rents. What I believe is that for the next three years, the UK will suffer a detachment phase. But after three years, I think there will be a strong [UK] economy.”

Al Samadi’s other plans include opening new locations for food and beverage chains Big Smoke Burger and The Chickery, as well as jewellery brand Wired Up in the UAE. The Chickery is set to open at La Mer in Jumeirah in March 2017, while Wired Up will be present in Dubai Parks and Resorts in October.

The company is also planning to launch 13 food trucks at Dubai’s The Beach starting in September, according to Al Samadi. Four are already present there.