Dubai: Premium European and American brands are becoming receptive to the franchise model.

"They want to move where their customer base exists and these days it is in the Gulf," said Duncan McLellan of Dubai Holding Group.

"It all sounds logical, but when it comes to the luxury brands they found it difficult to franchise.

"They tend to give a very individual service at their stores and they control it carefully.

"Stepping outside of the comfort zone would be very difficult for them and in the past were more than happy for the customer to travel to them."

But caution better be the watchword for those who are trying.

"There are certainly more brands coming out, though not all of them are suitable for these markets or geared up for franchise," McLellan added.

"That's the area where a lot of brands necessarily fall down. They don't understand the support levels a franchisee will require. It can soon turn out to be a difficult experience for both parties."