Eating out in Singapore and Hong Kong is set to become a little more affordable under an expansion plan by a discounts business based in Dubai.
The Entertainer, which sells books of money-off vouchers, plans to expand the number of countries in which it offers discounts to as many as 15. It is opening an office in Singapore, and said it was evaluating other markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
"We're going into the Far East market - Singapore, Hong Kong. We'll also be covering Lebanon and potentially Jordan," said James Gosling, the business development director at The Entertainer.
"There are plans to go further afield in 2013 and 2014 - potentially into Europe and South Africa. We're evaluating markets."
The Entertainer currently produces 13 types of discount voucher books, including two-for-one deals for restaurants, hotels, golf courses and day trips. The company was launched in 2000 by Donna Benton, Mr Gosling's wife. It currently sells discount books in seven markets, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Cyprus.
"We've got quite an aggressive expansion plan. It's seven [countries] now - and I would probably say between 12 and 15 either done or being done [by] 2015 to 2016," Mr Gosling said.
"We'll have more than one book per country as we move forward, and as the book becomes more popular."
Mr Gosling added that the company had hired a manager for its Singapore office, and that it planned to start compiling a discounts book there this year.
"We'd look to start compiling it probably in March. Hong Kong will probably happen a year after," he said.
There has been a boom in discounts businesses in the Middle East over the past 12 months.
Many daily-deals websites have been launched, including Groupon and LivingSocial, the two global market leaders. The Entertainer is based on a slightly different model, selling printed vouchers that are valid for one year.
Mr Gosling said the company was boosting its online presence, but that there was "no plan" to scrap the printed books in favour of digital vouchers.
"I think the printed books will stay … It will never go away, because people like a touch-and-feel product," he said.
Mr Gosling said the company sold almost 100,000 books last year.
"This year we're looking at more like 130,000 to 140,000," he said. "The whole snobbery about discounts has totally disappeared in the Middle East now."
The Entertainer relaunched its website in November, and said it had already sold 3,000 printed books via its website, compared with 1,500 online sales for its books last year. The company has also started offering additional online vouchers to customers of its printed book.
Mr Gosling said he did not envisage a threat from daily-deals websites.
"It's a very separate market. The daily-deal sites are a lot about distressed stock," he said. "A lot of these daily-deal sites are taking a lot of revenue away from the outlets, and not necessarily creating loyal customers who come back time and time again."