Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli is to become a bigger name in the Middle East as a Lebanese company unveils plans to expand branded clubs and cafes.
Cavalli cafe brand set for $150m Middle East expansion
A Lebanese company plans to spend $150 million (Dh550.9m) developing a chain of Roberto Cavalli-branded clubs and cafes in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and South America.
Pragma Group, which is headquartered in Beirut, already operates the Cavalli Club at the Fairmont hotel in Dubai, through a license agreement with the Italian fashion designer.
It plans to extend this partnership outside Dubai, developing 15 'Cavalli Cafes', and branded nightclubs, during the next five years.
Joe Tabet, chairman of Pragma Group, said that "$150 million is a good benchmark" for the total cost of the developments, which will be created on a 50:50 joint-partnership basis with local partners in each market.
"In terms of clubs, our main focus will be Beirut," said Mr Tabet of the initial rollout of the clubs. He said that the Cavalli Cafe concept could also work in Gulf markets such as Saudi Arabia.
The $75 million that will contributed by the Pragma Group will be financed via an investment fund launched by the group earlier this year.
In a separate deal, Pragma said earlier this year that it had entered into a partnership with Flavio Briatore, the former Formula One boss, as part of the US$150 million acquisition and redevelopment of the Palladium building in Dubai.
The Italian businessman has franchised his '"Billionaire" brand to Pragma, which plans to renovate the Palladium conference centre in Dubai Media City as a "lifestyle destination" with restaurants, a 55-room hotel, a club and a fitness centre.