x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cricket legends plan more Meat One shops

Inzamam ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar plan two more branches of their popular butcher-shop franchise.

The Meat One shops have proved popular among residents in Motor City and Al Nahda, and local executives are looking at new locations.
The Meat One shops have proved popular among residents in Motor City and Al Nahda, and local executives are looking at new locations.

DUBAI // Two retired Pakistani cricket legends plan two more branches of their popular butcher-shop franchise.

Inzamam ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar opened the first two Meat One shops in Dubai last September.

Inzamam, known to fans as Inzy, was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team from 2003 to 2007.

Saeed, the team's opening batsman, once scored 194 runs - a record at the time for a one-day international.

Their shops quickly proved popular among residents in Motor City and Al Nahda, and local executives are looking at new locations.

"When we opened originally we didn't just think it would be just these two outlets," said Arif Abdul Aziz, the chief executive of Alif Investments, which holds the franchise for the Gulf region.

"Some of our clients come from Deira and others come from the Marina. It's difficult for us to determine which areas we would get the best response.

"We are studying it at the moment and we will make a decision in a month's time."

Mr Abdul Aziz said the company aimed to open the new shops at the end of August.

Butcher's shops are regarded as old-fashioned, but he believes they still have a place in a world dominated by hypermarkets.

"In olden times almost every community had a butcher's shop," Mr Abdul Aziz said.

"We have hypermarkets now but people who want quality in their meat want to go back to how it was.

"At the moment it's just all about price. Every supermarket sells clothes, but people will still go to brand shops like Zara or New Look.

"In the same way, every supermarket sells meat but they aren't specialised in that area."

The business has caught on in Pakistan, with nine shops opening in the past year in Karachi, Mr Abdul Aziz said.

He said Alif Investments was in constant contact with the former cricketers.

"We are in touch with them on a regular basis," Mr Abdul Aziz said. "One of their partners flies to Dubai almost every 15 days. They are very happy with what we are doing."

mcroucher@thenational.ae