Dubai, UAE - October 16, 2012: Paris Gallery, the leading luxury retailer, in a joint press conference with the Al Handal International Group, announced that Paris Gallery is opening 5 franchise stores in Iraq. The announcement was followed by the signing of a franchise agreement between Mr. Mohamed A. R. Al Fahim, the CEO of Paris Gallery, and Mr. Mohammed Al Handal, the CEO of Al Handal International Group, with the presence of General Consul General of Iraq, H.E. Mr. Ismat Ageed Siddiq.
H.E. Mr. Ismat Akid commented on this agreement “We are very pleased with having luxury name as Paris Gallery in Iraq, we considered as a positive sign for Iraq economy”
Mr. Mohamed A. R. Al Fahim said 'We have been looking forward to this day, and the time is right. In the past we have had several companies who wanted to open Paris Gallery stores in Iraq, but the conditions were not favorable for us to do so. After much deliberation and research we have now partnered with the Al Handal Group, a successful company, who shares the same business philosophy with us. We believe in their ability to take this forward successfully in a way that will uphold the solid reputation that Paris Gallery has built over the years.'
'We are in an expansion mode now. We are well set in the UAE, and strengthening ourselves in the GCC countries. We are also eagerly looking forward to the other markets in the world. Paris Gallery has an efficient team that focuses on taking Paris Gallery forward. 2013 will be a big year for us as we have many stores planned to open in different parts of the world,' concluded Mr. Mohamed A. R. Al Fahim, the CEO of Paris Gallery.
The CEO of Al Handal International Group, Mr. Mohammed Al Handal, said, 'We are so honored and delighted to win the franchise for Paris Gallery in Iraq. We have been looking forward to having the contracts signed and we are eager to go forward with the setting up of the first store in Baghdad. We have very high expectations. Paris Gallery has a solid reputation and a great organization. Their experience in the luxury segment spans more than four decades. We are sure to benefit from their experience and expertise. We are excited as we believe that Paris Gallery will bring something special and unique that our Iraqi market needs.'
Paris Gallery is also expanding into countries like Azerbaijan and Oman, as well as being in negotiations with potential clients in other countries. When asked about how Paris Gallery's views on the current situation in Iraq, Mr. Mohamed A. R. Al Fahim, the CEO of Paris Gallery, said: 'Iraq is in a transition phase now, moving from unstable to stable. The people of Iraq are optimistic and are welcoming new investments. The social and economic situation is improving. We have high hopes for the country and its people. We believe that by the time we are set to open our first store in Iraq, the situation in Iraq will have improved to a great extent. Our new partner, the Al Handal Group, is optimistic and believes that this is the right time to invest in the country.'
Reports have it that Iraq's economy is showing serious signs of growth. One of the encouraging signs of Iraq's economic recovery is foreign investment. It has also been reported that foreign investment and other commercial activity in Iraq rose by 40% last year. Iraq is opening its doors to businesses worldwide. Optimistic investments of well-known organizations like the Paris Gallery Group are a clear indication of this.
The Al Handal International Group is set to open five stores in the next three years with two stores in Baghdad, two in Erbil and one in Basra.