Hong Kong-headquartered A.S. Watson Group has signed an exclusive franchise agreement with Al-Futtaim to launch their flagship health and beauty retail brand Watsons in the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the Gulf area.

This is the first franchise agreement of A.S. Watson Group in its almost 180 years of history, and its first venture in the Middle East. The first Watsons flagship will officially open in Dubai Mall, on 1 October; along with a regional eCommerce portal (Watsons.ae), and a mobile app called Watsons UAE, and a Watsons loyalty programme.

Our partnership with A.S. Watson Group is another milestone in our journey to further enhance both the UAE and the Middle East’s position in the world’s top retail destinations map, and we look forward to making this brand available across further locations in the region,” said Omar Al Futtaim, Vice Chairman at Al-Futtaim Group.

Expansion plan of Watsons in the Middle East will see the opening of two outlets in Dubai Festival City Center and The Mall of the Emirates in the fourth quarter of 2020, followed by entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2021.

The two groups project to open 100 stores in the region by the end of 2025.

We are delighted to bring Watsons to the beauty-savvy customers in the Middle East which is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for beauty products. Al-Futtaim has impressed us with their proven experience and track record in quality management of retail brands. We are excited to partner with them to bring new offline and online beauty experience as well as numerous trendy brands to customers in the region,” said Dominic Lai, A.S. Watson Group Managing Director.