Cold Stone Creamery to enter Middle East

US ice cream retailer Cold Stone Creamery has appointed United Arab Emirates-based Apparel Group as a Master Franchisee for the Middle East region, under an agreement which will see the group open over 40 locations over the next five year period. The agreement covers Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the first store opening in Dubai in May and further developments for 2007 planned in Saudi Arabia.

'We are truly excited to partner with the Apparel Group to launch Cold Stone Creamery in the Middle East and to bring the ultimate ice cream experience to Dubai as early as May,", says Cold Stone Creamery President of International & New Business Development Lee Knowlton. 'They are incredible retail operators and share the same desire we do - to make people happy around the world.'

Apparel Group Chief Executive Nilesh Ved adds: 'It is an honour and privilege to be associated with Cold Stone Creamery, the 'ultimate ice cream experience', and we are very proud to bring the same experience of customer enjoyment across the Middle East.'

Cold Stone Creamery is established in 1,400 locations worldwide, in the USA, Puerto Rico, Guam, Japan and Korea, and also plans to open outlets in Mexico and Indonesia.