Smashburger to expand presence in Middle East

Smashburger will expand its presence in the Middle East with the help of a recent investment.

Smashburger has entered into a deal with Pearll Investments to open 26 restaurants in the Middle East over the next several years.

The restaurants will be located in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai.

"Our new franchise partners are experienced restaurant operators, and we're confident they will help us grow the brand throughout this part of the region," Smashburger President and CEO Scott Crane said. "Dubai in particular is an attractive destination for people all across the world, and we're looking forward to bringing our made-to-order, hand-crafted burgers to a community that is experiencing growth and high-traffic visibility year-round."

Smashburger is already present in the Middle Eastern nations of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

"Despite there being an ample number of fast casual restaurants in this region, the industry has yet to reach its potential in United Arab Emirates and Qatar and we feel there is a huge opportunity for brands such as Smashburger," Pearll Investments Chairman Abdel Hameed said. "Due to its focus on quality, taste and wholesome ingredients, we are certain Smashburger will be a success -- and we look forward to bringing the fresh, smashed-to-order concept to the Arabic community and replicating the success of the brand internationally."

The fast casual burger chain operates more than 300 restaurants in the U.S. and across the globe.

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