Our history

First established in 1890 in Kuwait, Alshaya Group is a dynamic multinational business and family owned enterprise.

For 35 years, Alshaya has been a pioneering force in international brand franchising. Today Alshaya operates over 4,500 shopping, dining and leisure destinations and partners with 90 of the world’s most recognised brands.

Discover some of the highlights of our history in the timeline below.


  • The Alshaya family establish their business in Kuwait and grow steadily over the years. Their name becomes a byword for trading and commerce in the region.



  • The company expands substantially and builds a wide portfolio of businesses and investments.



  • Alshaya enters international retail franchising with the opening of its first Mothercare store in Kuwait.



  • Over the next two decades Alshaya grows across the Middle East and expands its portfolio, introducing new fashion brands including Debenhams, moving into Health & Beauty in 1992, and into Food in 1999 when it partners with Starbucks.



  • Leading cosmetics brand M.A.C opens in 2001. Alshaya expands beyond the Middle East with its move into Turkey in 2002, Russia in 2005, Egypt in 2006, and CEE in 2007.
  • Alshaya also expands into the Pharmacy and Optics sectors, with the Boots and Vision Express brands (2005 and 2006).
  • Further fashion and food brands open including the first H&M in the region in 2006, Dean & Deluca in 2008, and P. F. Chang's, Pinkberry and Payless ShoeSource in 2009.


2010 to date

From the start of the decade Alshaya continues to grow and expand its partnerships with an exciting mix of leading international brands:

  • 2010: Alshaya welcomes American Eagle Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret to the region. It expands into Home Furnishings with Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids.
  • 2011: US food brands, Potbelly Sandwich Shops, Texas Roadhouse and Shake Shack join the portfolio. Alshaya expands into Iraq and Morocco.
  • 2012: The much anticipated opening of The Cheesecake Factory takes place in Dubai. IHOP, Harvey Nichols, Jack Wills, COS, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, and PB Teen all debut in Kuwait.
  • 2013: Alshaya expands into Leisure & Entertainment with the opening of KidZania Kuwait. Veranda and MUJI open the same year. A favourite with Hollywood celebrities - Katsuya by Philippe Starck launches in Kuwait and the UAE.
  • 2014: Icing, the US jewelry and accessories brand opens in Kuwait. Café Coco, Alshaya’s own café and pâtisserie concept launches.
  • 2015: Alshaya opens its 3,000th establishment. Award-winning restaurant brand Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers also makes its Middle East debut.
  • 2016: Privileges Club, Alshaya’s loyalty programme is launched in Kuwait and has since expanded across the Middle East. Acclaimed Lebanese restaurant Babel opens its first outlet outside Lebanon. US chocolate brand Bridgewater Chocolate also makes its Middle East debut.
  • 2017: Further beauty brands launch in the region: Charlotte Tilbury, NYX Professional Makeup, Aveda and Le Labo. Fashionistas welcome & Other Stories and discover Spanish fashion brand El Ganso. Chef Thomas Keller, holder of seven Michelin stars inaugurates the first Bouchon Bakery in Kuwait.
  • 2018: Alshaya opens its 4,000th establishment. New fashion brands Monki and Kurt Geiger open. Further beauty and fragrance brand partnerships include Etude House, Tromborg and Dr. Vranjes. Our Food business also continues to grow and we welcome customers to 400 Gradi, Blaze Pizza, Cleo and Spontini. TekZone, our innovative virtual reality (VR) destination sees us extend our leisure and entertainment offer.