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The Middle East has been a hot spot for American franchise brands over the past several years, and it doesn’t look like that trend is slowing anytime soon. In fact, I just returned from speaking at the Global Franchise Market in Dubai, where I also visited several American fast casual concepts that I hadn’t yet seen around my Kansas City home or in my travels throughout the States.

What I found most interesting about the show was that despite the UAE being such a popular place for franchising, the government there has no franchise laws. If a dispute breaks out between a franchisee and a franchisor, for example, laws aren’t in place to protect either party. The court, however, will most likely enforce any signed agreement between the parties, said Khaled Al Rashed, a lawyer and president at Francorp Kuwait, who stressed the importance of fully understanding any signed agreements.

The show featured expert presentations covering a variety of franchising issues, including women in franchising, how to take your brand global, how to know when you are ready to franchise your brand and tips for choosing the right franchise partners. Among the flow of wisdom, experience and revealing one-liners, some of my favorites included:

“In India, 79 percent of women in business are self-capitalized. Women need to take more capital.”
— Ritu Marya, editor in chief, Entrepreneur and Franchise India

“Franchising is a universal language.”
— Don Boroian, chairman, Francorp

“We don’t have any franchise law in the Gulf region.”
— Khaled Al Rashed, lawyer and president at Francorp Kuwait

“I’ve never thought of myself as a female in the franchise world. I thought of myself as a person.”
— Phi Van Nguyen, board director, Retail & Franchise Asia

“8.5 million businesses are owned by women in India; 11.5 million in the US.”
— Ritu Marya, editor in chief, Entrepreneur and Franchise India

“Our experience is that the foreign courts are unlikely to support foreign rights against one of its citizens.”
— Don Boroian, chairman, Francorp

(Franchisees) are going to try to interview you; flip the switch. You interview them. You put them on the defense.”
— Danny Hewitt, CMO, Franchise Enterprises

“Over half of all businesses in the U.S. are franchises.”
— Don Boroian, chairman, Francorp

Posted with permission from

Photo source: The Global Franchise Market

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler

Cherryh Cansler has been a reporter and editor for nearly 15 years, writing on a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry to business and health and fitness news. Before joining Networld Media Group as managing editor of Food/Retail Publications, she was content specialist at Barkley ad agency in Kansas City and has served as editor for several publications. She's also written for several daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine.

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