Israeli shoe chain Scoop has signed a deal with a Bethlehem businessman that will lead to the opening of five stores in the United Arab Emirates, the financial daily Calcalist reported Thursday.
According to the report, Scoop owners, brothers Ronnie and Freddie Insaz, have made an agreement with George Bassus, who has offices in Dubai.
Bassus has in turn signed a deal with local Dubai businessman Ibrahim Barakat, Calcalist reported.
The first store is to be opened in one of Dubai’s main shopping areas, Jamal Abdul-Nasser Square, with $300,000 budgeted for the renovation of the 150 sq. meter (1,614 sq. foot) store that will sell men’s, women’s and children’s footwear.
The first store will open in March. By the end of 2021, five stores will be opened, also in Abu Dhabi, Ronnie Insaz told the Ynet news site. “We hardly sleep. We wanted to be the first there. We’ve been working on the project since we realized there was going to be peace,” he said.
Insaz said that he was comfortable operating in Dubai because he had traded there as a young man living in Iran.
“I have a connection to Dubai, I have been there and I know people there. I immigrated from Iran at the age of 24. In Iran I was a businessman, importer and marketer of musical instruments. I imported electric organs and musical instruments from Dubai, from the free trade area. Even then I saw the great potential. I had people there who collected the goods I ordered and sent them to me in Iran. To this day I am in touch with them,” Insaz said.
“Dubai is an international tourist city. But tourists are not always looking for luxury brands, and we are aiming for them. Not all locals are rich, and we will offer the most contemporary trends at a cheaper price,” he said.
Israel and the UAE announced on August 13 that they were establishing full diplomatic relations. The UAE is just the third Arab country to agree to official relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan.
The formal ceremony is expected to be held in the White House in the coming weeks, though there has been no official announcement yet.