The Azadea Group is a retail company that owns and operates more than 50 international franchise concepts across the Middle East and North Africa. Since its inception in 1978, the Group has developed a stores representing brand names in fashion and accessories, food and beverage, home furnishings, sporting goods and multimedia. With over 11,000 employees, the company has more than 600 stores spread across 14 countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
In 1978, Wassim Daher opened a small clothing store on Hamra Street, in the heart of Lebanon, Beirut. Despite a civil war, in the 1980s the Group won its first international retail franchise name: MaxMara. The company continued to expand in the Middle East over the next two decades as it grew into the United Arab Emirates (1993), Kuwait (1998), Qatar (1998), Bahrain (1999), Jordan (2001), Egypt (2005), Saudi Arabia (2007), Oman (2007), Iran (2008), Erbil (2009) and eventually a total of 15 countries, as well as through securing the franchise rights for renowned brands such as: Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Oysho, Uterque, Zara Home, Mango, Virgin Megastore, Sunglass Hut, Paul, Salsa, Promod, Boggi, Punt Roma, Decathlon, GAP, Old Navy, George, Dynamite, PAUL, Butcher Shop & Grill, Eataly and many others to make up the 50+ brands of Azadea's portfolio.
AZADEA Group milestonesEdit
- 1978: 1st store opens in Beirut, Lebanon
- 1983: Franchise debut
- 1993: 1st store opens in UAE
- 1997: Partnership with Mango
- 1998: Partnership with ZARA
- 1998: Store opens in Qatar
- 2001: Partnership with Virgin Megastore
- 2003: 1st PAUL Café opens in Kuwait
- 2005: Azadea celebrates its 100th store
- 2006: Azadea has broadened its scope of business to include ACRES Development; a subsidiary affiliated to AZADEA Group specializing in construction and operation of shopping malls.
- 2008: First Mango store opens in Iran
- 2009: First ZARA store opens in Egypt
- 2010: Partnership with Gymboree
- 2011: Partnership with Decathlon
- 2012: Partnership with GAP
- 2013: Azadea celebrates its 500th store
- 2013: 1st Eataly opens in UAE
- 2014: Partnership with Old Navy
- 2014: Partnership with Reserved
Founded in 2011, Azadea Foundation is an NGO managed, financed and sponsored by Azadea board members and employees. The foundation has hosted four plantation days to date, planting over 10,000 trees in the woodlands of Lebanon. It has also launched a number of initiatives to spread environmental awareness through school workshops, green booths in malls, and school competitions with an environmental calling such as "Envirothon" in 2015.