JEDDAH: Emirati Coffee, the UAE’s first specialty coffee roastery, is expanding into the Kingdom with the opening of its first Saudi branch in July 2021. The chain, which currently has 160 locations worldwide, will open in Alkhobar under the brand name Knowhere.
The company is preparing to open an outlet in Riyadh in 2022.
Mohamed Ali Al-Madfai, CEO of Emirati Coffee, told Arab News that the Riyadh outlet would be called the Emirati Coffee Roastery.
Al-Madfai said he believed there was great potential for growth in the Saudi market and that he is aiming to capitalize on the brand’s popularity among Saudi travelers, “especially those that came to love that brand when visiting Dubai pre-pandemic,” he said. Emirati Coffee reported a 3,135 percent increase in online sales in 2020, fueled by strong market demand for its specialty coffee produce.
The busiest period was during the first two months of the pandemic, when the UAE launched a national sterilization campaign to contain the virus. “Coffee was already the number one e-commerce grocery product before 2020, but the pandemic boosted the growth due to greater consumption at home.
Coffee buyers cut back on trips to the supermarket and coffee drinkers can’t go to the cafés,” Al-Madfai said.
He added: “Consumers resorted to online purchases and with the availability of our own delivery fleet, they were able to get their hands on their cup of coffee.”