Kauai, a Cape Town-based healthy fast-food retailer has opened an eco-friendly store in the United Arab Emirates in Dubai’s Marina, carrying the same image and brand as local stores, and with 98% of the same menu, with just slight culinary adjustments to suit the local palate.

With more than 130 stores in South Africa, the first Kauai store opened in Cape Town in 1996, serving fresh juices and light far inspired by a Hawaiian island cultural heritage.

Geli Briolas, Kauai chief global development officer, noted: “The property developers with whom we opened our first store receive roughly 1,500 applications a month from all over the world, so we are very proud that our brand credentials resulted in our proposal being accepted.”

“We aim to be a world-class brand globally and this is just the first step in doing so. Most of the world’s top brands have a presence in Dubai, and have been very well received.”

The store will be operated as a franchise by Dubai’s DM Healthcare, which Briolas noted that has a significant presence across the region and holds substantial expertise in the UAE market, particularly with regard to advancing products with a health-conscious orientation.

DM Healthcare is owned and run by Azad Moopen, an Indian physician, and the developer of broad array of 90 healthcare facilities in the GCC, established over the course of 20 years. It employs around 2,000 people in the Gulf, and serves more than 3 million patients a year.

Kauai will also be opening a store in Namibia later this year in a move to expand the African footprint of the brand.