Our history

M.H. Alshaya Co. is the retail business of the Alshaya group of companies, a family-owned business which was founded in Kuwait in 1890.

In addition to its retail operations, the Alshaya group has holdings in real estate, construction, hotels, automotive and general trading, largely centred in the Middle East. Its hotel division owns the Sheraton Hotel and the Four Points by Sheraton in Kuwait, and the Oberoi Hotel in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

1980s–1990s

  • Alshaya entered international retail franchising in 1983 with the acquisition of the Kuwait franchise for UK retailer Mothercare. Today, we operate stores for Mothercare in 14 markets.
  • During this time, the company expanded in markets across the Middle East with many new fashion brands and new stores in the Health & Beauty and Food sectors.

2000s

  • Alshaya’s move into Turkey in 2002 was its first expansion outside of the Middle East. The company moved into Russia in 2005 with the acquisition of the franchise rights for Mothercare.
  • In 2006, Alshaya launched international clothing retailer H&M in the Middle East, followed by a number of US-headquartered brands looking to expand into the Middle East: Dean and Deluca (2008), P. F. Chang's, Pinkberry and Payless ShoeSource (all 2009).
  • Alshaya also moved into the Pharmacy and Optics sectors, through the Boots and Vision Express brands.

2010s

  • In 2010, Alshaya added American Eagle Outfitters and its first Home Furnishing brands, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, to its portfolio. It also secured franchise rights for the first international outlets of Texas Roadhouse, and opened its first Victoria's Secret Beauty and Accessories stores in the Middle East in Bahrain and Kuwait.
  • In 2011, Potbelly Sandwich Shops, Texas Roadhouse and Shake Shack join the portfolio.
  • In 2012, the first The Cheesecake Factory and IHOP restaurants outside North America opened in the UAE. In November 2012, further brands were added to Alshaya's portfolio: Harvey Nichols Kuwait, Victoria’s Secret, Jack Wills, COS, Teavana, Pei Wei, West Elm, Williams Sonoma and PB Teen.
  • In December 2012, Alshaya opened the first Alshaya Retail Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, providing retail training and employment on graduation for young Saudi women. In April 2014, Alshaya announced it would open two more Alshaya Retail Academies in Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah and Dammam.
  • Alshaya moved into the Leisure & Entertainment sector in June 2013 with the opening of KidZania Kuwait, at The Avenues (Kuwait). Veranda and Muji also opened at The Avenues in the same year. Katsuya by Philippe Starck launched in Kuwait and the UAE.
  • In 2014, Icing, a popular US retailer of jewelry and accessories, made its debut in Kuwait as part of the Alshaya portfolio. The opening represented the brand’s first expansion outside the Americas.
  • In 2015, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, the award-winning Louisiana-based restaurant brand, made its Middle East debut in Kuwait.
  • In 2016, Bridgewater Chocolate makes its Middle East debut, opening its first store in Kuwait’s Grand Avenues Mall. Acclaimed Lebanese restaurant Babel opens its first outlet outside Lebanon at a stunning location overlooking the Arabian Gulf in Kuwait
  • Four Seasons will open its first Hotel in Kuwait in 2017, as part of Alshaya's new Burj Alshaya mixed-use development