UAE’s GMG acquires Singapore-based Royal Sporting House

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Middle East’s leading family-owned holding company Gulf Marketing Group (GMG) has acquired one of the largest multi-brand sports retailers in Southeast Asia, Royal Sporting House (RSH) to extend its global presence in the sports retail industry.

The GMG Sports division has grown over the past four decades from a single retail store in Dubai to over 300 stores in 18 cities across six countries, becoming the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region’s largest sports retailer. The GMG Sports portfolio includes homegrown brands such as Sun and Sand Sports. Also, the company acts as the distributor for global brands like Nike, Columbia, Timberland, Vans, and so on.

GMG Sports is growing its presence in the Gulf through the RSH acquisition and entering some of Southeast Asia’s largest markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Egypt.

The UAE-based holding company now operates 550 sports retail stores in 57 cities in 12 countries. And, it will have the potential to reach more than 700 million consumers around the globe with this increased presence.

Mohammad A. Baker
CEO & Deputy Chairman

“This acquisition is a significant milestone in the evolution of GMG’s diverse portfolio. As people around the world continue to embrace active and healthy lifestyles, the integration of RSH operations into the GMG network of stores further strengthens our leading position in sports retail across the MENA region and allows us to reach hundreds of millions of potential new consumers across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Egypt. This expansion is a strategic step in taking our business and vision global.”

“Despite the significant disruptions to the global retail industry, the strength and resilience of GMG’s business strategy enabled us to overcome these challenges and double down on our expansion plans. At our core, we are a growth business with long-term global ambitions,” added Mr. Baker.

GMG has an increasing presence in other business verticals, including healthcare, food, education, real estate, and logistics, in addition to the sports division. More than 90 foreign brands have also been introduced to the Middle East by GMG to date.

“As an entrepreneurial business, we always look to where the market and consumers are moving to. We are extremely excited to take our GMG vision and our sports expertise to new geographies, creating economies of scale while delivering additional value to our customers,” concluded Mr. Baker.