Tuesday 24, October 2017 by Jessica Combes

Kasamar Holdings acquires major stake in Gallery One


Abu Dhabi-based Kasamar Holdings has recently acquired a 49 per cent stake in Dubai-based company, Gallery One, one of the UAE's leading homegrown cultural retailers.

Gallery One launched in the UAE in 2006 and has since emerged as one of the region’s leading cultural retailer, driven by the core philosophical belief, ‘Art in Everything’. The new investment funds will be applied to accelerate the growth of the business through new product development, store openings and enhanced production facilities. 

CEO and Founder, Gregg Sedgwick, described the Kasamar Holdings investment as “a platform for further expansion", helping the company to adapt to differing markets. Gallery One recently reached a commercial milestone, having achieved 100 retail sales channels in a combination of own stores, franchise stores and third party outlets. The company forecasts it will  achieve 300 retail channels by the end of 2018. 

"We’ve built a strong and much loved brand, with Kasamar on board we can look to new areas for development. This investment will allow us to consolidate in the GCC before looking at new geographical territories. We will be focusing on the opening of new stores, the creation of further product ranges, expanding the workshop facilities and implementing robust retail systems. Cultural retail is a growing genre, it provides culturally relevant products that are founded on creativity and design integrity. We are becoming more and more recognised for our ability to combine creativity with commercial outcome, and this investment will support us as we continue to deliver unique ranges with cultural provenance, beautiful packaging and regional relevance to the UAE and beyond,” Sedgwick said.

Mo Bississo, Director at Kasamar said the company envisioned international growth for Gallery One. 

"We see huge potential in the cultural retail sector and nobody is doing it better than Gallery One in the Gulf region. Our vision for Gallery One is one of growth, firstly in the Middle East and then in major cities throughout the world,” Bississo said. 

Within Gallery One's impressive retail network sit leading retailers such as Virgin Megastore, Hallmark and Home Centre, and the company will open its first store at Dubai International Airport in 2017, providing an important interface with the travelling public before and during Expo 2020. 

"Our goal is to become one the world's most prominent cultural retail brands, and we soon hope to see Gallery One in cities, airports, hotels and resorts all over the world. Our "Art in Everything" philosophy is the driving principle of all Gallery One products and merchandise we see designed, produced and sold and wherever we go, our brand ethos will follow," Sedgwick said. 

In April 2016 Gallery One also launched The Gallery Workshop, an independent Company designed to provide art print and framing facilities for the retail group. Today, it is one of the largest framing facility in the region with a capacity to produce more than 10,000 artworks per month. The Gallery Workshop also serves the Gallery One "Projects" division, which provides Art Solutions for hotels, resorts, hospitals, Government offices and corporate offices with end-to-end artwork packages. From artwork sourcing and creation through to manufacture and installation, Gallery One Projects is working for clients such as Kempinski, Hilton, Ramada, Mediclinic and Fairmont. 

Gallery One currently has stores in UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.