Diwan Bookstore Opens Cairo University Branch

As part of an expansion plan that includes wider outreach to students and consumers in Egypt, Diwan Bookstore has opened a new flagship store inside Cairo University

Diwan Bookstore, Egypt’s premier bookseller and a portfolio company of Citadel Capital platform investment Tanweer, has recently launched its first branch inside Egypt’s oldest university. The new 134-square-meter Cairo University shop, which opened its doors in May 2009, is a milestone for Diwan Bookstore as the company embarks on a new expansion phase that aims to deliver its unique business model to a wider segment of the Egyptian population.

Based on the idea that a bookstore is more than just titles on a shelf, Diwan aims to make “book culture” more accessible to Egyptians by providing an attractive venue for community gatherings that include book signings, poetry readings and storytelling for children. By stocking a diverse and up-to-date product mix that includes English and Arabic books, music and DVDs, Diwan Bookstore has effectively merged the best of Western and Eastern literature and artistic culture.

“The formula has proven so successful that today, Diwan Bookstore has grown to include 11 branches in key locations throughout Cairo and Alexandria and are now on their way to expanding to second tier markets,” said Nadia Wasset, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Diwan. “We are particularly proud of the Cairo University location because of the rich history that the University enjoys as a center of secular learning in the Arab world.”

Adds one of Diwan Bookstore’s founders and co-owner Hind Wassef, “I have always wanted to open outside our core markets: in the more socially diverse areas of Cairo. For us, Cairo University was an obvious first choice in that direction. With 178,258 students and faculty on hand at any given time, what better place could there be to reach a mass consumer base? We hope that Diwan Bookstore will make a positive contribution to the University and help revitalize a culture of reading amongst its students.”

The Cairo University shop includes titles and product offerings tailored to the specific needs of the University’s student body. The product mix of books and multimedia merchandise leans heavily towards Arabic titles and does not include any item priced above EGP 100. The menu inside the Diwan Café, a mainstay in all of Diwan’s branches, combines traditional favorites and quick snacks.

Diwan Bookstore was founded in 2002 as a first-of-its-kind, bookstore in Egypt.
Since then, the retailer has evolved into a prominent Egyptian brand with a chain of 11 shops that includes flagship stores in Zamalek, Heliopolis (the largest bookstore in Cairo) and Mohandeseen as well as smaller branches in Alexandria City Center, the Gezira Club and the North Coast. In the future the founders of Diwan Bookstore would like to expand with branches similar to the Cairo University concept in Shubra and at Ain Shams and Assuit Universities.

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Tanweer is Citadel Capital’s platform company for investments in a range of leading regional media companies, including the publishing house Dar El-Shorouk and book retailer Diwan, among others. Diwan has emerged as Egypt’s premiere chain of boutique bookstores since it opened in 2002. Today, the company has 11 branches in Cairo and Alexandria and has plans for both national and regional expansion as it forges partnerships with writers, publishers and cultural centers.
Citadel Capital is the leading private equity firm focusing on building regional platform investments throughout the Middle East and Africa in selected industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity Specific Funds. Citadel Capital’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, the firm has returned more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash to investors, more than any other private equity firm in the region. For more information, visit www.citadelcapital.com.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications,
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)

g...@qalaaholdings.com (click to reveal this email)

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