Russian food retailer Vkusvill said it has launched product sales in Dubai through the YallaMarket app, catering to the many Russians that have relocated to the United Arab Emirates, seeking a safe haven from the Ukraine conflict.
Vkusvill, which closed a store in the Netherlands a year ago, launched test sales for customers in China and other countries bordering Russia in 2022, demonstrating the wider business shift towards markets that have not targeted Moscow with sanctions.
Dubai-based express grocery delivery service YallaMarket was founded two years ago by Russian entrepreneurs, Vkusvill said, and around half of its users in the city are Russian.
Vkusvill said its Dubai range has started appearing on popular local aggregators and marketplaces, as it looks to expand its offering there.
Operating more than 1,300 shops across 70 Russian cities, Vkusvill was one of several Russian companies considering an initial public offering (IPO) in 2022 before the conflict in Ukraine thwarted its ambitions.
Its total revenue rose to RUB 204.8 billion (€2.56 billion) last year, up from RUB 162.2 billion (€2.03 billion) in 2021.
In June of last year, Vkusvill announced the launch of nationwide delivery from its darkstore in Moscow with two partners for products with long shelf life, in an effort to reach consumers in more far-flung locations.