Development agent Marwan Al Hamar acquired the Middle East concession for Subway when he opened the first store in Dubai in 1998, and today he acts as a matchmaker for the global sandwich chain and would-be franchisees in the region, which is expected to boast 125 stores by the end of the year and add new ones at a rate of about 25 per year. Franchisees face several challenges, he says, including higher food prices and overcoming the perception of Subway as strictly a seller of cold sandwiches.

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