US retail giant Starbucks said on Monday it has launched its first drive-thru outlet in Dubai as it looks to take advantage of the UAE's love of coffee.
Starbucks said it has opened the new Jumeirah Beach Road Starbucks which allows customers to order and pick up without leaving their vehicles.
The new outlet became the 103rd Starbucks store to open in the UAE with the global coffee house saying it was part of its "commitment to the local community".
"Those in a rush or in need of a boost to go, can make use of the unique drive-thru that will allow them to order and pick up their favourite beverages whilst on the road or to take home," Starbucks said in a statement.
Last year, the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) said UAE residents consumed an average of 3.5kg of coffee and tea beverages each year, nearly twice as much as in any other GCC country, making it one of the fastest growing markets by volume for coffee in the world.
It said about 1.4bn cups of coffee are poured per day, with the Arab world one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
People in the UAE already drink nearly twice as much coffee as anywhere else in the GCC and consumption levels are set to continue to grow at around 12 percent per annum until 2014, it added.
Nespresso, the single-portion coffee brand owned by Nestlé, said last year that the Middle East was “its future” and was looking to grow its business outside Europe.
The firm said in February it planned to launch internet sales in the UAE by the beginning of the second quarter and will expand its number of boutiques across the region.
Sales of single-portion coffee have increased significantly in the last five years as global companies such as Nestlé, Kraft and Starbucks look to tap the growing demand for convenient coffee.
Single-portion coffee makes up an estimated eight percent of total worldwide coffee sales, but is expected to double in the next few years.
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