Dubai-based restaurant chain Just Falafel has announced plans to open 200 outlets in the UK over the next five years.
The company, which has franchises in countries including Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, is seeking to boost the number of global stores to become the leading retailer of the Middle Eastern vegetarian food.
It said it will launch its flagship store in Covent Garden, London in November.
Just Falafel said it is in discussions with potential franchise partners to open multiple outlets across London and UK-wide, with stores opening in Cambridge and Exeter during 2013.
Just Falafel's CEO, Fadi Malas, said: "We are receiving more than 100 franchise enquiries each week. The challenge is in securing suitable storefronts to meet our expansion objectives.
"The growing popularity of falafel as a nutritious, vegetarian alternative will make Just Falafel a sure-fire hit in London's cosmopolitan food capital."
Co-founder Malas, an entrepreneur with family ties to England as well as Beirut, said he believes the UK is ready for Just Falafel and the company plans to roll out 200 stores over the next five years.
"Factors such as visibility of Emirates and Etihad Airlines in the UK and the allure of Dubai as a holiday destination has increased the affinity between these two markets, and as a homegrown success story from the UAE, Just Falafel aims to be the quick service restaurant of choice across the UK," Malas added.
Just Falafel, which has previously said it may list its shares in the UAE, said full-year profit last year was AED7m ($1.9m).For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.