Department store retailer House of Fraser has confirmed it is to open its first shops outside the UK after signing a deal to expand into the Middle East with Retail Arabia International.

“This forms a key element of our growth plans for the business, combined with the expansion of our own brands and the development of our multi-channel platform, both nationally and internationally,” explains House of Fraser chief executive John King.

“We believe House of Fraser has significant opportunities in key global markets positioned as a premium department store providing our exclusive brands and concession partners’ entry into new markets.”

While specific details of the plans have not been released yet, likely locations for the new House of Fraser stores are Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddha, Dharan, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Doha.

Retail Arabia International is a new venture of Daud Arabian and Gulf General Investment, and has already established franchise partnerships with brands including Hamleys and Oscar de le Renta.

House of Fraser, which currently operates 62 stores, is in a buoyant mood after posting a 7.1% hike in sales during the eight-week Christmas trading period.