Abercrombie & Fitch is to expand its presence in the Middle East and open stores in two new markets through an extension of its relationship with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion.

The teen apparel retailer has expanded its existing relationship with the Emirati holding company through a franchise development agreement to establish a retail store presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

Since 2013, the two businesses have opened eight stores in the UAE and Kuwait. The new franchise agreement encompasses the Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie and Hollister brands.

The company said it expects to open its first stores in Qatar in the first quarter of 2017, and in Saudi Arabia in the second half of 2017.

"We expect there to be strong demand for our brands in these new markets, and we are thrilled to partner with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion to expand our presence in the Middle East," said Arthur Martinez, executive chairman of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. "This arrangement represents our second major franchise partnership, as we continue to expand our brand reach.

In other recent changes at Abercrombie & Fitch, chief operating officer Jonathan Ramsden is leaving the teen clothing retailer next month.

Abercrombie & Fitch COO Ramsden resigns