Saks Inc is making plans to open its high-end fashion stores overseas, exploring expansion in the Middle East, Mexico and Asia.The first overseas Saks is planned for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The upmarket retailer is partnering with Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who owns about two per cent of the company. "There is growing demand in the Saudi market for upscale fashion and superb customer service," the prince said in a press release. The 57,000 sq ft store will open in Autumn 2001 in the prince's Riyadh shopping mall, the Kingdom Centre.The prince will pay a licensing fee to Saks Fifth Avenue for use of the name and will also build the store. Saks plans to dispatch buyers, store managers and other employees to set up and run the store for additional fees.Most of the store will be devoted to women's merchandise and men will be forbidden on floors where women's clothing is sold to conform to Islamic standards. "We will dictate what products go into the store," says David A. Pilnick, the company's vice president for international business development.Saks said that the Middle East, Mexico, and Asia are fast-growing markets for luxury goods and so are prime locations for new stores. "Developing markets are important for us because they are underserved," said Mr Pilnick.