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Chipotle to Open Restaurants in Middle East Through First Franchise Deal

July 18 (Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill will enter the Middle East next year through its first franchise deal that will see the American chain open restaurants that sell burritos and tacos in Dubai and Kuwait.

The company on Tuesday signed a partnership agreement with Kuwait-based firm Alshaya Group and said it would expand operations across the region.

Chipotle has so far owned and operated all of its outlets, including more than 3,000 restaurants in the United States and over 50 international outlets.

The company said it was exploring opportunities globally for other franchise deals.

Alshaya has also partnered with coffee chain operator Starbucks and Shake Shack, as well as apparel retailers Victoria's Secret & Co and American Eagle Outfitters to open up outlets in the Middle East and Europe.

Shares of Chipotle were up about 1% in premarket trading.

Reporting by Juveria Tabassum in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar

Source: Reuters

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