Virgin Megastore is planning to spend $20 million in the UAE on projects over the next two years. "It's all about the geographical spread. If you look at all the big malls in the area, such as City Centre, Abu Dhabi Mall, Burjuman and now Mall of the Emirates, you will see Virgin in everyone," said Jean Claude Torbe, regional director of Virgin Megastore.

Virgin's investment will be divided between stores currently in the works and upgrading existing outlets.

Expansion plans centre around bringing new services — such as stations to download mp3 files or create mixed CDs — to regional stores. Currently, Virgin has branches in malls around Dubai including Deira City Center, Burjuman and Mercato. The company is also in negotiations with Dubai Mall and Mall of Arabia.

Already, a 4,000-square-metre megastore is set to open in Mall of the Emirates this November.

Virgin is also moving in to other Middle East markets, such as Egypt, where a 2,200-square-metre megastore opened last month.

Additional stores should open in Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan by the end of the year.