Dubai: 7-Eleven, Inc, the world’s largest convenience retailer with 53,000 stores worldwide, has signed a master franchise agreement with Seven Emirates Investment LLC to develop and operate 7-Eleven stores in the UAE. The expansion marks the company’s first entry into the Middle East region.

Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan will serve as the president of Seven Emirates Investment LLC, a newly formed company.

The first 7-Eleven-branded convenience store in the UAE is expected to open in Dubai next summer. The new master franchisee plans to construct 7-Eleven stores as well as convert existing locations to the 7-Eleven brand. 7-Eleven’s entry into the country provides a solution to the UAE government’s strategic initiative to modernise the small-retail environment and bring greater convenience to shoppers.

Internationally popular products like Slurpee, a frozen beverages, and Big Gulp soft drinks, as well as immediately consumable fresh foods, with recipes developed for regional tastes, will be part of the offerings.

7-Eleven and its parent company, Seven-Eleven Japan, will provide start-up support for the newest master franchisee, assist Seven Emirates Investment in implementing their successful strategies of market concentration, team merchandising and item-by-item management, plus establish a field office in Dubai.

“The UAE is a growing and dynamic part of the world and is attracting investment from around the globe,” said 7-Eleven, Inc president and CEO Joe DePinto. “It is the business gateway to the Middle East and offers an excellent environment for 7-Eleven’s first retail venture in the region.”

The UAE will be the 17th country or region where 7-Eleven stores exist.