Waitrose is to build on its presence in the Middle East with the opening of its first store in Bahrain.

The 22,000sq ft store will open in December through a partnership with Fine Fare Food Market (FFFM) at The Lagoon, a new complex on Amwaj Island on the North East coast of the country, the retailer said today (23 June).

The partnership has already seen Waitrose open two shops in the Middle East, in Dubai during 2008.

The store will employ around 70 staff and FFFM will run its daily operations. 

Mark Price, Waitrose managing director, said: “Our shops in Dubai have achieved a very strong sales performance and have been warmly received by our customers there, we are delighted to be expanding our presence in the region. The Lagoon is a very exciting development and is the perfect location for us to open our first shop in Bahrain.”

Waitrose said the shop will “embrace the ambience” of Waitrose while catering for the specific needs of the local communities.

It will offer a range of fresh foods and groceries as well as a delicatessen, meat, fish and cheese counters.