French retail giant Casino is looking to open over 30 Geant stores across the Middle East.

The company plans to open five hypermarkets and 30 smaller stores across its key Gulf markets of Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait.

Arif Shaikh, the MD of Geant's operations in the Middle East, said the chain will open the stores over the next three years as part of an aggressive expansion plan.

Shaikh, who also works for the franchise holder Retail Arabia, told the arabianbusiness.com website: "We kept a low profile during the boom years because the cost of real estate was not real, but since the financial crisis we have embarked on an aggressive expansion plan.

"Other markets we are looking at include Qatar and Oman. Hopefully we should be in these markets in the next two years. At this point we don't know how many stores [will open] but it will definitely be more than one in each market."