US group Tricon Global Restaurants has predicted huge growth in the Middle East market over the next five years.

David Novak, chairman and CEO of the group, revealed that plans have been made to build up to a further 500 restaurants in the area in the next five to seven years, a move which will double the size of the current chain. The largest markets in the area for Tricon are currently in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, although important regional markets exist in Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan.

The plans for expansion are largely dependent on the Iranian and Libyan markets opening up.

The company, which controls the Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell brands, also revealed plans to open another 55 KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in the Gulf this year.