Fashion retailer M&Co has opened its first store in the Middle East, launching its growth plans in the United Arab Emirates.

The shop is the first of 30 stores M&Co is planning on opening within the Gulf states with its partner Liwa Trading Enterprises over the next four to five years.

The store has opened in The Dubai Mall in Dubai, incorporating elements from M&Co’s three ‘City’ concept stores in Cardiff, Barnstaple and Edinburgh Gyle.

M&Co will open its second store in Dubai Marina Mall by July and another two outlets are planned to open in Abu Dhabi in late Autumn.

M&Co International Franchise Manager Lee Braid said the retailer is focusing its offer on the family customer, driving its “core strengths” of womenswear and childrenswear, as well as its teen girls range Kylie and its babywear.

He added: “By launching in the UAE with Liwa Trading Enterprises, and given the profile of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we’re positive this will facilitate further expansion [into the Gulf states].  We will remain flexible as a company to react to local opportunities and demand.”

M&Co said it is searching for partners in other countries as it develops plans to create international franchises across North Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, India, China, and South America