Kitchenware retailer Lakeland is to open its first overseas store next year in Dubai.

The Windermere-based retailer has signed a deal with Jawad Business Group to open a 5,000 sq ft shop in the second phase of the Mirdif shopping centre in March.

Managing director Julian Rayner said: “This is very much an unknown quantity for us as in Dubai a lot of people eat out or have food made for them, so this is a matter of suck it and see.”

Rayner added US homewares retailer Crate and Barrel is also slated to open in the Mirdif mall, potentially creating a destination for kitchen and homewares shopping.

Lakeland partnered with Jawad as the company is a “family business” like Lakeland, said Rayner. He added: “Mr Jawad’s wife is English and she’s a keen Lakeland shopper.”

The Dubai shop will have a store design similar to its branch in Durham. The Durham store – also 5,000 sq ft – opened in April and features a demonstration kitchen to promote its own-brand electricals range, alongside an area to showcase kitchen essentials.

The centrepiece of the store is a 2m diameter chandelier made out of 359 Lakeland products including metal whisks and spatulas. The store was designed by Small Back Room.

Lakeland’s deal with Jawad offers it the chance to open stores in Dubai, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Many international retailers have flocked to Dubai in recent years. However, the restructure of Dubai’s state investment vehicle Dubai World shook the stock markets and caused some retailers to put plans for expansion in the region on hold.

Separately, Lakeland has also revealed that it will open its first store in Northern Ireland in Belfast’s Boucher Plaza in March.