Figaro Coffee, a Filipino chain of coffee shops and restaurants, is planning to open its first store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the fourth quarter of 2013, as part of plans to open an average of two international stores each year.

The new store will be located at the Dubai Miracle Gardens and will be operated by AKAR Landscaping Service and Agriculture.

The company currently operates two stores in Papua New Guinea, two in Malaysia, two in China and one in Saudi Arabia, with plans to open a second store shortly.

Figaro franchise manager Mike Barret told they are active in international expansion but need to carefully study the viability in any given country with the opportunity for the brand to expand.

"Average target expansion of the organization is 15 stores per year [including overseas branches] so the international expansion share would be 14 percent of the average total expansion target of Figaro," Barret said.

Meanwhile, the company is close to touch its overseas store count of 10.

Figaro Coffee noted that Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia and UAE markets are mature in terms of brand preference as they are exposed to more international brands.

Barret also said that a large number of expatriates and tourists visit UAE from Asia, Middle East and Europe and expanding the business in these markets would help the company to market its brand.

In its study, Figaro found that there is huge requirement for foreign and local coffee shop brands in the Papau New Guinea market, particularly in capital Port Moresby.