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The club’s retail partner in the Middle East, retail and marketing group Gray Mackenzie, said the club planned to open a chain of “Theatre of Dreams” stores, starting in the Gulf emirate of Dubai in March 2000.
Gray Mackenzie said shops in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar will follow. Peter McElwaine, chief executive of Gray Mackenzie, said the average size of each store will be 3,000 square feet (278.7 square metres) and will sell team kit and ranges of sports clothes and souvenirs for teenagers and children.
He added that Manchester United coaches and players will also run soccer schools throughout the Middle East.
Last month, United announced it was opening stores across Southeast Asia as part of a 10-year agreement with local retail group FJ Benjamin Holdings Ltd. Further retail partnerships have been mooted by United executives to cover China, Hong Kong, Scandinavia and Ireland.