Tim Hortons coffee chain plans Gulf expansion

Posted Oct. 05, 2011, at 2:23 p.m.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons is hoping to brew up new business across Arab Gulf states.

The chain’s local franchise partner, Apparel Group, said Wednesday it plans to open 120 shops under the Tim Hortons name in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states over the next five years.

Already, a crowd of homesick, doughnut-loving Canadians have flocked to Tim Hortons’ first Gulf branch, which opened in Dubai last month.

Numerous Western retailers have opened stores throughout the Gulf region, attracting wealthy locals and foreign professionals.

Not to be outdunked, Tim Hortons’ competitors such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Starbucks already have set up shop in the region.