Balducci's, a specialty food company with roots in Greenwich Village, will open its first store in the Middle East next month, one of three outlets the company is planning to launch in Dubai.
The new 700-square-foot Balducci's at the Dubai Mall is being developed in partnership with a subsidiary of Dubai World, Nakheel Retail, which will operate the store.
"Food has a global appeal," a spokeswoman for Balducci's, Carrie Fox, said. "We are really excited to take Balducci's worldwide."
The Balducci family first opened a food stand in Brooklyn in 1916 and moved to a storefront in the Village in 1946. In 1999, the company formed a partnership with Sutton Place Gourmet, which moved the company's headquarters to Bethesda, Md. In 2003, it sold the business to Bear Stearns.
The retailer, now owned by Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, has two stores in Manhattan, in Chelsea and Lincoln Square, as well as two locations at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"Balducci's bring with them an outstanding reputation, and we are extremely pleased to have entered into this partnership bringing such culinary and shopping excellence to the Middle East," a group managing director at Nakheel Retail, Graham Dreverman, said in a statement.
Balducci's is known in America for its prepared food and high-end gourmet products, as well as for its wine and meat selection, both of which will be overhauled to suit the tastes of customers in Dubai.
Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, restricts the purchase of alcohol. According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of the emirates is 96% Muslim. In Islam, whom pork is forbidden and animals must be slaughtered in a certain way for the meat to be halal, Arabic for "permissible."
"All the food will be halal," Ms. Fox said. "We do know that there is no pork and no alcohol. And we are still working through the menu with Nakheel."
The new outlet at the Dubai Mall may not boast any pork sausage or chardonnay, but it will stock the prepared food familiar to Balducci's customers, Ms. Fox said. "This first location will be more of a grab-and-go style, freshly made sandwiches and soups," she said.
Later this year, the retailer is expected to announce the locations of the two other stores in Dubai. The company, in partnership with Nakheel Retail, also plans to expand elsewhere in the Middle East.