Burger King is planning to open a restaurant in Saudi Arabia, the company said on Wednesday.
The burger chain, which has been in a long-running feud with the Saudi royal family, plans to open its first shop in the kingdom’s eastern province of Jeddah, the statement said.
“We have been looking to establish a presence in Saudi for some time, and we are excited to expand our footprint in the Kingdom,” the statement from Burger King said.
Saudi Arabia has been under an unprecedented lockdown for the past two weeks, in which the kingdom has faced widespread protests.
“The announcement of Burger King’s expansion is a major step for Saudi Arabia, which is facing a very challenging economic environment and is struggling to overcome the financial impact of a series of oil price declines,” said Sarah Reimer, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
“Saudi Arabia is already the world’s biggest exporter of fried chicken, and this new location will provide another important opportunity to diversify into other regional markets,” she added.
A Saudi official told the AFP news agency that the chain planned to open as soon as the government could confirm the plan.
The kingdom has been grappling with an economic crisis that has hit the oil-producing country more than 10 times over the past year.
The country has suffered from severe power outages, a worsening public health crisis, soaring inflation and high unemployment.More: