Paddy & Scott’s, the Suffolk coffee shop operator and roaster, has signed a joint venture in the Middle East with the El-Sadek Investment Group LLC, MCA understands.

The newly created Paddy & Scott’s Middle East LLC will be part of the Dubai-based JLT Free Zone and will be able to trade across the MENA region.

The deal opens up the opportunity to open coffee shops in the region, though the initial focus will be the same as Paddy & Scott’s in the UK – growing, roasting and supplying craft coffee to up-market bars, restaurants and hotels.

El-Sadek Investment Group LLC is headed by Riad T. Sadek, chairman of Al Habtoor Leighton Group, the leading construction group in the MENA region, with work in hand worth £3.4bn.

The new partners already operate bars and coffee shops in the region.

Paddy & Scott’s specialises in craft coffee, a sub-category which takes a speciality approach to sourcing and roasting, but at a commercial scale.

Co-founder and chief executive Scott Russell told MCA: “The speciality coffee market is booming the Middle East, and there’s a whole opportunity for a craft coffee business like Paddy & Scott’s to operate a tier below speciality.

“I could see Paddy & Scott’s in boutique bars, restaurants and hotels across the Middle East.

“It will be a launch pad to do what we want to do - we could build a roaster, and a string of stores.

“Paddy & Scott’s is a tiny business competing against global brands, but consumers want small businesses.

“This is what’s fuelling our natural growth and the Middle East is a natural playground for us to move into.”