The deal, between Choithrams and Tesco's regional distributor MH Group, is exclusive, with Choithrams the only UAE retailer to have rights to carry Tesco products. All the products will be imported from the UK, and will include Tesco Organic and the supermarket's premium Tesco Finest ranges.
To date the only major British supermarket brand present in the UAE has been Waitrose, which had a distribution agreement for its products with local brand Spinneys, before opening stores in its own name in 2008.
"It is with great pleasure that we announce the details of our strategic collaboration with Tesco. We look forward to building a long-term relationship during which we can offer exceptional quality and broader choice to UAE consumers," said Choithrams managing director KT Pagarani.
Gareth Bowen, Tesco's export executive, said: "We are pleased to be working with Choithrams in the UAE after our due diligence showed them to be the most suitable partner for Tesco in this market, as well as a company that is aligned with our overall vision and who will reinforce our brand's identity and integrity."
Choithrams started stocking Tesco products at the start of this month, including frozen foods such as ice cream, ready meals and frozen vegetables, along with dry grocery goods such as cereal, canned products, nuts, confectionary and sauces.
Fresh and bakery to follow
A future phase of the rollout will see Choithrams stock a selection of Tesco's fresh British produce, cheeses and cold-cut meats, as well as bakery items, along with some non-food products. Choithrams aims to launch these ranges by September.
“The Tesco private label range is world renowned for great quality, choice, and price. These exceptional products delight millions of customers in many countries everyday and we are very pleased that Choithrams customers will now be able to enjoy the same products in their local Choithrams stores,” said Darren Craven, CEO of MH Group.
Choithrams' director of special projects, Dinesh Pagarani, said: "Our goal is always to offer the very best for our customers and with the addition of Tesco products to our portfolio we are leading the way by bringing the best of British food products to the UAE consumers."
Tesco, the UK's largest retailer, has been struggling to maintain its position in recent years, hit by low-cost competitors in the budget market, and high-end retailers such as Waitrose at the premium level. Last month it announced a fall in profits for the third year in a row, down 6% to US$5.5bn.