DALLAS – Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has announced plans to expand into Canada by late 2019. The franchise will bring its Texas-style barbecue to 20 stores in Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and Saskatoon.

The announcement comes on the heels of Dickey’s opening its first international restaurant in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. The Abu Dhabi restaurant is one of 45 planned in the Middle East. Serenity Hospitality, a Middle Eastern hospitality group, will operate the Middle Eastern stores and plans to open and operate franchises in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Lebanon.

“Consumer confidence continues to increase, and people are willing to let others handle the cooking,” said Roland Dickey, Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Capital Group. “The fact that Dickey’s is able to expand at this rate internationally without taking any private equity is a testament to hardworking Dickey’s franchisees, both nationally and internationally, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit commitment to quality, and to our ability to find the right partners.”

Serenity Hospitality is led by CEO Youssef El Habbal, who has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. The Abu Dhabi location features an open kitchen for customers to view the pitmasters working. It features a customized menu for Abu Dhabi that includes slow-smoked beef brisket, smoked chicken and turkey and savory sides such as mac and cheese, barbecue beans, creamy spinach, and new dishes such as beef ribs, an array of beef sausages and a regional favorite — smoked lamb.

The location also uses three state-of-the-art smokers imported from the US to the food an authentic Texas flavor.