(Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer by market value, is expanding in the Middle East through an alliance with Al Sagr National Insurance Co.

Through the alliance, UnitedHealth will provide insurance coverage in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Bahrain and Kuwait, the company said in a press release. Terms of the agreement with Dubai-based Al Sagr were not released.

UnitedHealth's international unit will offer insurance coverage to employers with employees in the region.

The Middle East deal is the latest example of U.S. health insurers seeking to increase their business internationally. Such global expansion is a critical part of Cigna Corp's strategy, and Aetna Inc. also operates a significant operation abroad.

(Reporting By Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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