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DP World, UAE Region utilises the tremendous potential of Jebel Ali Port and Jafza to drive growth in the F&B manufacturing sector

DP World, UAE Region in collaboration with the UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group recently hosted ‘The Food & Beverages Manufacturing Industry 2021 Dialogue’ emphasising the significance of the sector to the UAE’s economy. The entity’s recently launched F&B Terminal will act as a catalyst for positive change and development in the F&B manufacturing industry.

Saleh Lootah, Chairman, UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group (FBMG), under the auspices of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, discussed the UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group (FBMG) Annual Report 2020 that highlighted the core competencies of the F&B Manufacturing sector in the UAE that is home to 568 F&B factories with a maximum production capacity of 16,302 thousand tonnes.

With a high inflow of tourists and the presence of globally renowned food and beverage brands, the UAE has been at the forefront of the F&B sector in the region for years. Currently, with the investments already made, the local production has sufficient capacity and headroom for growth, which is testimony of the scope and potential in the sector.

Considering all the growth determinants, the FBMG Annual Report identified opportunities and underlined the significance of maintaining sustainability in the overall F&B sector with a focus on various sub-sectors – dairy products, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, beverages and the snacking industry. It also shed light on production and consumption trends in 2020 and local initiatives that boost business in the sector.

Offering a world-class business environment

The F&B sector is one of the most important economic pillars in DP World, UAE Region’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza). This sector enjoys unique advantages that make establishing an F&B company an unparalleled opportunity for business growth with the highest operational efficiency and economic feasibility.

Jafza features a dedicated food cluster spread over an area of 1.55 million sq. meters, supporting over 4,700 port customers and hosting over 550 companies from more than 70 countries. The port and free zone complex caters to all segments of the industry including food processing, grain/cereal processing, meat processing, edible oil processing, tea/coffee processing and sugar refining.

Mohammed Al Muallem, Executive VP, DP World said: “The UAE has a well-developed food industry driven by its attractive investment environment. This makes it an ideal hub for F&B brands to thrive. In conjunction with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, last year The Emirates Food Security Council, revealed that 568 factories in the UAE produce 5.96 million tonnes of food and beverage products annually, with 2.3 million tons comprising essential food items. This is proof of the nation’s potential and capabilities. Additionally, the country’s various initiatives like the ‘Operation 300bn’ and the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ campaign have paved the way for the industry. Over the years, we have created an environment with facilities that can help F&B brands grow. Through our newly-launched F&B Terminal, our ultimate aim is to create a sustainable and diversified economy in the UAE.”

Saleh Lootah, Chairman, UAE Food & Beverage Manufacturers Group (FBMG) said: “Looking at the numbers, we are certain that there is room for growth in the sector also taking into account the ideal business environment in the UAE. The primary goal of FBMG is facilitating growth and excellence in the F&B manufacturing industry, while also encouraging innovation and contributing to the industry and the nation. With the help of partners like DP World, UAE Region, we hope to stimulate consistent progress in the sector, while also enlightening the industry about the various opportunities available in the country.”

Reinforcing the UAE’s leading status

The UAE is an incubator for large investment opportunities in food manufacturing, that also go beyond, tapping into the halal food and innovative agriculture markets. The country has, over the years, become a major hub for F&B trade in the MENA region.

Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President, International Relations, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated: “According to the Fitch Connect Risk Reward Index released last year, the UAE occupies a leading global position in the F&B industries. The country ranked first in the MENA region and 18th in the world owing to its attractive investment environment in the F&B sector. Additionally, due to its strategic location and a growing tourism sector, the emirate of Dubai specifically offers immense opportunities. This Annual Report is of considerable importance due to the valuable information it provides, which reinforces the sector’s position and its leading reputation locally and globally.”

To ensure the progress of the F&B sector in the UAE, DP World, UAE Region has also continually supported and encouraged small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), launching three distinct incubation centres, each targeting different categories including halal food companies, Latin American companies, and Indian companies.

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