DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The UAE food and beverage sector is showing steady growth year on year and due to the state of the art infrastructure and investor friendly environment, UAE is fast becoming a preferred location among the Middle Eastern countries, says Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman of Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Group (FBMG), here in Dubai on the sidelines of Gulfood Exhibition 2015.
Manufacturing of high quality, competitive and value added products, tax-free business system, investment friendly and easier to operate environment, all play major contributing factors in food products that are propelling UAE as F&B manufacturing hub in the region.
The population in the Middle East region in general and in UAE in particular is growing. The recent Euromonitor International report recorded that in 2030, the population of the UAE will reach 10.6 million, an increase of 26.9% from 2012. Due to the UAE’s reliance on foreign workers, foreign citizens dominate the population and are forecast to comprise 88.2% of the population in 2030. The biggest city in 2012 was Dubai and will remain so in 2030. All of the UAE’s main cities will increase in size between 2012 and 2030, but Dubai will be the fastest growing city.
At this juncture, the Food & Beverage Manufacturers Business Group (FBMG) is a central point to facilitate and ensure a synergy between the food industry and relevant ministries to achieve the goal of making UAE the hub of F&B manufacturing in the Middle East region. In addition, the Group is playing a strategic role in capacity building by technical and managerial training, sharing best practices and attracting best talent that will prepare UAE F&B sector to grow across the Middle East.
Visionary Leadership and Governance:
The UAE’s leadership and governance structures are critical determinants of the country’s future development. While regulations at both the federal and local levels have been improving vis-à-vis Halal food manufacturing in Dubai which is at par with international standards, there is room for openness, for example Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), in government structures that will create an enabling environment for the mega plan of ‘Dubai The Capital of Islamic Economy’, which has further created economic opportunities for F&B sector to expand to manufacturing Halal food and related businesses here in Dubai.” This would have a significant influence on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of government development programmes, and contributing to the country’s ability to attract foreign investors.
The vision of High Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of UAE and Rule of Dubai, has energized the lucrative business environment for local, regional and international investors and positioned Dubai as a re-export, logistics and real estate hub of the region.
The Food and Beverage Business Group, a non-profit industry group under the auspices of Dubai Chamber, set a roadmap of strategic activities to align with the fast developing economic landscape of UAE.
Mr.Tarek El Sakka, Chief Executive Officer , Dubai Refreshments Company commented: “There is a substantial opportunity for local and international brands, with GCC governments’ supporting the growth of food processing segment especially bakery and dairy products. The GCC especially the UAE with its locational advantage is emerging as a major food re-exporting hub. Although UAE’s food production capability is limited, its strategic location has helped it to be a significant link in the region’s food chain. Therefore, UAE, especially Dubai, with high standards is positioned to lead the region. Made in UAE is becoming a trust mark in food and beverage manufactured in the Middle East.”