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Food and beverage manufacturers in the UAE are expanding their manufacturing bases and cool supply chain to meet rising demand in the domestic market and neighboring countries.
Soaring population growth, increase in income and high tourist footfall have all helped the UAE emerge as the leading GCC country in terms of per capita consumption of food. According to the Alpen Capital GCC Food Report, the country's per capita food consumption currently stands at 1,486kg per year, and is on course to witness a 4.2 compound annual growth between 2012-2017.
Dubai Industrial City (DI) has a special cluster dedicated to food and beverages companies. Till the end of 2013, around 20 companies from this sector have leased industrial land to build their factories. A special zone inside the DI will be earmarked for halal products and will further attract a sizeable number of food processing companies.
Khalifa Industrial Free Zone (Kizad) located in Abu Dhabi has also found favor with food and beverages companies using it both for manufacturing and distribution, thanks mainly to its proximity to the Khalifa Port. South America's largest food processing company plans to invest around Dh535 million in its factory located in the free zone. It will be involved in producing meat products, marinated processed foods and other bread-based items.
A leading UAE-based food and beverages company – National Food Products Company – also plans to invest Dh1.5 billion in production facilities located in Kizad. Work on this factory is expected to begin in the next few months while manufacturing will commence by the end of 2016.
A new cold storage and distribution center spread over 382,905 square feet is coming up at Kizad's logistics cluster. This is being built by a retail chain in the UAE, that is, Spinneys, to reach out to both the domestic and international markets.
• UAE's per capita food consumption now stands at 1,486kg per year
• DI has a special cluster dedicated to food and beverages firms
• Two big food processing ventures signed on to Kizad recently
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer