Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, has visited the site of a date factory in Dubai that once complete will become the world’s largest privately-owned date processing facility.
The minister visited Al Barakah Dates, a market leader for packaged and processed dates, to review its expansion plans in Dubai Industrial City, one of the region’s largest manufacturing and logistics hub.
Her Excellency was joined by Saleem Mohamed and Yousuf Saleem, Chairman and Managing Director of Al Barakah Dates respectively, and Saud Abu Al Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City. The delegation reviewed the company’s plan to build a solar-powered factory that will cover 600,000 sq. ft and process more than 100,000 tonnes of date and date products annually. They also toured the existing facility, which produces 65,000 tonnes of produce per year.
Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said: “It was a pleasure to visit Al Baraka Dates Factory today and to see the advances being made in the downstream processing of dates – our national fruit and a vital staple food for our community. The ability to process and package a variety of different date-derived products inside the UAE is an essential aspect of our country’s food security – I commend the management of the factory for their efforts in operating and expanding the factory and doubling its production of dates products by using the latest sustainable technologies.”
Her Excellency added: “Dates represent a major part of the food and agricultural sector in the UAE, with an enormous wealth of palm trees. The UAE is on course to lead this sector globally using the latest modern technologies and to enhance our food security and create new opportunities for the national economy. Al Barakah Dates Factory and other such advanced facilities play a major role in transforming the UAE into a global hub for innovation-driven food security.”
Yousuf Saleem, Managing Director of Al Barakah Dates, added: “It was a pleasure to host Her Excellency at our factory and walk her through our current capabilities along with our future plans which is in line with the Ministry’s future goals. We thank the UAE leadership and Dubai Industrial City for providing us with the infrastructure and services available today to continue being a leader in our industry. We look forward to increasing our footprint in the global health ingredients market by further developing more innovative date-based ingredients and continuing to export all our products from the UAE to over 79 countries worldwide.”
Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, said: “We are delighted to welcome Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri to our business district. The UAE has made tremendous progress in its vision to become a world-leading hub for innovation-driven food security, and we are determined to support its continued development and to contribute to its further success. Al Barakah Dates has been our business partner for many years, and we are delighted to see its expansion plans gather momentum. With close to a dozen state-of-the-art food manufacturing plants under construction, our business district is not only supporting sustainable food production, but creating new jobs and opportunities. This will strengthen Dubai’s knowledge-based economy and enhance its global status as a hub for talent, investment and innovation.”
With demand for healthy sugar alternatives, organic and vegan-based food products on the rise, Al Barakah Dates previously signed an agreement with Dubai Industrial City to double the size of its factory.
Work is already under way and is due for completion in 2022. Once finished, it will feature 420,000 sq. ft of dedicated processing and cold storage space with the capacity to process almost half of the UAE’s entire domestic date harvest. It will also offset 3,000 tonnes of emissions per year using 6,500 solar panels to generate renewable energy.
Alongside Al Barakah Dates, there are 12 food factories under construction and due to be completed in Dubai Industrial City. The business district covers more than 550 million sq. ft and is split into sector-specific zones. The food and beverage area covers a total land area of 23.5 million sq. ft and is home to more than 30 manufacturers, including Barakat, Patchi, asmak and Lifco.
Source: APCO Worldwide