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A Win For Make It In The Emirates, Al Barakah Dates To Drive India Expansion With Dubai Industrial City Factory

In a move that reinforces the UAE’s status as a global manufacturing and export hub, Al Barakah Dates announces plans to expand its presence in India. The market-leading dates processor will process and export over 30,000 tonnes of bulk raw material from its factory in Dubai Industrial City, a member of TECOM Group PJSC – to promote UAE-farmed and produced dates and date derivatives.

The joint venture with India-based leading food processing firm Candor Foods Pvt Ltd was announced today, February 24, 2023, at a signing ceremony at Gulfood 2023. It comes from the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) announced in May 2022 to enable greater market access through preferential tariff rates and benefits.

Al Barakah Dates factory in Dubai Industrial City is the world’s largest privately-owned date factory. It is designed to process over 100,000 tonnes of date and date products annually – equivalent to almost half of the UAE’s domestic harvest. The joint Venture will employ the factory’s extended production capabilities and Dubai Industrial City’s strategic connectivity via air, sea, road and Etihad Rail to meet the demands of one of the world’s biggest consumer markets.

Speaking on behalf of Dubai Industrial City, Saud Abu Alshawareb, Executive Vice President of Industrial Leasing – TECOM Group, said, “The UAE and India’s trade history is coming full circle. The UAE is now an equal contributor to a long-standing exchange of ideas, crafts, cuisine, and culture. CEPA provides a mutually beneficial corridor for UAE-based manufacturers like Al Barakah Dates to export to a large and powerful consumer market. They are a formidable UAE-made brand and one of our strategic partners. We are thrilled to see their factory and connectivity in Dubai Industrial City enable global expansion – it’s a great step to drive up trade and investment, in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda and ‘Make it in the Emirates‘.”

Established in 1988 as a foodstuff import and export entity, Al Barakah Dates has emerged as a market leader for packaged and processed dates. It is increasing production capacity at its new 600,000 sq. ft. factory in Dubai Industrial City to produce innovative date-based ingredients and products such as liquid sugars, fillings and binders, ready-to-eat snacks, and nutrition. The materials will be transformed into retail-ready products at Candor Foods’ BRC-certified facilities in Mumbai, India.

Yousuf Saleem, Managing Director at Al Barakah Dates Factory, added, “This joint Venture with Candor Foods gives us a solid foothold to develop the Al Barakah Dates brand in the Indian market and promote UAE dates and ingredients. The potential of the Indian market is immense, and our state-of-the-art factory in Dubai Industrial City is well-equipped to cater to this high demand with its impressive capacity and capability.”

At the same time, Candor Foods is a leading player in India’s nuts, dry fruits, dates and health foods market. The company operates out of its BRC-certified Mumbai facilities and strongly focuses on ethical sourcing, high quality, food safety and innovation. Candor Foods services all major Supermarket chains in India and co-manufactures for Health Foods Brands in India.

Yash Gawdi, Managing Director at Candor Foods, commented, “The dates market in India has proliferated in recent years, driven by increasing consumer demand for healthy and natural sweeteners. The joint Venture with Al Barakah Dates Factory will help create a reliable and sustainable supply of dates and date ingredients to India. Al Barakah Dates has a proven track record in the dates business, and we look forward to combining our expertise to create a sustainable and socially responsible company that benefits all stakeholders, including farmers and consumers.
It is worth noting that the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has opened new opportunities and a favourable environment for our Joint Venture to achieve its full potential.

The joint venture underscores UAE’s growing significance as a prominent manufacturing hub, a priority of Operation 300bn. The industrial strategy aims to develop the UAE’s industrial sector and enhance its role in stimulating the national economy by promoting localised production and promotion of exports to global markets. As the most significant industrial hub in the region, Dubai Industrial City is a crucial proponent of Operation 300bn. It offers businesses integrated solutions, fully equipped infrastructure – including industrial land, warehouses and workers’ accommodations, and an extension of transportation networks to access global markets.