Al Rawabi invests Dh80m in expansion, eyes new markets

Feasibility study underway to open operations base in Saudi Arabia

UAE-based dairy producer Al Rawabi is planning to invest Dh80 million in 2016 to enhance production and to enter new export markets in the region.

Dr. Ahmed El Tigani, CEO of Al Rawabi, officials said that the new investment follows last year’s Dh25 million in cold storage infrastructure.

Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of Al Rawabi, said: “In 2015, we grew by 15 per cent compared to an industry average of 7 per cent as a result of strategic thinking and phased investments over the years.

“We have an ambitious road ahead and our mission is to be a Mena brand by 2020 with presence in key markets across the region.”

He expects company to grow by 15 per cent in 2016 also.

As part of streamlining processes, Al Rawabi will also centralize operations of stores for more effective supply chain management and increased productivity.

The chairman said that this year Al Rawabi will add a new modern state-of-the-art automated facility which will help the company increase output to 70 per cent from the current 30 per cent.

Currently, Al Rawabi produces 175,000 litres of fresh juice products and 325,000 liters of dairy products daily.

The company had invested Dh125 million to expand farm facilities and dairy cattle in 2013 and another Dh22 million in 2014 in new third generation filling and pasteurization lines as part of its strategy to become a regional leader.

Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Vice Chairman of Al Rawabi Dairy Company, said: “This year we are looking at enhancing our portfolio with an unparalleled range of new value added products. These products will also seek to address key lifestyle-related concerns of our society like obesity, hypertension, diabetes and Vitamin -D deficiency.”

He said the company will expand its range of fresh juices and is also working on reducing sugar content in fruit juice without compromising on taste.

Dr. El Tigani said: “In the next three to four years, we will be present in all GCC countries, apart from increasing the brand’s visibility in more African countries. The aim is to double the turnover from 2015 levels by 2020 and reach a customer base of over 15,000 stores by the end of 2016 from the current 12,500.”

He said Al Rawabi will continue to enhance reach by adding new export markets and in 2016; it has plans to enter Bahrain. While the main operations are based in the UAE, the company entered Kuwait in 2015. Al Rawabi directly distributes to Oman and Qatar and exports its products to Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Yemen.

“We are also conducting a feasibility study to explore setting up an operations base in Saudi Arabia. On our home turf in the UAE, we are also currently in planning and feasibility study phase for a new dairy farm in Abu Dhabi,” Dr. El Tigani said, adding that Al Rawabi is also looking to grow alfa alfa hay in an African country to close the production cycle and minimize feeding cost.

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