Dubai to serve as manufacturing hub for Mani's global exports

Abouzar Rahmani, Managing Director of Mani & Company. (LOAY ABU HAYKEL)

Mani & Company will use Dubai its manufacturing hub for GCC, North Africa, European and US markets beginning next year.

The company has begun distributing to the UAE from its factory in Dubai Investment Park four months ago and is looking at beefing up operations gradually.

The plant, with an initial capacity of 3,000 metric tonnes or three million kg per year, is currently at 70 per cent utilisation rates. It is scheduled to reach full capacity by the first quarter of next year as it begins to market in international markets, said Abouzar Rahmani, Managing Director of Mani & Company Middle East.

The Iran-based company recently set up its regional headquarters in Dubai. Currently, its initial output is barely six per cent of its entire group production of 52,000 metric tonnes per year. But it plans to increase production by more than six-fold to 20,000 tonnes in the next five years.

By then its investments would have more than tripled to Dh100 million.

"The potential in the market, especially in the health snack food, is huge. That's why 3,000 tonnes is just our initial capacity. We're sure by the end of next year we will be short in production capacity," Rahmani said. The firm has entered Bahrain this month and will start distributing in Qatar and Algeria in the first quarter of 2010, he added. The same period will mark the entry of Dubai-produced goods to the European market, starting from Belgium, Luxemburg and Netherlands.

Mani brands are already in Europe but are currently being supplied by its Iranian operations.

Mani has obtained an approval from the US Food and Drugs Authority and will begin to export to United States in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"Dried goods such as fruits and nuts are exempted from US sanctions. All our products have FDA approval for exports to US so we have no issues," Rahmani said.

Mani & Company is the core business of the Rahmani family, which founded the Rahmani Enterprises in 1887. In addition to some project development and construction, they are also known for the Sunraisy brand.

Abouzar, the youngest son of its chairman Mohsen, is now in the third generation of the family-run business. He is optimistic it will grow despite the crisis.

"Fruits and nuts business is like the chocolate business – it is a recession proof business," he said. "They are affordable luxuries."

 

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