Al Barakah Dates has announced plans to expand its existing facility to become the world’s biggest privately-owned date factory in Dubai Industrial City, the region’s largest manufacturing and logistics hub.
The food company will more than double the size of its existing facility to be able to process over 100,000 tonnes of date and date products annually – equivalent to almost half of the UAE’s entire domestic harvest – to become the world’s single largest processor of date ingredients.
Its massive new state-of-the-art factory will cover a total area of 600,000 square feet, including 420,000 square feet of dedicated processing and cold storage space, and is due for completion in early 2022. To support global decarbonisation efforts, the sustainable facility will be equipped with more than 6,500 solar panels to offset 3,000 tonnes emissions per year.
Its expansion comes as date production rises year-on-year, driven by demand for healthier sugar alternatives and fuelled by modern technologies that have helped the products compete as healthy and vegan alternatives to sugar and other fructose-based products.
Yousuf Saleem, Managing Director of Al Barakah Dates says: “This expansion will allow us to further grow our range of organic and conventional date products to cater to the growing needs of health-conscious consumers around the world. Today we have taken the traditional date and transformed it into various ingredients that serve as direct sugar replacements. These include pastes, syrups and date sugars. Dubai Industrial City and their team have been a pillar of our growth by offering world-class infrastructure and facilities.”
Established in 1988 as a foodstuff import and export entity, Al Barakah Dates has grown over time to emerge as a market leader for packaged and processed dates. Today, it is the Middle East’s first ‘Grade A’ certified dates factory from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), and produces over 65,000 tonnes of dates, syrup and paste.
Situated near Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport, Al Barakah Dates’ strategic location in Dubai Industrial City affords the manufacturer trade access to two-thirds of the global population in eight hours. This enables it to export nearly 7,000 shipping containers’ worth of dates and date ingredients to over 75 countries worldwide.
Dubai Industrial City provides intelligent infrastructure and integrated solutions for manufacturers and businesses. It is a key stakeholder in the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, tasked with developing priority areas including the food and beverage industry.