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Al Dahra expands in Egypt, Serbia and the UAE

Al Dahra expands in Egypt, Serbia and the UAE
Photos: Al Dahra

Al Dahra’s fresh produce business is in constant growth. The past few years have seen the group invest in technology, build new facilities, expand its cultivation, optimise all of its processes and enter new markets.

“We provide a premium end-to-end service to our customers in our home country, the UAE, and around the world,” said Tarek Bedir, chief commercial officer of Al Dahra’s food division. Following the success of the packing lines in Egypt installed in 2019, Al Dahra’s fresh produce team has taken the same approach in Serbia to develop a state-of-the-art grading and packing line for apples. The plant is equipped with a Maf Roda sizer, the latest grading and sorting technology from Globalscan and an organic waxing line. The objective with this development is to increase market share in the UAE and penetrate new markets such as India, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

New citrus varieties

In recent years, Al Dahra’s team in Egypt has mainly cultivated, packed and exported Navel oranges. The firm’s constant work to optimise the entire process has helped position its premium brands Solea and Jana in the Asian market. This year the expansion programme has included the cultivation of other citrus fruits such as grapefruits, lemons and mandarins.

Other Egyptian production

5,000 tons of potatoes and 4,000 tons of onions were cultivated this year in Egypt. Al Dahra’s own production is sold locally and also exported to the UAE and Russia.

Dairy farm reconstruction

With the objective of bringing back dairy products that were once a must in every Serbian household, Al Dahra has turned its dairy production line into a cutting-edge facility.

“Food Crowd” e-platform

Al Dahra joined the e-commerce world in July 2020 after only 6 months of planning. The platform is aimed at bringing Al Dahra’s just-harvested products directly to end consumers. A community page has also been created to engage with people and food on a more personal level. The page provides a “shop all ingredients” feature to enhance the customer experience. Food Crowd is currently operational in the UAE, and serves all of the Emirates with same-day deliveries and no extra fees.

New orange juice vending machines

In partnership with Oranfresh, Al Dahra has launched the Solea vending machines project to bring freshly squeezed, 100% natural, orange juice to the UAE population. The machines are replenished on a daily basis with Al Dahra’s own Egyptian Navels and the machines are in line with the strictest sanitisation standards.

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Myanmar sends first watermelon shipment to Middle East

Myanmar sends first watermelon shipment to Middle East © Réussir Fruits et Légumes

© Réussir Fruits et Légumes


Myanmar has started exporting watermelons to the Middle East, with the first shipment heading for the UAE last week. Other destinations are to be added, as the country seeks to diversify its exports markets, reports the Myanmar Times.

U Naing Win, chair of the Myanmar Melon Producers and Exporters Association, said, “We have been exporting watermelons for the past 30 years and this is the first time we are engaging with the UAE. We will also be exporting to Qatar as well as Singapore soon.”

The move is intended to reduce dependence on the Chinese market. “If we are able to export regularly to Dubai, Qatar and Singapore, we won’t face such problems. The price will be more stable as these countries make orders by the container whereas watermelons are delivered to China on trucks, which are subject to customs checks and driver availability,” said Win.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, watermelon supplies have fallen in Myanmar after China shut down its borders. Watermelons can grow throughout the year in Myanmar.

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Apples from Europe at the market of UAE

Apples from Europe at the market of UAE


Association of Polish Distributors Fruit and Vegetables “Unia Owocowa” is pleased to announce that the second year of the promotional campaign “The power of taste, vitamins and colors – get to know the quality of Apples from Europe”, implementing in the United Arab Emirates, has started. “We hope that it will be a fruitful year both in terms of promotional activities and in terms of a successful harvest of European apples and increasing our exports to the United Arab Emirates.

The world is now in a difficult position due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, which also left its mark on our campaign. Some of our activities have been postponed, but not canceled. The study tour of the Emirati fruit importers and the media will take place as soon as the world situation normalizes and it is possible to fly normally. We also plan to promote European apples in Emirati shopping centers, which will probably take place this winter”, states the Association’s press release.

The promotional campaign “The power of taste, vitamins and colors – discover the quality of apples from Europe” aims to promote European apples, increase their competitiveness and consumption on the United Arab Emirates market and the re-export markets from the UAE.

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Marlene® is more and more international. Debuts in Qatar, Thailand and the UAE

Marlene® is more and more international. Debuts in Qatar, Thailand and the UAE

                                                                                                                                                                                          Press release

In its 25th anniversary year, the number of countries where the VOG Consortium’s famous brand is present is on the increase. Walter Pardatscher: “A major milestone that enables us to keep growing our global presence”.  
(Bolzano, 10 September 2020) – Qatar, Thailand and the UAE. Marlene® apples will now be available in three new countries, a major milestone for the key brand of the VOG Consortium, founded in 1995, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  
The first container of apples with the famous blue sticker left by sea on 21 August, with the others to follow in early September. “We’re proud and delighted to have added three more countries to our list this year, the 25th anniversary of the birth of Marlene®,” VOG Consortium Marketing Manager Hannes Tauber explains.  
In its first 25 years, Marlene® has become widely known and popular in many countries, a favourite with retailers and final consumers alike. “The export markets are a priority focus for VOG, and it’s no coincidence that we export our 30 varieties to more than 65 countries right across the world,” Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the VOG Consortium, comments. “Last March we achieved a major milestone: the first Italian apples exported to Vietnam were our very own Pink Lady®. Now we are adding three more steps to the Marlene® brand’s progress. Our brand has reached over 25 countries in its 25-year lifetime: a result that fills us with pride and enthusiasm.” 
“This news is a source of great satisfaction for the entire Italian apple-growing industry, because it reflects our production system’s efficiency and its ability to open out new frontiers,” comments Alessandro Dalpiaz, Director of the Assomela growers’ association. “We’re proud to see a quality international brand like Marlene® bringing Italian excellence to these new markets.” 
The first three shipments, totalling 60,000 kg, or about 450,000 new-crop Marlene® Royal Gala apples, will reach their destinations after a 30-day sea voyage. “In Qatar, Thailand and the UAE alike, most of our apples will be sold through supermarket greengrocery departments: the feedback from our customers in the large-scale distribution market will be invaluable in this initial stage,” VOG Consortium Sales Manager Klaus Hölzl concludes. “However, a few pallets will also be sold through the three countries’ fruit and vegetable markets.”  

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Carrefour Statement – Opening hours

Carrefour Statement – Opening hours

Philippe PEGUILHAN – Country Manager of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail

March 23rd, 2020While shopping malls are closing in the UAE, all our stores remain open and fully stocked for customers, operating at our regular times.

We encourage all our valued customers to shop responsibly and be mindful of others. We have full confidence in our stock and supply chain and we continue to monitor stock levels to ensure we adequately cater to customer needs. We are also working closely with suppliers to ensure that essential products remain at reasonable prices so that our customers don’t experience an increase in their shopping bills.

In addition to full sanitation of the stores, Carrefour is adding measures to ensure social distancing and preserve the health of our customers and employees. This includes placing acrylic glass screens at checkout counters to reduce contact, and instructional signage to guide customers on the best social distancing practices.

Carrefour remains committed to offer customers the best and freshest food options at the best prices during the current challenges.

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Barakat Group, leading supplier of fresh F&V and largest manufacturer of Fresh Fruit Juices

Barakat Group, leading supplier of fresh F&V and largest manufacturer of Fresh Fruit Juices

Barakat was established in 1976 and is GCC region’s pioneering supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced globally with an emphasis on premium quality and superior service satisfying the needs of Premium Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes, Retail chains, Airlines and Royal Palaces in  UAE.

Barakat Vegetables & Fruits Company is the legacy business and is primarily involved in fresh produce import and distribution with operating entities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Barakat Group expanded its operation in 2002 to establish Barakat Quality Plus, a pioneer in developing “fresh juice Category” in UAE by addressing the need of the hospitality sector to get a consistent supply of daily freshly squeezed juices and over the last 15+ years has further expanded to serve as extended kitchen for F&B industry by developing hot kitchen items, processed fruits and vegetables, salads, ice creams and many more product categories with 2 state of the art production facilities in Jebel Ali and also recently started, its new online platform to meet B2C demand.

“Quality, Consistency of product and availability throughout the year is key to our success.  We work closely with UAE Food Controls Authority and Dubai Municipality to setup and raise standards for regulating the fresh product category. All of Barakat’s facilities have ‘A’ grade certification from Dubai Municipality and are ISO 22000 & HACCP certified. In addition, Barakat Quality Plus facility is FSSC 22000, and ISO 9001 certified and is HALAL accredited” said Rajesh Desai Managing Director. Barakat Group of Companies

“What we do is driven by our mission, to ‘help people become the healthiest versions of themselves’, effortlessly, by consuming the freshest of fruits and vegetables plus daily freshly squeezed juices that are free from any preservatives and additives. We want our consumers to #live healthy, #live fresh” said Rajesh.

“We are an innovative organization, the talent & passion of our chefs, nutritionists and foodies help us to craft a wide variety of tasty and healthy propositions that any consumer focussing on health or refreshment will relish” Rajesh exclaimed, The “healthy shots” of 60ml are made from traditional ingredients known for their health benefits e.g. ginger, turmeric, aloe vera, spirulina, moringa etc. In addition the detox, Keto and regular range of fresh juices are available in more than 850 blends and there are 283 variants of ice creams!

In addition to fresh juices, Barakat has also developed FROZEN fruit juices in key variants with a shelf life of 6 months which when defrosted is as good as “fresh juice”. Barakat’s juice products are available in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, Australia, Maldives and Seychelles.   

Barakat team works tirelessly to bring nature’s abundance and present it to their consumers in its purest, freshest and tastiest form every day. Bringing the natural goodness of the world’s finest fruits and vegetables is Barakat’s hallmark and with a strong heritage and brand recognition built over 4 decades , Barakat is the preferred partner for any principal looking to distribute products in UAE from the traditional to the exotic, from the essential to the unique.

The supply  and cold chain of Barakat is one of the best in region. Upon receiving the produce, highly qualified Quality Assurance & Control team tests each batch for conformity with set standards and these are distributed daily to > 3000 customers in a window of 5 hours thru its 350 strong fleet of well maintained, temperature-controlled vehicles.

 “Barakat operates as an ‘extended kitchen’ for its customers with capability to deliver anything fresh within hours”.

Barakat also lends support to local farmers in distributing their produce and educate them on quality, handling and distribution supporting the UAE government initiative to develop food security and reduce waste within UAE. Barakat believes in ‘responsible sourcing’ and insists that all stakeholders in its supply-chain upholds the responsible sourcing policy.

Barakat’s CSR strategy aligns with its Mission “to help people become the healthiest version of themselves” and consequently it has partnered with UAE regulatory authorities in their “School and Nutrition program” which encourages use of fresh and natural ingredients in meal preparation and educates students at a young age on sustainability and healthy living

Barakat is committed to environmental sustainability and is constantly making improvements in its consumptions of electricity for refrigeration, water usage etc. to reduce Carbon footprint through efficient Water Treatment and Waste Management. Barakat has also embarked on a journey to introduce “eco-friendly’ initiatives such as use of recycled and biodegradable packaging. Barakat’s associated agricultural solar farm in Sharjah is the largest single-site microgrid farm located in the UAE.

Barakat is poised to grab opportunities at EXPO 2020 and has tied up with some country pavilions offering them customized preparation with new range of soups, salads, hot meals, breakfast pots and many more. “Tell us what you want, and we will provide it to you” says Rajesh very confidently.

Please reach out to Manish at or Prapthi at to inquire more on Barakat Group.

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Carrefour unveils Mobimart: the region’s first grocery bus

Carrefour unveils Mobimart: the region’s first grocery bus, © Carrefour & Majid Al Futtaim
© Carrefour & Majid Al Futtaim


Carrefour’s newest grocery concept brings fresh food and everyday supplies to underserviced neighbourhoods across Dubai.


Dubai, UAE, 3rd March 2020: Carrefour, operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE, unveiled Mobimart, the region’s first grocery bus, bringing convenient and accessible shopping to the doorsteps of underserved neighbourhoods and communities across Dubai, six days a week.   

Carrefour Mobimart offers customers an extensive variety of daily groceries and fresh food, including a selection of organic produce, frozen food, snacks, beverages, and light household items. The bus will visit various communities along its assigned route, with timed stops, parking just a short walk from shoppers’ homes.

© Carrefour & Majid Al Futtaim


Phillippe Peguilhan, Country Manager of Carrefour UAE, at Majid Al Futtaim Retail – said: “We’re constantly looking to find new ways to reinforce our position as the leading retailer in the region. This is what drives us to come up with unique concepts that reach our customers and satisfy their needs wherever they are. Carrefour Mobimart represents Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to provide innovative, and seamless customer experiences to our shoppers, as we bring Carrefour to their doorsteps.

Carrefour Mobimart was built in Dubai by homegrown Bespoke Trailers—a start-up based in Al Quoz. Jamal Wick, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the company said, “We commend Majid Al Futtaim for their efforts to always bring the best innovations by going over and above the brick and mortar stores’ expectations. Residents in the UAE have high expectations of personalised delivery services and Carrefour has successfully brought a grocery shopping experience to their doorsteps. We are also appreciative for their support to local SMEs through such initiatives, reflecting their efforts to contribute to the diversification of the economy.”

Majid Al Futtaim Retail has been reimagining traditional grocery concepts as it caters to evolving customer needs. With this latest innovation, Mobimart compliments Carrefour’s portfolio of store formats, including the popular Carrefour Marine, the world’s first sail thru store.

The bus will visit several areas in Dubai, with the majority being residential as well as stops at Kite Beach, and Rahaba labour accommodation. The full list of destinations served at this time is: Javza – South Gate, Akoya – Juniper Cluster, Claret Cluster and Amazonia Cluster, Rahaba Kite Beach, Meydan – near Emirates Pilots Village, Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Village Triangle, Jumeirah Islands, and Sports City – Victory Heights. Details on the schedule will be posted regularly on Carrefour’s website and social media channels.



About Carrefour in UAE

Carrefour was launched in the UAE in 1995. Today, Carrefour operates 29 hypermarkets and 80 supermarkets, employing more than 10,000 colleagues.

About Majid Al Futtaim

Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 16 international markets, employing more than 44,000 people, and obtaining the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the region.

Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 27 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Egypt, City Centre malls, My City Centre neighbourhood centres, and four community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company is the exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in a number of markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, operating a portfolio of more than 300 outlets.

Majid Al Futtaim operates more than 500 VOX Cinemas screens and 37 Magic Planet family entertainment centres across the region, in addition to iconic leisure and entertainment facilities such as Ski Dubai, iFly Dubai and Ski Egypt, among others. The Company is parent to the consumer finance company ‘Najm’, and a Fashion and Home retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, AllSaints, lululemon athletica, Crate & Barrel and Maisons du Monde. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim operates Enova, a facility and energy management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia, a global leader in optimised environment resource management. The Company also owns the rights to The LEGO Store and American Girl in the Middle East.


Source: Press Release
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Spinneys, the Dubai retailer that never compromises on quality 

Spinneys, the Dubai retailer that never compromises on quality 

Ethnic mixture of consumers, tough competition, high demand for organic produce, and distaste for plastic packaging are the challenges and opportunities for the retailer.

Spinneys Dubai operates 50 Spinney’s supermarkets and eight Waitrose stores. Its story started in 1961, with its first supermarket opening in 1962. Nowadays, Spinneys enjoys a well-deserved reputation for being forward-thinking and keeping pace with the changes in eating trends by offering new products from around the world. Food standards, safety and freshness have always been at the forefront of the company’s ethos. “We don’t compromise on quality; our objective is to give customers the best shopping experience,” said Stephen Rudge, commercial manager for fresh produce. “That explains why we are moving ever more toward growers and direct import. We buy around 80% of our goods directly from growers and the countries of origin.” As well as supporting local food producers within the UAE, the company has developed an enviably comprehensive network of reputable suppliers around the world. The retailer has sourcing teams located in different countries: the US, Australia, the UK and South Africa. “Our ambition is to establish closer relationships with growers, while closely following new varieties and new developments to understand what’s coming onto the markets,” said Rudge. “When we can, we want to be the first ones on the market.” 

Variety choice, a key issue

Spinneys puts great stock in selling a varied range of products. For instance, it offers very distinctive grape varieties like Cotton Candy, which has sold extremely well following in-store tastings. There are sampling stations at all of Spinneys’ large stores, with each week customers having the chance to try a new variety or product, or a product from a new country of origin. The same is true with berries. There have been numerous breeding programmes over last 15 years and more new materials have come onto the market. But the difference between good berries and bad berries is huge in terms of flavour, sweetness, texture, and shelf life. “We talk to the growers and we choose the best varieties. After each season, we discuss the results with producers, and include the successful varieties in our following season’s programme,” said Rudge. 

Competent marketing and promotion boost sales 

The UAE contains a wide spectrum of consumers among its 10 million population, and Spinneys has a particularly strong European, Emirati and Asian customer base. “We have such a mix of customers, and we take into consideration the tastes of all of them,” said Rudge. “We also offer ready-to-eat formats, such as peeled pomelo cut into individual segments. Pomelo is a fabulous product!” Spinneys has two formats of ready-to-eat products: one consists of pre-packed fruit, and the other of ready-prepared salads in the deli section, both of which have become very popular for their freshness. Spinneys widely social media extensively to promote its healthy products and participates on a morning fruit show on a Dubai radio station, which enables new products to be introduced. Indeed, following its promotion, kale has now become one of the best-sellers. 

Another feature of the Emirates is the fact that sales of organic products constitute 10% of total volume, which is much higher than in Europe where the average is 5%. The country is also committed to the war against plastic. “It is a real challenge, as suppliers cannot change their packaging in such a short time, and recycling is not well developed in the country. Spinneys will have to develop its own solution, as this is what customers are demanding,” said Rudge.

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New era for Gulfood in Dubai

Celebrating over three decades of success, in 2017 Gulfood will host more than 5,000 local, regional and international companies from 120 countries displaying hundreds of thousands of finished food and beverage products.

Gulfood, the world-leading annual food and hospitality event in Dubai, is undergoing major changes in format and visitor experience in preparation for the next edition, being held February 26 to March 1 in 2017.

Gulfood 2017 will focus on finished food and beverages and feature dedicated halls organised around the areas of Beverages; Dairy; Fats & Oils; Health, Wellness & Free-From; Pulses, Grains & Cereals; Meat & Poultry; Power Brands; and World Food.

Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president of Exhibitions & Events Management for the event host, Dubai World Trade Centre, said the new layout comes amid growing global sales across these eight food commodities.

“Not only will Gulfood’s new sectorised format allow visitors to get straight to business assessing quality and benchmarking price in their respective segments, but it will also lead to deeper market insights and trend awareness through focused consultation with the right experts in one place,” LohMirmand said.

“The emirate is already the world’s biggest re-exporter of rice, coffee and tea, and Gulfood opens the door to international food industry professionals to learn more about the recent infrastructure and mega project developments – such as Dubai Wholesale City – that will further transform the emirate’s strategic potential as a re-export hub for the global food industry.”

Global buyers will discover more than 1,000 new-to-show food and beverage producers at the February event, which will feature 120 national pavilions including for first-time participants Malta, Finland and Slovakia. Exhibitor space has already sold out.

Gulfood 2017 will host more than 5,000 local, regional and international companies from 120 countries displaying hundreds of thousands of finished food and beverage products.

For more information: Gulfood 2017

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Constellation Marine Services – an expert in perishables inspections

Constellation Marine Services carries out fruit inspections for a large number of exporters, importers and cargo underwriters all over the world. Additionally, it can conduct inspections in all UAE ports and attend any location in the UAE and GCC regions.

Dubai-based Constellation Marine Services specialises in the inspection and survey of all kinds of fruits, vegetables and perishables.

It carries out fruit inspections for a large number of exporters, importers and cargo underwriters all over the world. Additionally, it can conduct inspections in all UAE ports and attend any location in the UAE and GCC regions.

An internationally focused survey company, Constellation Marine Services has offices in the UAE, Singapore and London.

Its reports are benchmarked to the standards laid down by the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IMS)

The main operations it carries out in the area of international trade in fruits and perishable business are:

  • Condition Surveys on reefer cargo of fruits and meat Pre Discharge Survey
  • Damage Surveys
  • Inspection of containerised cargo Insurance claims consultancy and recovery.