Dubai food packaging manufacturer Al Bayader has invested $54.5 million (AED200 million) into expanding its Jebel Ali facility and doubling production capacity, the company said.
The announcement follows Monday’s launch of the United Arab Emirates’ Operation 300bn program, which introduced new financing facilities for Small and Medium Enterprises in the industrial sector.
Al Badayer’s expanded Jebel Ali facility will now have the capacity to produce 18,000 tons of food packaging per year for international and domestic markets.
The expansion is part of a wider drive in the UAE to bolster the country’s manufacturing capabilities.
Operation 300bn is a ten-year plan aiming to more than double the UAE’s manufacturing output. As well as financing companies, the plan involves increased spending on research and development and improved quality standards for UAE goods.
It was implemented in order to reduce reliance on imports and boost the country’s export capabilities following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The expansion of the UAE’s food ecosystem is a priority for the leadership to enhance national food security, especially in light of its recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic,” said Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food & Water Security, in a statement accompanying Al Bayader’s announcement.
“The expansion of Al Bayader International’s Jebel Ali factory is a significant component in this next stage and represents an important step towards contributing to the UAE’s overall food security ecosystem, as well as the newly launched industrial strategy ‘Operation 300bn’ led by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and aims to enhance the industrial sector in the coming years,” she added.
For his part, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “Building a logistics supply chain in the F&B sector, especially in the food packaging sector, which has been largely under-served, will enable the nation to boost the exports of these essential goods, and play a role in championing food hygiene and security.”
Al Badayer is headquartered in Dubai and has manufacturing centers in Jebel Ali and Sharjah. It also operates retail outlets in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, and Al Ain.