Camel milk is becoming more popular in the United Arab Emirates, available in coffee outlets and high-end hotels. Sold across the country, the Bedouin staple is a low-fat alternative to cow’s milk.
Costa Coffee, the first international coffee shop chain to offer camel milk, has joined other big-name brands such as Harrods, the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, and al-Nassma Chocolate.
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal hired a “camel milk mixologist” to create non-alcoholic cocktails to coincide with Ramadan.
“Camel milk has a high level of protein and additional nutrients, it’s an excellent beverage to consume during Sohour, the meal taken prior to sunrise for Muslims fasting during Ramadan,” mixologist Mohammad Daoud said on the Ritz-Carlton website.
“The response to our camel milk chocolate is consistently positive,” Martin van Almsick, general manager of UAE-based al-Nassma Chocolate, told the Hotelier Middle East magazine.“People love the smooth and silky taste with a hint of saltiness; sales are steadily growing, and so is the fan base. We are already present in Europe in leading gourmet houses in Austria and Paris,” he added.
Camel milk has been available at 32 Costa Coffee stores across the UAE since early August, at an extra cost of 40 U.S. cents per coffee.“Camel milk we saw as being quite popular and trending with health conscious and local customers,” Eric Hughes, Costa Coffee’s general manager in the UAE, told Al Arabiya.
“We’re continually innovating our range of drinks, so we set ourselves the challenge of developing a drink that would make camel milk popular and allow people to introduce it into their diet,” he added.
“In the stores that have launched camel milk, we’ve seen 15-20 customers requesting it on a daily basis. We’ve noticed that customers are intrigued and willing to try camel milk,” said Hughes.
“We’ve noticed that all parts of our community are opting to try camel milk, from Emiratis to Westerners and Asians,” he added.
Costa Coffee believes that the interest is due to “a combination of the health benefits of camel milk and the local heritage aspect of the milk,” which “includes naturally occurring anti-ageing properties.”
Containing 89.6 percent water, it has a considerably lower fat content than cow’s milk.
The Camel Milk Cooler will be available at Costa Coffee throughout August and September. If enough interest is shown, it will continue the new line.