The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country in Western Asia of around 9.6 million inhabitants. It is part of the larger regional organisation, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The whole region comprises of 65 million inhabitants.
Revenue from the food and beverage industry is expected to reach USD194 million in 2020. Food consumption is estimated to reach 59.2 million tonnes by 2021. In 2018, total imports amounted to USD6.9 billion, the major trading partners being Brazil, the United States and the United Kingdom.
High growth categories in the UAE are: Savory Snacks, Sweet spreads, Baby food, Processed meat and seafood, Sauces, dressings and condiments, Breakfast cereals, Rice, pasta and noodles, Baked goods, Ready meals. In the Health category, consumers are looking more and more for alternatives such as organic, vegan and gluten-free options.
If you are a brand within these categories, then doing business in the UAE might bring you great opportunities. Always be mindful of local tastes, preferences and regulations, meaning you will need to conduct thorough R&D to adapt to consumers’ needs.