Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Made in UAE: consumers turn to local food brands

  • UAE imports 85% of food
  • Plans to increase production
  • Market for snacks growing

UAE consumers are increasingly turning to locally produced products, according to the head of a multi-billion-dirham food and beverage conglomerate. 

Consumption patterns in the region are changing rapidly, prioritising healthy lifestyles, time-saving and convenience while maintaining authentic tastes. 

“If you can produce something locally, give them good value for money, they are much more open to locally produced products,” said Ahmad Yahya, president, food and water at Agthia during an exclusive interview at the Gulf Food exhibition in Dubai.

“Hence ‘Made in UAE’ is a reminder to progress more towards producing in the UAE than importing products,” he added.

The UAE imports nearly 85 percent of its food. One of the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy 2051 is to increase local production and reduce reliance on other countries

Snacking is another consumer habit gaining ground in the region. The size of the GCC snacks market grew from $4 billion in 2022 to almost $6.7 billion last year, according to a report by MarkNtel. 

Agthia’s snacking revenue has increased 38 percent year on year owing to growth in the UAE as well as internationally in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil.

“Snacking was thought to be casual eating. Now it has become part of your daily routine,” Yahya said. 

“Gone are the days of rigid meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you have many more snacking occasions. It’s part of the lifestyle change and hence our snacking division has done tremendously well and we have invested in different snacking brands too.”

Manufacturer and retailer GMG has launched chicken chips brand Shnax. To find out more from the company’s CEO Mohammad A Baker, watch the video 

Latest articles

Flooding in Dubai affected many people's homes. Emaar has promised .free repairs for its residents, and an upgraded sewerage system is planned

Emaar promises free repairs as Dubai launches sewerage system

Emaar Properties is offering free repairs to residents whose homes were damaged during this week’s extreme flooding, as Dubai also announced a AED80 billion ($22 billion) sewerage system, following a review of infrastructure ordered by the UAE president. The developer, which is listed on the Dubai stock exchange, announced on Friday it would repair all […]

A customer paying with a credit card inside the Black Friday Market in Beirut. Lebanon wants more people to move away from cash

Lebanon launches plan to promote use of bank cards

Lebanese central bank Banque du Liban announced a new agreement on Thursday that it hopes will result in a rebound in the use of bank cards. As part of the agreement, Mastercard and Visa will lower card fees on transactions, particularly for people with bank accounts based outside Lebanon. In a press release, the bank […]

Construction work in Kuwait. Nurseries, schools and shops are being built for the new residential district of Al Metlaa

Kuwait signs $140m contracts for Al Metlaa development

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has signed two contracts worth KD42 million ($140 million) to construct public buildings in Al Metlaa, a new residential district north of Kuwait City. Nurseries, stores, schools and shops will be included, state news agency Kuna reported. Electricity connections have been provided for 109 buildings in the district, […]

Iraq gas oil

Iraq to auction 30 oil and gas projects this month

Iraq will auction 30 new oil and gas projects in two licensing rounds before the end of April. The bidding round will be held on April 27, Reuters reported, citing an oil ministry statement. Last October Iraq passed a long-awaited oil and gas law, which will help the country attract more international investments into the hydrocarbon industry and boost government revenues.  Ali Metwally, an […]