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Food & Drink

Food & drink news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

factory Saudi

Food sector dominates new factories approved in Saudi

Saudi Arabia approved licences for 53 new factories with total investment capital of more than $5 billion in April. The majority of new licences came from the food products industry, according to the latest monthly figures from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, with nine new licenses approved. Other major sectors included non-metallic minerals […]

Person, Human, Bird

Brazil’s BRF share offer may drive new Saudi investment

Brazilian food processor BRF has filed for a follow-on share offering that will allow a previously announced investment by Saudi Arabia’s Salic in the company to materialise. BRF said in a securities filing it will initially sell 500 million new shares in a bid to raise money to reinforce its capital structure, particularly aiming to […]

Saudi catering firm signs $2.4bn deal with Red Sea Global

Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SACC) has signed two contracts worth SAR9 billion ($2.4 billion) with Red Sea Global, the developer of Red Sea and Amaala mega projects. The first contract, valued at SAR6.3 billion, is to design, build, operate and transfer a central production unit for catering and facilities management to service RSG hotels, resorts […]

Cell-grown meat Prince Khaled

Prince’s cell-grown meat investment gets US approval

Saudi Arabia’s “vegan prince” is set to get a prime cut of the profits from his investment in a startup producing meat made from cultivated animal cells. The US government this month approved the sale of Upside Foods products to American consumers. “Sometimes when you talk to an entrepreneur, you know,” Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed […]

Deliveroo's orders have dropped this year but business is holding strong in Kuwait and Qatar

Deliveroo riding the storm in Kuwait and Qatar

Kuwait and Qatar are predicted to continue to buck the trend as Deliveroo’s worldwide orders tumble. The online food delivery platform received 72.1 million orders worldwide in the first three months of this year, a drop of 9 percent over the same period last year, according to a statement from company headquarters in London. Earlier […]

InstaShop GroCart

UAE grocery delivery startup InstaShop buys GroCart

Grocery delivery app InstaShop is expanding into the wholesale sector with the acquisition of B2B operator GroCart. The move comes as a new survey said that a third of UAE consumers are planning to spend more on food in the next year. Founded in 2015 in Dubai, InstaShop operates in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and […]

Nadec store

Agriculture major Nadec lines up $533m rights issue

Saudi food processing company National Agricultural Development Company – known as Nadec – has filed an application to regulators to increase its capital by SAR2 billion ($533 million) through a rights issue. Nadec’s application has been sent to the Capital Market Authority for approval, the company said in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange. […]

Ingrid Brodin, CEO and co-founder of Vindome, a wine trading app

Fine wine whets appetite of Gulf investors

A Methuselah-sized bottle of wine – six litres – was auctioned by Sotheby’s last December for a staggering $361,000. The sale of the 2007 Domaine de la Roman-Conti is an indication that investments of passion – art, cars, watches and wine – may not have been dented by the recent global economic worries. The region’s […]

A Golden Fields site. It has farms and processing facilities across the Baltic region

Abu Dhabi agribusiness links up with Estonian forage firm

An Abu Dhabi agribusiness has signed a supply agreement that will drive construction of forage processing facilities in the Baltic. Al Dahra Group has made the deal with Golden Fields, an Estonian animal feed company. Under the partnership, Al Dahra has an exclusive offtake agreement for forage – such as corn silage, grasses, alfalfa and […]

Adult, Female, Person, Gulf, Champagne

Champagne sales in the Gulf fizz by 91%

World Cup fans and wealthy expats led to Champagne imports to the Gulf almost doubling in 2022. After a strong marketing push by French producers helped luxury bubbly become more mainstream, the number of bottles of Champagne shipped to the region surged 91 percent last year. Comité Champagne, the industry body representing French producers, told […]

Beverage, Tea, Coffee

Dubai tea bag producer brews record results

DMCC Tea Centre has revealed production of tea bags at its Jebel Ali Free Zone facility was up 27 percent year on year in 2022. Saeed Al Suwaidi, director of agri-commodities at Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), described it as a “record-breaking” year and forecast further growth for 2023 driven by technology and automation. “We expect […]

Shoppers at a supermarket in Sanaa, Yemen. In the UAE, inflation in the cost of staples such as flour is slowing

Relief for online shoppers as food price inflation slows

The price of consumer staples bought online increased in 2022, but shoppers in the UAE are now beginning to see costs plateau. The most significant rise was in the price of tea, which increased by almost 26 percent year-on-year in Q1 2023, according to the UAE Ecommerce Consumer Price Index compiled by consultancy Pattern. The […]

RedSea founders Ryan Lefers, right, and Mark Tester

RedSea rules out listing in search for growth

Sustainable agriculture business RedSea has revealed plans to raise extra funds, but has ruled out a listing for the company for the moment. Founded in 2018 by plant scientist Mark Tester, agriculture engineering expert Ryan Lefers and material scientist Derya Baran, the Saudi-based agtech startup aims to find ways to feed populations in the face […]

Fine dining restaurant table

Abu Dhabi sets up $100m fund to elevate restaurant scene

Abu Dhabi has set up a $100 million investment fund to help attract more global restaurant brands to the city. The Abu Dhabi Culinary Investment Fund, announced by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi, will also support building and establishing a culinary school.  The school will offer an established core curriculum and […]

SCP's Jeremiah Green, Patrick Speek, Peter Schatzberg and Brandon Guthrie

Private equity fund aims to boost F&B growth in UAE and beyond

A new private equity fund dedicated to scaling food and beverage brands in the Gulf has been launched by UAE-headquartered Shatranj Capital Partners. The fund will invest in launching select brands that have not yet made it to the Mena region. It will also focus on growing proven Mena franchise food and beverage (F&B) brands, […]

Le Mer Dubai food and beverage

Dubai F&B sector will coast through uncertainty, says CEO

The food and beverage industry in Dubai can withstand economic uncertainty, according to the CEO of Merex Investment, developer of La Mer, a beachfront attraction with more than 100 restaurants, cafes and shops. It had been feared that further hikes in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve may lead to residents of countries with […]

Architecture, Building, Landmark

Food Tech Valley set to triple food production in Dubai

The development of Food Tech Valley just outside Dubai represents a milestone in the UAE’s efforts to improve food security. The Emirates currently imports 90 percent of its food and only 5 percent of its land is suitable for arable production. Food Tech Valley, a partnership between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and […]


$5bn extra Ramadan spending splurge predicted in UAE

People in the UAE are upbeat about shopping and dining out more this Ramadan despite inflationary pressures and an elevated cost of living. Retail sales are set to rise to $66 billion over the holy month, up $5 billion compared to last year, a study by India-based Redseer Strategy Consultants says. It said that constant […]