March 9, 2023

Abu Dhabi is a rapidly growing business hub, and the food industry is no exception. With the government’s emphasis on becoming the leader in Food Security by 2051, Abu Dhabi is geared up to offer a favourable environment for entrepreneurs looking to set up a food processing or AgTech business in

Here are 21 reasons you should consider setting up a food processing business in KEZAD Abu Dhabi.

  1. Strategic Location: Abu Dhabi is strategically located between Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it a convenient hub for businesses looking to reach markets in these regions. Abu Dhabi’s robust infrastructure and multimodal connectivity make it the ideal hub for any business looking to reach local, regional and international markets.
  2. Growing Market: Revenue in the Food market amounts to US$9.43tn in 2023. The market is expected to grow annually by 6.21% (CAGR 2023-2027). This presents a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in Abu Dhabi and cater to the increasing global demand. With multimodal connectivity to more than 4.5 billion consumers in the region, Abu Dhabi is the food capital of the future.
  3. Robust Economy: According to the latest IMF review, the UAE GDP growth is projected to reach above 6 per cent in 2022, improving from 3.8 per cent in 2021, making it an attractive business market.
  4. State-of-the-Art Infrastructure: Abu Dhabi has a well-developed infrastructure, with excellent road, air and sea and upcoming rail links to the rest of the world. This makes it easier for businesses to import raw materials and export finished products. KEZAD Group’s sister company and AD Port Group’s flagship Khalifa Port located next to KEZAD is the regional hub for three of the world’s largest shipping lines, MSC, Cosco and CMA-CGM. The upcoming Etihad Rail network is developing two terminals within KEZAD. Specialised companies within KEZAD’s food ecosystem, such as food-grade printing and packaging plants and centralised food testing and certification laboratories, enable companies to produce high-quality processed foods efficiently and cost-effectively.
  5. Abu Dhabi Food Hub: AD Ports Group’s Economic Cities & Free Zones has partnered with key entities in the food sector to bring the Abu Dhabi Food Hub to the region. The 3.3 sq km market in KEZAD is being developed in collaboration with Rungis International, which operates the world’s largest fresh produce market in Paris. The development of the Abu Dhabi Food Hub in KEZAD will supply the emirate with a rich supply of fresh produce, including agricultural products and seafood, making it an ideal location for food processing businesses.
  6. Strong Supply Chain: The emirate of Abu Dhabi has a robust supply chain, with various suppliers and distributors that can provide businesses with the raw materials, packaging and equipment they need to operate effectively. This helps businesses reduce costs and improve efficiency. Through its Josoor (Bridges) Programme, KEZAD offers its clients access to vendors and customers within its ecosystem.
  7. Developed Logistics Industry: Abu Dhabi has a well-developed logistics industry. A wide range of cool and cold warehousing and storage solutions offered by KEZAD and logistics and transport services through several specialised companies based within the economic zone makes it easier for businesses to manage their supply chains and reach customers.
  8. Access to Markets: As a gateway to the wider Middle East and North Africa market, Abu Dhabi’s central location and state of the art infrastructure, and multimodal connectivity by land, sea, and air make it very easy for businesses to reach more than 4.5 billion consumers in the region.
  9. Diverse Customer Base: With a population of almost 10 million people, the UAE is home to a diverse, truly global range of market segments, including high-end consumers, middle-class families, and budget-conscious shoppers, providing businesses with a broad customer base to target.
  10. Sustainable Approach: Abu Dhabi is fully committed to sustainability and is implementing initiatives to reduce waste, increase energy efficiency and promote environmentally friendly products, which can benefit businesses operating in the food and beverage sector. Encouraging the development of a circular economy is one of the key pillars of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. The strategy aims to develop and implement a robust circular economy regulatory framework alongside policies encouraging ESG, green procurement, and incentives for improved environmental sustainability.
  11. High Standard of Living: The emirate of Abu Dhabi has a high standard of living, with a range of modern amenities and a quality of life that attracts talented professionals and skilled workers. This can benefit businesses operating in the food and beverage sector by providing access to a talented and motivated workforce.
  12. Resident Expertise: Abu Dhabi is also home to a range of food and beverage experts, including food scientists, nutritionists, and industry professionals, who can provide businesses with the expertise they need to succeed. The city has a well-educated and experienced workforce, making it easier for businesses to find employees with the skills and knowledge needed to run a successful food and beverage processing operation. The emirate also has a large pool of skilled and unskilled labour, making it easier for businesses to find workers to run their operations effectively.
  13. Government Commitment: The Abu Dhabi government is committed to promoting the growth of businesses and is actively encouraging the development of the food and beverage industry. This includes incentive programmes for businesses in the emirate. The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy is underpinned by six transformational programmes, which drive growth and innovation, boost skills, strengthen the ecosystem for local manufacturers, and advance the transition to a circular economy. Other key facets include the encouraging adoption of new technologies and smart manufacturing and encouraging a homegrown supply chain and value chain development.
  14. Collaborative Business Environment: KEZAD works with the Abu Dhabi government agencies dedicated to supporting businesses and promoting entrepreneurship. Close collaboration among government agencies results in a complete package for companies looking to start up, expand or relocate to the emirate. A range of services, including advice, training, and support for start-ups and incentives and support, are available for businesses in the F&B sector.
  15. Availability of Financing: The emirate of Abu Dhabi offers numerous financing options for businesses, including loans, grants and investment opportunities, making it easier for entrepreneurs to secure the funding they need to start and grow their businesses here. Funding for start-ups in the UAE — one of the top destinations for venture capital investments in the MENA region — rose by about 5 per cent in the third quarter to $148 million, according to start-up platform Magnitt. An agreement between the Abu Dhabi Chamber and the Emirates Development Bank will help companies access investment opportunities in food security sectors.
  16. Strong Legal System: A strong and robust legal system across the UAE provides businesses with the highest level of protection and security, helping to minimise the risk of disputes and protect investments. Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the world, making it easy to relocate the workforce or tap into the existing pool of experts and skilled and unskilled workers.
  17. Strong Brand Reputation: Abu Dhabi has a strong reputation as a modern and dynamic city. Businesses operating in the food and beverage sector can leverage this reputation to build their brand and reach customers in new markets using the emirate’s multimodal connectivity.
  18. Rich Culture and History: Abu Dhabi has a rich culture and history. Businesses operating in the food and beverage sector can tap into this rich cultural heritage by offering products that reflect local tastes and traditions. With an international population living and working in Abu Dhabi, companies also have the option of catering to a wide range of tastes from this global hub.
  19. Growing Tourism Industry: Abu Dhabi has a rapidly growing tourism industry, and businesses operating in the food and beverage sector can take advantage of this trend by offering products that cater to the tastes and preferences of tourists.
  20. Positive Business Climate: Abu Dhabi has a positive business climate, good quality of life, and a supportive government, making it an attractive location for businesses looking to start up, relocate or expand.
  21. Growing Retail Industry: Abu Dhabi is home to a rapidly growing retail industry, with a range of modern shopping centres and supermarkets that can provide businesses with an excellent distribution network for their products locally.

Setting up a food processing business in Abu Dhabi offers a range of benefits, including access to a rich culture and history, a growing tourism industry, access to expertise, and a positive business climate. With its strategic location, state-of-the-art technology, and well-educated workforce, Abu Dhabi is the ideal location for businesses looking to succeed in the food & beverage sector.

Contact us today to find out how KEZAD Group can help create business opportunities for you in the F&B Sector and help you reach the world.