Sweets, Chocolates & Confectionary Products

Confectionery includes sweets made from sugar crystals or syrup including chewing gum. Major products are chocolates, candy made from purchased chocolate, and non chocolate candy. This category also includes specialty sweet-meats.

The confectionary sector is dominated by imported products controlled by multinationals like Nestle, Kent, Cadbury’s, Kraft foods etc. They do not operate manufacturing operations in the UAE and most of the products are imported.

The total market size for chocolates in the UAE is around AED 550 mn. There is a shift in demand towards bespoke, luxury chocolates over cheaper chocolate bars.

Chocolate is almost entirely imported into Dubai. The sector is very capital intensive with machinery and raw materials being imported.

The sector is expected to be impacted by the changing health concerns of the consumers. The transportation and storage infrastructure which has to be temperature controlled and constantly monitored to prevent spoilage in extreme weather conditions is adding on to the overall operating costs.


  • Premium products and luxury chocolates
  • Selling chocolates through boutique retail outlets and reducing their cost of distribution through traditional retail channels
  • Joint venture opportunities with international brands to setup manufacturing
  • Development of sugar free products
  • High cocoa content chocolates due to medical benefits of dark chocolate
  • Improvements in the taste and texture of artificial sweeteners

Market Players

  • About 18 factories ( National Industries -9 registered with DCCI) in Dubai
  • UAE Local Production
  • UAE Market Share: Mars 26%, Nestle, Unilever, Kraft and perfetti Van Melle Group (10.2%)
  • Chocolates almost entirely imported in Dubai; La Chocolate imports chocolate from France and Patchi imports chocolate from Lebanon and KSA.
  • Market mostly controlled by multinationals. Majority of the companies are situated outside the free trade zone except Nestle, Kent, Cadbury’s, Kraft Foods, and Mars. These do not operate manufacturing operations in the UAE, but are all imported. E.g. Galaxy chocolate Range produced by Masterfoods, in UAE. Hershey’s brands are locally manufactured by Seville Products (part of IFFCO group) under a contract-packing arrangement.
  • Premium categories like Fualla and Patchi (national Industries) are successful brands known internationally as well as regionally. Other brands are Nadiya, ChoCo Ah and La Chocoa.
  • 38 companies manufacture cocoa and chocolate candies in Dubai. Kraft foods, and Mars, out of these, are located in JAFZA and are foreign players.
  • Low end products, market is dominated by multinationals like Mars and Cadbury
  • Limited production of chewing gum in UAE (Smitters Gum Industries, Sharjah), with local chewing gum market dominated by imported brands.

Featured Companies