Annual report 2020

The F&B industry is one of the largest non-oil sectors in the UAE but has not been delivering on growth in the recent past. It is also an industry handicapped on several fronts, but now gearing for a renaissance.
The Annual Report 2020 discusses the objective of achieving food security, advances made in Agri-tech and how the industry has transformed today. Today, several food sub-sectors have enough capacity to ensure self-sufficiency. Available in both Arabic and English.

The UAE economy

UAE has a strong track record of being visionary and planning for the future. This has been evident in the resilience of the economy and industry in the past. Deftly navigating the Global Financial Crisis and fluctuating global oil prices in the past, how does the Nation of 200+ nationalities navigate this one? It is therefore important to take a quick look at the lessons from the past, the current issue at hand and the prospects going ahead. 

Overview of the F&B Industry in UAE

UAE had a great response to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09; outperforming the larger regional and global growth rates for a sustained period of five years. In fact, from 2011-2016, UAE’s growth rate over-indexed the global growth rates by ~70%, i.e., the period between the two major crises of the 21st century (GFC & COVID) saw the UAE outperform the regional and global growth rates.

Population and Consumer behaviour

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone, including the employees and the consumers of the food sector. Initially, the virus was a distant problem, then it came knocking on our doors, then it confused and scared us, and now we’re learning to live with it, and hopefully see it through.

The HORECA sector

COVID-19 has deeply impacted the HORECA sector – it was hit first and hardest among all sectors. From suppliers to restaurants to consumers, all have been trying to adjust through these testing times. Many of the restaurants have been in loss or closed due to not having customers because of the implemented lockdown and restrictions required for social distancing and sanitisation requirements.