The CEO Round Table

UAE’s First Food Bank Opens in Dubai
The Next Generation Manufacturing Conference

The CEO Round Table

  • His Excellency Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce
  • Mr. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman, FMBG
  • Representatives from leading food manufacturing firms in UAE

The Food and Beverages Manufacturing Business Groups hosted a CEO Roundtable, to bring together all the major players in the industry. The event was a chance for food and beverage manufacturers to discuss the industry challenges with the Director General of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, H.E. Hamad Buamin. The interaction led to some very productive solutions and action points for the continued improvement of the industry in UAE.

Key Issues Discussed
  • H.E. Hamid Buamin stressed the importance of the food and beverages industry in the growth of UAE’s economy. He also assured continued support to the industry, through the activities of the Food and Beverages Manufacturing Business Group.
  • Mr. Lootah spoke about the increasing manufacturing costs faced by the industry, and the need to develop local talent. This was a concern voiced by several participants, highlighting the cost of water and electricity faced by the manufacturers.
  • The participants also discussed the issue of price ceiling on food items. H.E. Hamid Buamin addressed this concern stating they the Dubai Chamber is working with the Consumer Protection Committee, to resolve this issue. He indicated that were opinions that the price ceiling be imposed on necessary items like bread, rice, and milk; while prices for other food items are determined by market forces.
  • Participant also discussed the problems in securing industrial financing, with not many banks in UAE offering suitable options.
  • Mr. Lootah talked about the issue of non-uniform labelling and listing standards, and differing regulations across the industry.
  • Finally, participants discussed the unfavourable negotiation terms vis a vis retailers and manufacturers.

Plan of Action

With a view to continuously improve the reputation of UA manufactured products across the region, the participants decided on a few actionable items:

  • The group planned to launch a roadmap outlining its strategy, including setting up sub-groups to resolve specific issues facing the industry and the creation of special initiatives.
  • Creation of organizations that bring together multinational experience and local know-how.
  • Encourage research and development into changing consumer behaviour, and increase demand for products.