Well-heeled diners around the world may soon be savouring caviar produced in Abu Dhabi.
Yesterday marked the official launch in the emirate of what has been billed as the world’s largest and most technologically advanced aquaculture farm.
The 56,000-square metre Emirates AquaTech Caviar Farm will produce premium Siberian caviar and sturgeon fish meat.
“Abu Dhabi is not usually synonymous with caviar production, but we at Emirates AquaTech have taken the first and important step of changing that,” said Mohammed Al Dhaheri, the company’s chairman. “Yasa Caviar is made in Abu Dhabi and we aim for it to carry our flag proudly to the world.”
For the past four years, the company has been focused on building the state-of-the-art farm in Mussafah, as well as breeding, transporting and nurturing sturgeon fish. The total cost of the project has reached US$115 million.
Renowned as a delicacy around the world, caviar is a product made from the salt-cured eggs of sturgeon fish.
Caviar produced using aquaculture or fish farming has grown in popularity after a ban on sturgeon fishing in the Caspian Sea, one of the biggest natural habitats for the fish.
The farm in Abu Dhabi will have a maximum annual production capacity of 35 tonnes of caviar and 700 tonnes of sturgeon meat.
Emirates AquaTech, formerly known as The Royal Caviar Company, says its fish-breeding technology is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and sustainable production method.
The caviar facility is the second boost to the UAE’s fish farming market in recent days. On Sunday, Asmak, or International Fish Farming Holding, said it planned to start land-based salmon farming in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, the first such facility in the GCC.
Mr Al Dhaheri said Emirates AquaTech’s aim was to contribute to the emirate’s plan to diversify its economy, as set out by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
Yasa Caviar and the firm’s other products will be marketed globally by the Spanish marketing firm Garamond International.
Sara Morales, Garamond International’s general manager, voiced optimism about sales of the product.
“From its wonderful grey-brown shiny colour, to its light salt flavour with a creamy sensation that leaves a long-lasting taste of walnuts, Yasa Caviar will be enjoyed by many demanding consumers around the world,” she said.
The caviar will be priced in line with international rates for farmed caviar, which range from €100 (Dh500) to €115 per 50 grams.