Kezad Group, a subsidiary of AD Ports Group, has signed a 50-year land lease agreement with Al Ghurair Foods to set up three mega food processing projects with total investments worth more than Dh1 billion ($272 million) to boost the UAE’s food production capabilities and enhance food security.
As part of the deal, Al Ghurair Foods, which is part of the Dubai-based business conglomerate Al Ghurair Investment, will set up a starch processing plant ― the first of its kind in the region ― as well as a broiler production unit at Kezad, AD Ports said in a statement on Friday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
Al Ghurair Foods will also be involved in a third project, linked to the debut of Abu Dhabi Food Hub, Kezad, which will form “an all-new supply market for the UAE”.
The new projects will come up in an area spanning one square kilometre.
“The projects are set to drive the UAE’s food production capabilities and enhance the Emirates’ position as a regional hub driven by innovation and technology,” AD Ports said.
The latest development comes as the UAE and other GCC countries support ventures focused on boosting food security in the region amid supply chain disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, AD Ports said it was developing one of the region’s largest food trading and logistics centres at Kezad, in partnership with the UAE’s Ghassan Aboud Group, to boost food security in the region.
“We are confident that this agreement will drive the nation’s food security agenda and further enable Kezad's aim of improving domestic food supply and enhancing the nation’s capacity to respond to future challenges,” said Abdullah Al Hameli, chief executive of economic cities and free zones at AD Ports.
AD Ports launched Kezad Group in September to consolidate and grow its Economic Cities and Free Zones offering, as it seeks to strengthen the emirate's position as an industrial and manufacturing centre.
The company's Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and ZonesCorp ― specialised economic zones ― have been integrated into Kezad Group, which comprises 12 economic zones with a total area of 550 square kilometres.
“Through this agreement, we are proud to continue the pioneering legacy of Al Ghurair, establishing future-focused projects that support national food security,” said John Iossifidis, group chief executive of Al Ghurair Investment.
Al Ghurair Investment is one of the largest diversified family business groups in the Middle East, with operations in seven sectors including foods, resources, properties, construction, energy, mobility and ventures.
Al Ghurair Foods, set up in 1976, manufactures and supplies food in the UAE, shipping more than 10 million tonnes each year.