Travellers flying with Emirates might soon be able to tuck into latkes and matza on flights as the airline's catering division is opening the first major food production facility in the UAE.
Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) is setting up the kosher food production facility at the company’s headquarters in Dubai. Called Kosher Arabia, the global catering company will begin producing meals from the facility in January 2021.
Emirates already offers kosher options to travellers on flights, but these are currently sourced from overseas suppliers. With the creation of Kosher Arabia, the Dubai airline can upgrade its offerings and take control of meal quality for kosher dishes.
And it’s not only Emirates flights that look set to boost kosher menus. Emirates Flight Catering provides catering services to more than 100 airlines, which will also be able to draw from the new division.
As well as boosting in-fight kosher options, Emirates Flight Catering will also look to explore avenues for opening kosher restaurants across Dubai and the GCC said Saeed Mohammed, chief executive of EKFC.
It will provide kosher catering for hotels and events across the Gulf region, including the upcoming Expo2020.
The facility is set to be certified by the Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union and is being developed in partnership with CCL holdings and the South African Union of Orthodox Synagogues. The culinary team at EKFC will handle all food production while CCL Holdings will provide certification, menu support and assistance in sourcing particular foodstuffs.
“We've been watching the global trends for kosher food, and with recent developments we expect that demand for kosher food in the UAE and region will grow quickly,” said Mohammed.
"By setting up our own capability at EKFC to produce kosher food, we are confident that we can better serve our customers not only in the aviation sector, but also in the hospitality, food and beverage, and events sector including the upcoming Expo 2020. Making freshly prepared meals here in the UAE gives us better control over meal design and quality assurance," he added.
As one of the largest catering operations in the world, Emirates Flight Catering last year prepared over 80 million meals.