UAE to open camel milk chocolate factory

A camel milk chocolate factory is expected to start production in Dubai in a few years, producing more milk for the newly-acquired European market.

The Central Veterinary Research Laboratory and the Austrian company HM Chocolate Holding and will make chocolate from camel milk to sell locally and in Europe. Randi Sokoloff / The National
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DUBAI // Work is expected to start later this year on a new factory that could soon be producing 70 tonnes of camel milk chocolate a year.

The factory will be a joint venture between Al Nassma, owned by the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, and the Austrian company HM Chocolate Holding and will make chocolate to sell locally and in Europe.

Al Nassma expects the new factory will help cut costs.

"We were waiting for the permit to be able to start shipping to the EU before building," said Dr Ulrich Wernery, the laboratory's director. "We got the green light now so we will look for a piece of land and building might take two years."

Chocolate experts from Europe will be brought to the UAE to work in the factory.

The camel milk chocolate has been made in Austria since 2008 with 10 tonnes of camel milk powder shipped annually to Vienna to produce 35 tonnes of chocolate.

Because the milk powder was not licensed for sale in Europe, the chocolate made from the camel milk powder has had to be returned to the UAE for sale.

Camelicious, which is owned by the Emirates Industry for Camel Milk and Products and is the brand name for products made from camel milk, received approval in January to export its products to the EU. The milk is also used for the manufacture of cosmetics and medicines.

Although exports have been allowed since April 1, shipping has yet to begin.