International Holding Company (ADX:IHC) has officially opened a new AED 200+ million facility to process, store and distribute a quarter of the seafood consumed in the UAE.
Operated by IHC’s subsidiary ASMAK, the new seafood facility is the largest in the Middle East and is designed to support the UAE’s food security aims, providing products to millions of consumers in the UAE and the region.
Coinciding with the Gulfood F&B trade exhibition, the factory’s official opening on 22 February 2021 was presided over by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security. Salah Abdalla Al Rayassi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary, Biodiversity & Marine Life Sector attended as the representative of His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Nuaimi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment. Saud Abu Alshawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, and ASMAK’s senior management were also in attendance.
ASMAK, a leading provider of fresh and frozen seafood across the Middle East, will process an initial 40,000 tons of seafood annually through the facility, with scope to increase capacity to 60,000 tons. Annual seafood consumption in the UAE is currently approximately 270,000 tons.
Enhancing the capacity of the UAE’s aquaculture and fisheries sector is an important aspect of the National Food Security Strategy, especially as the UAE population consumes around 30 kg per person each year, above the global average of 20.5 kg. This is why the UAE has invested more than AED 200 million to develop hatcheries and research centers, with the aim of creating a sustainable food value chain from controlled freshwater and seawater environments. These concerted efforts in the aquaculture sector as well as the volumes of seafood provided by the fisheries sector have placed huge demands on our processing capacity. ASMAK’s new seafood processing facility will greatly support the current demand and also enable the UAE aquaculture sector to grow.
Mamoon Othman, Chief Executive Officer of IHC Food, said: “IHC is increasing its investments in sectors of strategic importance to the UAE and we expect our future growth to be closely aligned with the economic ambitions of the country. Our subsidiary ASMAK has been a regional leader in the seafood industry for many years, and we continue to set high standards for the sector in terms of quality, hygiene and efficiency. Our new state-of-the-art facility supports our community of local farmers, suppliers and consumers, and provides significant scope for future growth.”
Saud Abu Alshawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, said: “As the region’s largest manufacturing and logistics hub, as well as a strategic driver of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, we are committed to creating a competitive environment that supports innovation-driven food security. ASMAK’s state-of-the-art processing and distribution facility will add significant value to our ecosystem and the UAE’s ongoing vision to create a highly diversified, knowledge and innovation-based economy. With our strategic proximity to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport, augmented by world-class infrastructure that provides direct access to major highways linking the UAE to the region, Dubai Industrial City is a vibrant business district. We have more than 23.5 million sq. ft. of land dedicated to the F&B sector and provide an agile and flexible environment for companies to reach two-thirds of the world’s population in eight hours.”
Food and agriculture are among IHC’s key investment sectors, which also include real estate, healthcare, industrials, leisure and retail. The company is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
IHC’s subsidiary ASMAK is a leader in the regional food sector due to its commitment to the highest industry standards, achieving major international certification including MSC, ASC, Halal, HACCP, Organic, ISO 22000 and BRC Food.