Stock - LuLu and J&K
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Aman Puri, Consul-General of India, and Yusuffali M.A., Chairman of Lulu Group, with senior officials. LuLu will now be one of the biggest investors in Jammu & Kashmir. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE retail giant LuLu Group plans to invest around Dh100 million (Rs2 billion) in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its push into the Indian state.

LuLu Chairman Yusuffali said another Dh100 million had been earmarked by the company for further expansion. “Setting up of a Lulu Hypermarket is also in the plan - I am sure these projects will not only give considerable employment opportunities to local youth but also benefit the agriculture sector and farmers immensely,” he said.

Lulu, which sells Kashmiri products at its UAE supermarkets, had previously announced that it would build a food processing center in the state.

“We look forward to enhance and take forward the trade relation between the Jammu & Kashmir and UAE, as we enjoy a very great and historical relations between both the countries,” said Thani Al Zeoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade. “I also look forward to inauguration of the Lulu Food Processing center in Srinagar and wish the project all the success.”

LuLu said the investment was the direct result of meetings between Yussufali and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where the retailer expressed interest in procuring Kashmiri agricultural produce and set up a logistics hub in Srinagar for uninterrupted supply.

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Lulu stores will now have GI tagged Kashmiri saffron. The product was officially launched by J&K's Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, who is in UAE on a three-day visit. “The world-famous GI-tagged saffron has been launched at LuLu Hypermarket, which I see as a major step towards boosting Jammu Kashmir and Dubai partnership,” said Sinha. “LuLu group is already importing apples from Jammu and Kashmir.”