Dubai: A Dubai-based environment friendly date factory targets to send healthy date product to more countries in South America, Southeast Asia and Israel.
Al Barakah Dates factory has announced on Thursday the expansion of its facility at Dubai Industrial City to become the world’s biggest privately-owned date factory, which is exporting date products to 79 countries. It has announced plans to expand not only its solar-powered facility but also to expand export of date-based products and ingredients to promote healthy diet.
Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, was present at the inauguration of Al Barakah Dates factory expansion at the Dubai Industrial City. Dates, which are high in several nutrients, fibre and antioxidants, are a very healthy fruit to include in one’s diet. They also provide other health benefits, including improved digestion and reduced risk of disease.
100,000 tonnes of dates
Speaking to Gulf News, Yousuf Saleem, managing director of Al Barakah Dates, said their expansion will “more than double the size of its existing facility to be able to process over 100,000 tonnes of date and date products annually — equivalent to almost half of the UAE’s entire domestic harvest.
The new plant, which is due for completion in early 2022, will become the world’s single largest processor of date ingredients with its factory covering a total area of 600,000 square feet, including 420,000 square feet of dedicated processing and cold storage space
Saleem added the facility will be equipped with more than 6,500 solar panels to offset 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Alternative to sugar
Saleem noted: “(Our) expansion comes as date production rises year-on-year, driven by demand for healthier sugar alternatives and fuelled by modern technologies that have helped the products compete as healthy and vegan alternatives to sugar and other fructose-based products.”
“This expansion will allow us to further grow our range of organic and conventional date products to cater to the growing needs of health-conscious consumers around the world. Today we have taken the traditional date and transformed it into various ingredients that serve as direct sugar replacements. These include pastes, syrups and date sugars,” he added.