KEZAD Group, Al Ghurair Foods sign lease agreements for over AED1 billion mega projects

ABU DHABI, 28th April, 2023 (WAM) -- Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD Group), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AD Ports Group, and Al Ghurair Foods, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality food and part of Al Ghurair Investment, one of the largest diversified family business groups in the UAE, today announced the signing of 50-year land lease agreements for three mega food processing projects involving investments of over AED 1 billion.

The signing ceremony was held at KEZAD’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the presence of Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO Economic Cities and Free Zones, AD Ports Group; Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, CEO, KEZAD Group; and a delegation from Al Ghurair Investment comprising Ibrahim Al Ghurair, Non-Executive Board Director; John Iossifidis, Group Chief Executive Officer; and Djamal Djhouri, Chief Executive Officer, Al Ghurair Foods.

The agreement will mark the first phase of Al Ghurair Foods division’s investments in KEZAD. The first two projects are set to establish the region’s first of its kind Starch Processing Plant, in addition to one of the top Broiler producers in the UAE, in terms of capacity, implementing the highest standards of food safety in line with International Biosecurity standards, in a boost for local and regional food security.

The third project, details of which are set to be announced later this year, will see the division’s involvement in the debut of Abu Dhabi Food Hub – KEZAD, which will form an all-new supply market for the UAE.

The projects are set to drive the UAE’s food production capabilities and enhance the Emirates’ position as a regional hub driven by innovation and technology.

Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO Economic Cities and Free Zones, AD Ports Group, said, “As front runners in the UAE’s efforts in Food Security, we are delighted to welcome Al Ghurair Foods to KEZAD and the Abu Dhabi Food Hub as we continue to build the largest integrated ecosystem for trading of all food commodities in the region. We are confident that this agreement will drive the nation’s food security agenda and further enable KEZAD’s aim of improving domestic food supply and enhancing the nation’s capacity to respond to future challenges.”

Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, CEO of KEZAD Group, stated, “We are excited to include Al Ghurair Foods to our expanding portfolio of clients in KEZAD’s Food Ecosystem. Al Ghurair Foods’ establishment of its first-of-a-kind plants in Abu Dhabi speaks volumes of KEZAD’s leading position as a regional and global trade hub. The company’s presence will significantly strengthen the food supply chain and guarantee domestic supply as well as exports from one of the region’s fastest growing trade and industrial ecosystem.”

Commenting on the agreement, John Iossifidis, Group CEO, Al Ghurair Investment, noted, “We are delighted to enter this agreement with KEZAD Group, reflecting Al Ghurair Investment’s commitment and drive to enhancing the Emirates’ food production capability and food security. Through this agreement, we are proud to continue the pioneering legacy of Al Ghurair, establishing future-focused projects that support the national food security agenda with a partner whose vision of a connected world, aligns with our own. We look forward to working with KEZAD to delivering high-quality food products across a future-focused supply chain platform, strengthening the nation’s role as a regional food hub."

Ibrahim Al Ghurair, Non-Executive Board director, Al Ghurair Investment, commented, “As part of the nation’s fabric, Al Ghurair Investment remains committed to fostering meaningful change in pursuit of a sustainable future. With automation and sustainability at the centre, the projects will be a significant boost to the nation’s food security agenda, producing key ingredients for the food industry including enhanced protein production and reduced reliance on imported goods. Furthermore, the projects will see Al Ghurair Foods partner with local farmers to create sustainable business models in support of the overall ecosystem."

Djamal Djouhri, CEO, Al Ghurair Foods division, added, “This agreement reinforces our commitment to enhancing domestic food supply, with a strong emphasis on adopting sustainable practices for improved food safety. As we accelerate our pursuit of better, we will continue to invest in producing a range of nutritious, healthy and sustainable food products of the highest standard whilst remaining dedicated to supporting the local ecosystem and communities in which we operate.”