Dewa to expand water bottling capacity at Mai Dubai plant with exports planned
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will expand the capacity of its water bottling plant in the second half of the year as it looks to start exporting next year.
The utility produces 207 million units a year under its Mai Dubai brand. It expects to ramp that up to 258 million units in August.
The bottles are sold in convenience stores and delivered to residences and offices.
Mai is the Arabic word for water. The brand’s name is also a play on #MyDubai, a hashtag that Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced last year as a social media platform.
The brand uses desalinated water that is piped in from the Dewa reservoir.
Mai Dubai’s bottling plant is located off Al Qudra Road and started production last March. Expansion plans include onsite accommodation for about 500 people. At the sprawling 22,123 square metre factory, water is filtered for sand and carbon, then remineralised and treated with ultra-violet rays so that it remains fresh.
“The project is one of the main pillars of Dewa’s plans to diversify revenue streams by investing in new ventures,” said Saeed Al Tayer, the Dewa managing director and chief executive.
He declined to give a cost for the project.
Competition in the bottled water category is growing. Abu Dhabi-based Agthia plans to double its water bottling capacity in Turkey in May, and is introducing a new bottling line for its Al Ain brand of water in the second half of next year. Its Turkish brand is marketed under Alpin Natural Spring Water.
Projects such as Dewa’s water bottling plant are part of the growth of manufacturing in Dubai.
The manufacturing sector contributed 13.4 per cent of total GDP in the first nine months of 2013, according to an Emirates NBD report last May. It also accounts for about 15 per cent of Dubai’s workforce.
Non-oil exports and re-exports by Dubai Chamber and Commerce members touched Dh290 billion last year – the highest level in five years – up from Dh285bn in the previous year. It has 169,198 companies registered under it, up 10.6 per cent on a year earlier.
The emirate’s diverse economy is expected to stand it in good stead even as oil prices affect construction, infrastructure, manufacturing and drilling, according to Trevor Murphy, the managing director at the recruitment company Morgan McKinley UAE.
It has noted an uptick of recruitments in the professional hiring market across the Emirates. It said hires rose 2 per cent to 8,162 jobs in the fourth quarter of last year from 8,002 jobs in the previous quarter.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter