x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Europe approval gives boost to Dubai camel milk brand

Camelicious expects a bump in production following move to allow the UAE to export dairy products to Europe.

Camelicious plans to sell milkshakes, chocolate and cheese in Europe. REUTERS / Mosab Omar
Camelicious plans to sell milkshakes, chocolate and cheese in Europe. REUTERS / Mosab Omar

The Dubai camel milk brand Camelicious expects a bump in production after the UAE won approval from the European Commission to become the first Middle Eastern country to export dairy products to Europe.

Consumers from London to Latvia will soon be able to sup on camel milkshakes, chocolate and cheese after the European Union ratified a camel milk safety plan presented by the maker of Camelicious products. Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products (EICMP) said yesterday that it was also talking to French cosmetics companies about using camel milk powder in make-up because of its high lanolin content.

Lanolin, a wax-like substance, is used in many skincare products.

EICMP added that it was also co-operating with a number of firms on products including baby milk, pro-biotics, whey powder and medicine. It said that it hoped to target health-conscious customers in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland.

The commission's final approval allowing Camelicious products to be exported across the 27 countries in the EU comes after five years of negotiations.

"There is a big and growing demand for camel milk across Europe because it is very healthy and nutritious and good for people to enhance their immune systems," Mutasher Al Badry, the deputy general manager and business development manager at EICMP (Camelicious) told The National.

"Camel milk is the closest milk to human mothers' milk and very rich in vitamins and calcium," he added. "The EU commission's approval for the export of Camelicious products is a stamp of approval to the quality standards of the UAE in general, and to our company in particular."

In 2011, European inspectors rejected a bid by Camelicious to have UAE camel milk approved as safe on the grounds that the country's animal-health system was not sufficiently rigorous. However, after visiting again in January 2012, inspectors changed their minds and approved the milk as safe.

EICMP was set up in 2003 and launched its first product in 2006. It is the largest camel milk farm and factory in the world, housing a herd of about 3,000 camels.

Researchers claim camel milk contains less than half the fat of cows' milk, 40 per cent of the cholesterol and three times the amount of vitamin C.

lbarnard@thenational.ae