x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Jebel Ali's fast-food bonanza

Hotpack is due to open a food packaging facility at Dubai Investments Park on Monday that will supply fast food chains with paper plates and bags, as well as straws.

The new packaging facility will provide the likes of Burger King, McDonald's and KFC with paper plates, paper bags and straws. Ryan Carter / The National
The new packaging facility will provide the likes of Burger King, McDonald's and KFC with paper plates, paper bags and straws. Ryan Carter / The National

The UAE's appetite for fast food is the driving force behind a long-awaited 350,000 square foot food packaging facility due to open at Dubai Investments Park next week.

The packaging company Hotpack said yesterday that its new state-of-the-art Dh100 million factory and warehouse facility at the Jebel Ali park would provide the likes of Burger King, McDonald's and KFC with paper plates, paper bags and straws.

Hotpack said other clients include Dubai Airport Authority, Emirates Airline, Dubai Duty Free and Lulu Group.

The facility, close to the new Jebel Ali airport, was originally scheduled to open in June 2012 but Hotpack said technical construction delays and "getting various permissions" had set back its timetable by almost a year.

It is set to finally open its doors on Monday.

"Eighteen years ago when the group was founded it had little idea that it would be at this stage delivering such a long list of products to the market," Abdul Jabbar, the managing director of Hotpack Packaging Industries said yesterday at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

"The UAE is one of the fastest-developing countries in the world and has some of the highest standards of hygiene. Big American chains are coming over here, so there is a huge demand for packaging."

Hotpack has 750 employees, annual turnover of Dh500 million, and 10,000 customers around the globe.

It is also opening new facilities at its foam cup manufacturing facility in Industrial City Abu Dhabi and in Doha to cater for the Middle East's burgeoning need for disposable food packaging.

Further, Hotpack said it was in discussions to open an aluminium packaging facility at Bahrain Investments Park and planned to expand in Cochin in India as well as Malaysia, Singapore and the United States.

Dubai Investments Park, a subsidiary of the Dubai-based conglomerate Dubai Investments, said that last year 290 new tenants arrived at the 1.6 million sqft logistics complex, bringing the total tally of tenants within the industrial and commercial zones to 2,715. This represents an 87 per cent increase in commercial space allotments compared with the previous year.

Through the year, 220 warehouses, comprising a total of more than 1.4 million sq ft, were rented out and 54 office plots comprising 87,000 sq ft and 16 showrooms at 100,000 sq ft were let.

Average rents at DIP stand at Dh25 per sq ft for warehouses and Dh45 per sq ft for offices.

In July the property broker Knight Frank reported that up to 1 million sq ft of warehousing space had been leased during the first six months of this year in the adjacent 140 square kilometre Dubai World Central and 56 sq km Jafza free zones as Dubai's new airport begins to increase its functions.

After suffering a slump during the global economic crisis, the UAE logistics industry has emerged as one of the fastest-growing areas of the Dubai economy as companies attempt to supply the hospitality markets in the Emirates.

On Wednesday, the British bank Standard Chartered said that growth in the logistics, hospitality and retail sectors - and not property speculation - was pushing up house prices in the UAE.

 

lbarnard@thenational.ae