The UAE and Saudi Arabia will remain the largest food consumers in the Gulf, with a combined share of about 81% by 2023, according to Alpen Capital, a banking and investment consultancy.
The company estimated food consumption in the UAE to reach 10.3 million metric tons by 2030, compared with 8.3 million metric tons in 2018, while it expects food consumption in Saudi Arabia to reach 39 metric tons.
The company said in a report presented at a press conference in Dubai yesterday, that the UAE is making unremitting efforts to support its food security, as it invests directly or establish partnerships to invest in the agricultural sector in Egypt, Liberia, India, Mozambique, Romania, Sudan, Uganda, and Uzbekistan.
According to the report, the UAE will invest about $ 5 billion (AED 18.35 billion) in India's agricultural sector, which will benefit 2 million farmers and create 200,000 jobs in India.
He pointed out that there are four main drivers working on the growth of food consumption in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf, most notably the rapid population growth and the high rate of urbanization, as the expansion of the consumer base will lead to the growth of food consumption in the region, while increasing urbanization and the growing flow of residents to raise levels Demand for canned food and foreign cuisine.
The second factor is increasing awareness of healthy eating habits, which has boosted demand for organic foods, sugar-free foods, fats and preservatives, which contain a low salt content.
According to Alpen Capital, the third is to increase investments to promote tourism as part of the ongoing efforts to diversify the economy. The fourth factor is the prosperity of the food service sector, which is expected to see better growth prospects due to diverse international activities, and the increase. The sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% by the end of 2023.
Samina Ahmed, managing director of Alpen Capital, predicted that the GCC food sector will continue to grow at a steady pace due to factors such as population growth, rising incomes, thriving tourism, changes in eating habits and preferences. She also predicted that major upcoming events such as Expo 2020 Dubai will contribute to increasing food consumption in the region.
Krishna Dhanak, CEO of Alpen Capital, predicted that the food industry will see a steady growth over the next five years, pointing to the changing demographics, rising number of couples, and the growing influence of global culture and its role in promoting growth. Food sector.
Despite economic and regional challenges, there has been significant activity in M&A transactions within the sector over the past two years, he said.