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Unilever goes Made in the UAE with factory in Dubai

Staff Writer |
Unilever, the company behind brands such as Dove and Vaseline, expects to start exporting products with a "Made in the UAE" label next year from its new Dh1 billion factory.

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The British-Dutch consumer goods company’s factory at Dubai Industrial Par, the largest personal care facility for Unilever in the region, will export about 80 per cent of the items produced at the facility to 80 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, The National reports.

It will produce 500 million items, or 100,000 tonnes of liquid product, a year when it reaches full capacity by the middle of next year. That can range from a 25 gram sachet of Fair and Lovely face cream to a 700ml container of Dove shampoo.

The factory will import raw materials from its global and local vendors and manufacture packaged hair and skincare products at the factory. Commercial production is expected to start next month at the facility, which will employ 400 people.

Currently, these items are packaged at factories in Egypt, India, Europe and Saudi Arabia.

Unilever already has another factory in Jebel Ali that packages tea. Built in 2002, it is its largest tea-packaging facility in the world.

Global consumer goods companies are pumping billions of dollars in investment into the Middle East to tap the growth opportunities offered by young populations and rising levels of spending in many countries.

The food and retail sectors are benefiting most from this trend. Nestle opened a Dh500 million factory in Dubai in 2010, which manufactures products such as Kit-kat; Mars also opened a $40m factory in Dubai the same year.

The beauty and personal care products market in the UAE is expected to grow to $2.72bn in 2020 from $2.15bn this year, according to research by Euromonitor International.

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