Muscat: The state-of-the-art Tea Centre at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) handles 53 million kilogrammes of tea annually, and a top executive is confident the market share will remain consistent in the foreseeable future.
“DMCC is a market-maker, facilitator of trade, and a hub for the flow of commodities around the world, and through Dubai. The DMCC Tea Centre is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the industry and has helped secure the position of the UAE as a valuable export route for the majority of tea-producing nations,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC.
According to Euromonitor International, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will account for 11 per cent of the global retail value by 2022, growing at five per cent over the same period. In the UAE alone, Euromonitor International estimates the tea market will be worth $70 million in 2018.
“Few people outside this region would have predicted that the DMCC Tea Centre would grow to handle more than 53 million kg of tea in just over a decade. Today, we see more than 100 brands being packed at the facility in Jebel Ali, facilitating the trade of tea to international buyers worldwide, with tea being processed there from 13 countries,” said keynote speaker Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO & MD UAE Region DP World & CEO JAFZA, at the Global Dubai Tea Forum.
“Creating a successful tea marketplace is derived from listening to market needs, delivering smart and efficient solutions to market participants, and leveraging existing infrastructure such as our world-class port and Dubai’s unrivalled global connectivity,” he added.
“The global story today is that tea, similar to other commodities, is facing some challenges in prices, exports and plantation. These challenges indeed represent global concerns that have come to typify the 21st century—weather and changing patterns in land use or climate-induced extreme weather events put tea production at risk,” said Dr Shashi Tharoor, former UN diplomat and famed author, on the eve of the conference as the guest of honour at a closed event for delegates.
“While the challenges that face the tea industry are, indeed, substantial, I believe the opportunities to resolve them, and in some ways to reinvent the tea trade, are very much there. They require the collective might of the tea industry, from stakeholders across the supply chain, and with legislative support from governments, I would hope that we can actually drive sustainable change right from the cup of English Breakfast tea to a consumer sitting in London, all the way to the tea pluckers in the plantations,” Tharoor added.
Over lunch, the delegates had the chance to compete with one another by entering The Golden Leaf India Awards, an engaging tea-tasting competition, before preparations were made for the event’s signature gala dinner in the ballroom of The Address Dubai Marina.
The focus of day two will be the search for solutions for sustainable filter paper, value addition in the tea industry and to overcome challenges to meet the demand in 2050.
DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, hosted the first day of its two-day Global Dubai Tea Forum at The Address Dubai Marina, under the theme of “Brewing the Future of Trade".
Representing all segments of the tea supply chain, more than 450 international delegates, a 39 per cent increase in attendance from the previous event, have descended on Dubai for the event’s seventh edition, and to take part in expert analysis on the current state of the global tea industry, as well as debate over the challenges set to define its future.