Confectionery giant Nestlé has officially opened a (USD) $136m manufacturing facility in Dubai which is set to become the third largest Kit Kat plant worldwide.
The 515,000 square foot Nestlé factory in Dubai TechnoPark, which currently employs 555 people, is the first to be built in over a decade.
The facility aims to serve Nestlé markets across the region, manufacturing Nestle brands such as Nido Milk and bottled water.
Yves Manghardt, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Middle East said: “With such a facility we will be able to meet the fast-rising regional demand and eventually contemplate exporting to other regions.”
Nestlé gets about a third of its revenue from emerging economies and aims to lift that to 45 per cent in the next ten years.
"We see a growth potential for our integrated portfolio here," Paul Bulcke, Nestlé CEO told reporters last week. “The growth is broad-based and that’s why we’re investing in the region,” he said.
According to Bloomberg, Nestlé plans to invest $400m in the next three years in the Middle East, where it predicts sales will grow to $3.3bn by 2017 from $1.4bn in 2009.
Since it was founded in 1997, Nestlé Middle East has invested more than (USD) $400m in the region where it owns 17 factories and 37 offices, and employs more than 7,000 people.
In 2009, the Nestlé business in the region contributed around $1.4bn to the group’s annual turnover.
Other brands under the Nestlé umbrella in the Middle East include Nido, Cerelac, Nescafé, Maggi and Nesquik.
Since early 2009, the new Dubai facility has hosted Nestlé’s regional microbiological laboratory. The unit specialises in the analysis of salmonella and is used as a training facility for various government bodies in the United Arab Emirates.
Nestlé Middle East also recently created an advanced sensory lab unit for renovation-innovation of products in Al Quoz, Dubai.
Equipped with cutting-edge sensory technology and facilities, the company said that the unit serves as a centre of expertise for sensory profiling analyses on confectionery, shelf stable dairy products, and coffee.