The factory will cover more than 26,000 square metres, and will be able to produce 70,000 meals a day for Al Khaili’s catering subsidiaries, as well as housing the group’s corporate offices. The firm is also building a larger caustic soda factory, as part of the US$76m deal with Kizad.
“We chose Kizad to be the place of production for both of our facilities because it offers an excellent logistics infrastructure coupled with highly competitive operating costs. Our proximity to Khalifa Port will also be of great benefit, allowing us to access new markets outside the UAE”, said Louai Kasem, vice president of the Al Khaili Group.
Food firms clustering at Kizad
Kizad has seen a number of new customers sign deals to lease space in its Food Cluster in recent months, including supermarket group Spinneys, Al Dahra Agriculture, Gulf Printing and Packaging, and the National Food Products Company (NFPC), owner of brands including Oasis, Blu, Lacnor and Milco.
Its biggest current non-regional client is Brasil Foods (BRF), owner of the Sadia and Perdegao brands. BRF’s facility is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, according to Kizad, while around half of its food investors have broken ground on their projects.
“The Kizad food cluster is one of our active clusters with a healthy demand being realized from local, regional and international companies. We currently have nine major investors that operate in the food sector based in Kizad,” said Alexander Haex, vice president of business development at Kizad.
“Depending on their needs, they are currently taking up a total area of over 1.18 million square metres, if you add them all together. Some of our food investors are linked to production and manufacturing, while others specialise in food packaging and F&B logistics,” he added.
Strong transport links
Kizad is banking on attracting businesses with its strategic location between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and its strong transport links, including the new Khalifa Port along with good road links, and soon a link to the Etihad Rail project.
Marking the ground-breaking ceremony of Spinneys’ facility at Kizad at the start of June, the supermarket chain’s CEO Jannie Holtzhausen said: “Being located in Kizad will give us the opportunity to further grow our business by enabling us to get our products from international markets faster and more efficiently.
“It is this mixture of low operating costs, an ease-of-doing-business climate and excellent market access through the adjacent Khalifa Port that makes Kizad a highly attractive destination from which we will be able to tackle both urban and rural markets very effectively,” he added.