United Arab Emirates is a strategically located nation, also referred to as the gateway to the Middle East countries. Rapid development, modern infrastructure and aggressive focus on trade has resulted in United Arab Emirates being counted among the financial superpowers.
The domestic consumption of food & beverages in UAE is mainly dependant on the food imports from the neighbouring countries
UAE imported tea worth $ 323 Millions in the FY 2018-19 ( Source: ITC data 2018)
Major import partner for UAE for tea is Kenya, which supplied tea worth $ 142 Millions fulfilling almost 44% of its total import demand.
India is the 2nd largest tea supplier to UAE supplying tea worth $ 96 Millions which is 29.7% of the total imports
Sri Lanka is 3rd Largest tea supplier to UAE supplying $ 44.87 Million which is 13.9% of its total demand. China , Indonesia, Vietnam together supply tea worth $19.29 Million.
It is observed that from 2014 to 2018, Kenya and India have increased their supplies consistently to UAE. However tea supplies from Sri Lanka has declined.
Large quantity of teas from UAE is supplied to Russia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Ukraine. Due to the flexible trade norms, favourable taxation policies & strategic geographical location UAE is a re- export hub for many commodities including tea.
UAE exported tea worth $ 295 Million in 2018-19 ( Source: ITC data 2018)
Russia is the largest importer of Tea for UAE , importing the tea worth $ 49.71 Million. This contributes to 16.8% of the total exports of tea from UAE
Iraq is the 2nd largest buyer of tea after Russia and bought tea worth $ 48.52 during the year 2018-19, which is 16.4% of the total exports of tea from UAE
Iran is the 3rd largest buyer of tea from Dubai and bought tea worth $ 32.33 during the year 2018-19 which is 32.66 % of the total exports of tea from UAE
Export of tea from UAE has seen a consistent Year on Year growth of 4% from 2014 to 2018 ( Source: ITC data 2018) The re-export from UAE has great potential and government is making efforts towards enhancing the trade.
UAE Government has taken an initiative to form DMCC (Dubai Multi commodities Centre) This has a dedicated section for tea trade. DMCC provides facilities like warehousing, blending and packing of tea.
Many tea suppliers from India and Sri lanka have established a presence in DMCC to enhance the market and gain easy access to other middle eastern nations through reexport. Lot of private label packing work happens in DMCC free trade zone for various tea brands in Europe, Russia etc.
Technological advancements and innovations in terms of processing & value additions of tea is the key focus at DMCC.
Today UAE is the worlds largest re-exporter of tea with a 60% global market share. Market experts see this trade growing in coming years.