AD Ports Group, the region’s premier facilitator of logistics, industry, and trade, has partnered with UAE-based, multi-business conglomerate Ghassan Aboud Group to establish one of the region’s largest multi-category wholesale food trading and logistics hub in KIZAD in collaboration with Rungis. The project was announced at the official project launch ceremony held on-site in KIZAD.

The ‘Regional Food Hub – Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Rungis’, will bring together wholesale buyers, sellers, logistics players, consolidators, and distributors from across the world, enhancing the diversity of all food categories available for consumers in the UAE and wider region.

Rungis International Market is the largest wholesale fresh food market in the world. It currently hosts 1200 companies, serves 18 million consumers, and has a turnover of EUR 10 billion.

The project will partner with the world’s leading wholesale market players to ensure the services, facilities and systems are world-class and the site is sustainable, hygienic and a zero-waste ecosystem to cater to post-pandemic requisites.

It will facilitate trade across proteins, seafood, pulses and rice, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, dry foods and fresh flowers. Food companies from all countries can offer their products and buyers will have a selection of thousands of fresh items managed in a safe, clean environment positioning the UAE as an important part of evolving global food supply chains.

Covering a land area of 3.3 sq km in KIZAD, the Regional Food Hub – Abu Dhabi will be one of the largest of its kind in the region. Its ecosystem will feature trading pavilions, logistics services, refrigerated and ambient warehouses, critical government services, waste recycling facilities and various other support amenities and services.

The project is designed to accelerate the government’s National Food Security Strategy and enhance food trade flow through Abu Dhabi.  By lowering the overall supply chain costs of food products, the food hub will provide a competitive ecosystem for both local and global players.

H.E. Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), Chairman of Logistics Sector Development Committee in Abu Dhabi said, “Food security and safety are among the top priorities of the UAE, and this major new trade hub will drive efficiencies in food supply chains and help improve safety, affordability and sustainable access for wholesalers in the UAE. At ADDED, we are keen to support the launch of the ‘Regional Food Hub – Abu Dhabi’ which enhances public-private partnership, as part of our wider work to achieve a knowledge-based, diversified, and sustainable economy.”

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, stressed the importance of this project and its role in supporting the UAE’s efforts to be number one on the Global Food Security Index by 2051. He said: “The development of new resources such as this, which will bring together leading local and global suppliers, supporting them with advanced innovation and world-class infrastructure, is testament to AD Ports Group’s commitment to facilitate food trade in line with the key objectives of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy that was launched by our wise leadership in 2018”.

He added: “Our partnership with Ghassan Aboud Group is an important step towards promoting public-private collaboration and aligns our efforts to support the food sector by utilising the world-class infrastructure and logistics in KIZAD, in addition to our advanced technological capabilities that enhance food safety and security”.

Ghassan Aboud, Founder and Chairman of the Ghassan Aboud Group, said, “We are committed to investing in the food value chain in the UAE and we are confident that our partnership with the AD Ports Group will mark a pioneering step in the UAE’s food processing and distribution sector.

“The readily available infrastructure and value-added services will provide an integrated ecosystem for local and global food commodity providers and deploy cutting-edge digital technology to promote food-related innovation.”

Stéphane Layani, Chairman & CEO Rungis International Market, the largest wholesale fresh food market in the world, said: “We believe that the challenges seen during the Covid-19 crisis call for supply chain management in which wholesale markets play a strategic role.

Our ambition, working with strong and recognized public and private partners in Abu Dhabi over the years, is to create a network of wholesale markets able to connect with each other in a very unique global network which will provide additional tremendous strength to food supply chains and ensure critical food security.

“With our support and the leadership of our partners, the development of this new generation of infrastructure in Abou Dhabi will make it possible.”

Ghassan Aboud Group is an international conglomerate engaged in several key business sectors, including FMCG Distribution, logistics, supermarkets, catering and business-to-business digital platform for food and FMCG distribution. Its food and retail businesses have pioneered a range of key sustainability and food technology processes in recent years. With its participation across the food value chain, the Group is committed to facilitate uninterrupted supply of quality food products to the UAE’s and regional consumers.

KIZAD provides a fully integrated trade and logistics platform for food companies looking to expand in the region. Located near Khalifa Port, KIZAD enables multimodal connectivity via sea, air, road and rail networks in the future, with world-class infrastructure as well as water and electrical power at a competitive rate.

Its integrated service offerings include aluminium, paper and packaging, and food processing providers, enabling companies that use the food hub to benefit from significant economies of scale in the preparation and transport of their products.

The ‘Regional Food Hub – Abu Dhabi’, in collaboration with Rungis will also leverage cutting-edge technology to offer a digital marketplace that will provide a range of services for tenants and customers to increase adoption and ensure continuity while easing business by supporting key synergies between Abu Dhabi’s government entities and trade enablers.

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