UAE's Al Khayyat investments is focused on diversification
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Zaid S Al Khayyat of Al Khayyat Investments shares the company’s expansion plans

Zaid S Al Khayyat of Al Khayyat Investments shares the company’s expansion plans

The holding company’s managing director highlights how the company has been charting its growth path as it supports Dubai’s grand economic vision

al khayyat investments _ interview with Managing director Zaid Al Khayyat Image Supplied

Dubai recently unveiled the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ strategy. How is Al Khayyat Investments (AKI) contributing to this vision?

As a company born in Dubai, Al Khayyat Investments shares the emirate’s energy and optimism for what is possible today and tomorrow. We are wholly committed to contributing to the diversification and enlargement of our home economy. For example, our commitment to technology innovation aligns with the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’ focus on advanced manufacturing and digital transformation projects. The company’s businesses also support  the agenda’s objectives of increasing foreign trade and raising the city’s status as a preferred destination for international brands.

Which other trends do you see shaping the business landscape in the UAE and the GCC region this year?

An emphasis on sustainable development will reshape many sectors in 2023. The GCC region has already shown great resilience in withstanding a global pandemic, rising inflation, unpredictable supply chains, and a host of other international headwinds. I think part of that success is because the business community and public sector stakeholders generally take a long-term view to development, looking beyond short-term gains to create truly sustainable economies and societies.

Al Khayyat Investments has become quite diversified in its UAE and regional operations. Tell us more about it.

We have had an incredible journey over the last four decades. Our strategy is guided by a desire to deliver specialist products and services which enable people to live healthier and more active lives. A key part of that is cultivating businesses with potential for long-term, sustainable growth.

We have done this very effectively in our home market of the UAE and have expanded our footprint across nine countries in the Middle East and Africa region. Today, our expertise spans six business lines: retail, healthcare, consumer goods (food and non-food), fitness and lifestyle, contracting and automotive.

Which divisions do you expect to experience the fastest growth within the AKI portfolio this year?

Overall, AKI is entering a new chapter of expansion in the UAE and the wider region. We are laying the foundations for accelerated growth while delivering even greater value to our partners and customers. We have strategically invested in key verticals crucial to today’s societies. Among them is the healthcare industry, which continues to be a thriving business line for AKI.

Additionally, contracting expertise in the GCC is in extremely high demand, as are our offerings in the food and non-food FMCG space. Our fitness and lifestyle portfolios are also rapidly developing, seen in brands such as our ‘Befit’ concept. In whatever we do, we approach it with integrity, excellence and aspiration, keeping people at the forefront throughout.

You mentioned healthcare being one of your longest-standing business lines. What has been the key to staying at the forefront of this sector?

Our emphasis on understanding patients and consumers’ needs has been essential to staying at the forefront of the healthcare industry. Our track record of progress and performance really speaks for itself, as seen in the dominance of brands like BinSina Pharmacy in their category. This approach has ultimately helped us to nurture long-term relationships with hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers, delivering beyond the expected.

Digital transformation is a priority we’ve seen many companies embrace across industries in 2023. How big of a priority is this for AKI?

Regardless of the industry, one of our priorities today is maximising the deployment of new technologies to realise even greater outcomes across the board. For instance, we have been very successful in creating digital-first, mobile-enhanced experiences for consumers in our healthcare and retail operations.

Doubling down on automation and stringent system controls has also enabled us to track and deliver inventory with high levels of accuracy, even when global supply chains have been pressured. We are also excited to bring digitalisation to the heart of our processes at our newest fulfillment centre in Dubai Industrial City (see image on left), which will make it one of the most advanced distribution hubs in the country.

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