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Unilever opens Dhs1bn factory in Dubai Industrial Park

Unilever opens Dhs1bn factory in Dubai Industrial Park

The facility is the largest of its type in the region and will produce personal care products

British-Dutch consumer goods firm Unilever has officially opened a new Dhs1bn ($272m) manufacturing plant at Dubai Industrial Park.

The 100,000-square-metre facility will manufacture products with a “made in UAE” label with 80 per cent to be exported to Europe and the Middle East and North Africa region.

It is the largest of its type in the region, with an output of 100,000 tonnes per annum of liquid beauty and personal care products.

Brands manufactured at the plant will include Dove, Fair & Lovely, Lifebuoy, Vaseline, Clear, TRESemmé, and Sunsilk.

Unilever said it would source raw materials locally and globally and planned to make the factory a global sourcing unit by 2022.

“Choosing the UAE was a strategic decision. It is a trade corridor that connects the East and West, with important growth potential and world-class infrastructure. Our new factory is testament to that – as the UAE’s largest private solar park, it reflects a shared vision of driving resilient, sustainable growth, underpinned by innovation,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman.

Construction of the facility began in mid-2015 and took 18 months.

It will employ 400 people, of which a least 40 per cent will be women.

An estimated 25 per cent of energy to run the plant will come from solar power and 80 per cent of wastewater will be repurposed for agricultural and cleaning purposes

The location for the factory was chosen based on demand for beauty and personal care products, with the $25.4bn market expected to grow by 6.4 per cent a year and 12 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to Euromonitor International.

Sales of beauty and personal care products reached $5.3bn in Saudi Arabia last year, while the UAE had the highest annual spend per capita at $239.

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