The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with a total population close to 50 million inhabitants, is one of the richest territories in the world, although it is heavily dependent on imports of food products (90% of consumption); therefore, it has become a strategic region for food exports. In the food and retail fields, ICP Consulting has developed projects in the beverage, dairy, oils and nuts sectors.
Among these states, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is not only the second largest economy in the Arabian Gulf, but also one of the main re-exporting platforms in the region and the world, stands out as a strategic country. It has the most developed and mature distribution channels in the whole region. Our experience has focused on large distribution chains such as Carrefour, Choithrams or UnionCop. We have as well participated in the sector fair par excellence, the “Gulfood”, held annually in Dubai in late March. This country favours the penetration in the GCC and Middle East, Maghreb and Central Asia (MENASA) markets, such as Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan, thus increasing the target market to more than 300 million potential consumers.
Particular attention should be paid to Qatar, following the litigation initiated on 5 June 2017, after Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain announced the rupture of diplomatic relations and a maritime, land and air blockade of the country, which Qatar is resolving with the support of Iran, Turkey or Oman.
Saudi Arabia being a strategic supplier for Qatar, its food exports to the country have been suspended, which has opened up an opportunity for new suppliers like never before in Qatar.
ICP Consulting has immediately started trade opening for basic food products, such as dairy products, beverages and olive oil.