Dr. Ahmed El Tigani, Founder and CEO of Al Rawabi Dairy Company, talks about the organization’s iconic journey
Please walk us through Al Rawabi’s journey and the vision behind it as a Made in UAE brand.
In the heart of the Dubai desert in Al Khawaneej, Al Rawabi’s story began with 500 cows imported from Germany, leading to today’s success. In 1989, the leading dairy producer in the United Arab Emirates had humble beginnings, but was buoyed by a strong and wise vision to be the brand of choice in all markets. This led the company in 1992 to enter the Omani market and three years later to become the only dairy company in the GCC to produce pasteurized juices. Many achievements led Forbes to include Al Rawabi in its top 40 strong brands in the Middle East in 2008. Today, the company has more than 16,500 cattle and produces 350,000 liters of dairy products and 150,000 liters of juice per day. But at Al Rawabi, we believe there are no limits to what we can achieve and the sky is the limit.
How does the brand ensure sustainable best practices on its farms to ensure environmental health?
Al Rawabi prides itself on constantly reducing negative effects on the environment. At Al Rawabi, we ensure that our products are completely safe and healthy by using the most advanced technological means of production, thus limiting or decreasing the impact on the environment. This was crowned by the certifications that Al Rawabi received for its best practices in quality management, food safety and environmental management.
How has the ease of starting a business evolved over the past three decades?
People in the UAE have always viewed the dairy sector as a health-centric industry. The past three decades have seen an increase in the industry due to the increase in population, the rapid expansion of the UAE’s economy, and the country becoming a tourist attraction. Over the years, Al Rawabi has grown and kept up with technological advancements and economic changes and has put in an exceptional job in order to meet the needs of its customers even during the pandemic.
Please provide details of the environmentally friendly biogas plant on the farm.
The world is now turning to green energy, which is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option. Al Rawabi, since its inception, has prioritized the safety and well-being of its community. Thus, initiatives such as the launch of a biogas plant have been taken. The facility has started full operation in Dubai, transforming organic waste produced by the company into clean energy. The commercial perspective has also been taken into account as it is a long-term attempt to reduce production costs and maintain the same price of products. The installation will allow Al Rawabi to achieve an energy consumption that will be 30% cleaner compared to other modes.
What has been the experience of operating an organization in the UAE? Your expansion plans beyond the Emirates?
Innovation has always been a big part of Al Rawabi’s plan as they have introduced unique immunity boosting products such as yogurt and fresh fruit juices with beneficial vitamins. Additionally, Al Rawabi has kept an eye on sports and healthy lifestyle by producing protein-enriched milk and Nutree boost oat flavored Laban.
Al Rawabi’s uniqueness stems from the fact that it is an entirely local success story and sticks to its famous motto “Farm to Fork in 24 Hours”. Al Rawabi has also paid special attention to the environmental aspect by being the first to launch a biogas plant in the Middle East. This desire to be at the forefront of technology, while protecting the environment, makes Al Rawabi one of the leaders in the sector.
What can you tell us about your latest “Nations Health” campaign? Please also add any other items you would like to briefly share.
In the coming days, Al Rawabi’s Nations Health campaign will be launched, through which the brand will lead the way in raising awareness of multiple health issues such as vitamin D deficiency, etc. Making health a priority is not uncommon for Al Rawabi, as their products, such as vitamin D milk, are fully aligned with the long-term plan of the nation’s health campaign by ensuring that they are fortified with vitamins, providing various benefits. Al Rawabi has been a staunch servant of the nation for decades and has made health a priority in light of pandemics. The brand promises to ensure the health of the nation and look at our history; you must feel that you are in good hands with an entity that has reserved its place in the history of the UAE.