UAE poised to be global hub for natural, organic products

DUBAI — With its strategic location, open market policy and state-of-the-art infrastructure, the UAE is poised to soon become the global hub for natural and organic products industry, the demand for which in the world market is growing by 10 to 15 per cent annually, said Abdullah Al Matroushi, Chairman of Global Links in Dubai yesterday.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 5 Dec 2004, 11:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:23 PM

Al Matroushi, organiser of the Second Middle East Natural Products Expo — which opens at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai today — said at a Press conference yesterday that the three-day expo and conference aimed at bringing about 250 exhibitors from over 30 countries including Germany, the US, the UK, France, Italy, India, etc to help give further thrust to the natural products and herbal medicine in the country and become a gateway for re-exports.

“It is commendable that the UAE government has swiftly achieved its objectives of resurrecting natural and organic products and the alternative system of medicine. The rave response for these products is evinced by their widespread presence on the shelves thought the Middle East,” he said.

He disclosed that according to World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 80 per cent of the world population relies on traditional medicines.

“With the world demand for herbal and organic products increasing each year, the world trade is estimated to touch $5 trillion annually by the year 2050. Here lies an immense potential for providing safe and cost-effective health wellness for all and creating wealth thereof,” noted Al Matroushi.

The three-day expo, organised for the second consecutive year in Dubai, will be inaugurated by Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfa, Minister of Health. The show is organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and supported by Zayed Complex for Herbal Research and Traditional Medicine, and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement.

Nasser Khalifa Al Budoor, Assistant Under-Secretary International Relations and Health Affairs and Director of Minister of Health's office, highlighted the role played by the Ministry of Health in the field of natural and herbal medicines in the UAE.

“A law enforced two years ago recognises the alternative field of medicine and the strict monitoring of the products sold at outlets and supermarkets in the country,” he said.

He also said that the Ministry is encouraging producers of herbal medicines from medicinal plants and herbs grown in the UAE.

“Already, six types of medicines produced from locally-cultivated herbal and aromatic plants by the Zayed Complex for Herbal Research and Traditional Medicines are available in the market,” he said.

Commenting on the regulation of prices of herbal and traditional medicines in the local market, he said that efforts are being made by the Ministry to bring down the prices and make it affordable for common man.

Meanwhile, Abdallah Al Aboudi, Director of Research and Extension at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, said that a draft is being prepared on how to handle herbal products, processing, and marketing of organic products in the country.

He disclosed that organic farming is also being encouraged in the country. Local farmers with the help of experts are being encouraged to carry out organic farming in the country to further boost the growing industry, he said.

The two-day conference held on the sidelines of the Expo will see leading experts in the natural products industry from around the world presenting papers and exchanging expertise. Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of natural products ranging from medicines, cosmetics, textiles and furniture industry from around the globe will participate in the three-day expo to conclude on December 7.

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