Dr. Ahmed El Tigani, Founder and CEO at Al Rawabi Dairy Company, talks about the iconic journey of the organisation
Please take us through the journey of Al Rawabi and the vision behind it as a Made in UAE brand.
Deep in the heart of Dubai’s desert at Al Khawaneej, Al Rawabi’s story kicked off with 500 cows imported from Germany, leading to today’s success. In 1989, the UAE’s leading dairy producer had a humble start but was backed up by a strong and wise vision to be the brand of choice in every market. That led the company in 1992 to step into the Omani market and become the only dairy company in the GCC three years later to produce pasteurised juices. Many achievements led to Forbes including 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 litres of dairy products and 150,000 litres of juice daily. But at Al Rawabi, we believe that there are no boundaries 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 persistently reducing adverse environmental effects. At Al Rawabi, we ensure that our products are entirely safe and healthy by using the most advanced technological production means, thus, limiting or lessening the impact on the environment. This has been crowned with the certifications Al Rawabi received for its best practices in quality management, food safety, and environmental management.
How has ease of setting up a business changed over the last three decades?
The UAE population has always considered the dairy sector as a health-centric sector. The last three decades have seen a rise in the industry due to the increase in the population, the swift expansion of the UAE economy, and the country becoming a tourist attraction. Over the years, Al Rawabi has grown and kept up with the technological advances and economic changes and has put exceptional work in order to meet the needs of its customers even during the pandemic.
Please elaborate about the environmentally friendly biogas plant that is on the farm.
The world is now shifting towards green energy, which is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option. Al Rawabi, since its inception, has prioritised the safety and well-being of its community. Thus, initiatives such as launching a biogas facility have been taken. The facility has started operating fully in Dubai, turning organic waste produced by the company into clean energy. The business perspective was also considered as it’s an attempt, in the long run, to reduce the production cost and keep the price of the products the same. The facility will allow Al Rawabi to achieve energy consumption that will be 30 per cent cleaner compared to other modes.
How has the experience of operating an organisation been in the UAE? Your plans on expanding beyond the Emirates?
Innovation was always a big part of Al Rawabi’s plan, as they introduced unique immunity-boosting products such as yogurt and fresh juices with beneficial vitamins. In addition, Al Rawabi kept an eye on sports and the healthy lifestyle by producing enriched protein milk and Nutree boost flavoured Laban with oats.
Al Rawabi’s uniqueness is derived from the fact that it’s an entirely local success story and it stands by its famous motto, ‘From farm to table in 24hours’. Al Rawabi has also given the environmental aspect a significant focus by being the first to launch a biogas facility in the Middle east. This desire to keep up with technology, while protecting the environment, makes Al Rawabi one of the leaders in the sector.
What can you tell us about your latest campaign ‘Nations Health’? Also, please add anything else that you would like to share briefly.
In the coming days, Al Rawabi’s Nations Health campaign will kick off through which the brand leads the way in raising awareness about multiple health issues such as Vitamin D deficiency and more. Making health a priority is not uncommon for Al Rawabi, as their products, such as Vitamin D Milk, are perfectly aligned with the Nation’s Health campaign long-term plan by ensuring they are enriched with vitamins, providing various benefits. Al Rawabi has been a loyal servant to the nation for decades and has made health a priority in the light of pandemics. The brand promises to ensure the Nation’s health and looking at our history; you have got to feel that you’re in safe hands with an entity that has booked its place in the UAE’s history.