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UAE’s coffee HQ

From the April 2019 issue.

A new state-of-the-art coffee centre and an increasing number of branded and local coffee shops are catering to Dubai’s burgeoning coffee scene.

As part of a greater movement to establish Dubai as a trading epicentre, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) inaugurated its new 7500-square-metre Coffee Centre in late February at the annual Gulfood international food and beverage expo. Conceptualised in 2016, the centre finally opened for operations in November 2018 after a year of planning and construction.

The state-of-the-art centre is located adjacent to the DMCC Tea Centre in the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Deemed the “world’s flagship Free Zone”, the DMCC was built to spur and support a global marketplace for commodities, while driving trade through Dubai.

The new Coffee Centre will further that mission with a focus on the global coffee supply chain and its strategic location between major coffee producing and buying countries.

“The DMCC Coffee Centre will connect the fast-growing, high-value consumer markets in the Middle East and Europe to some of the world’s major coffee producing nations,” says Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem. “It will benefit a wide range of stakeholders, [from] coffee farmers to retailers. We are confident that the centre will create infinite new trading opportunities and become the preferred hub for specialty coffee traders and producers.”

The inspiration for the centre was also driven, in part, by Dubai’s burgeoning coffee scene and the immense success the DMCC has seen with its Tea Centre.

“In the Middle East, coffee [is not only] an integral part of the history and culture, [but] also a growing industry,” Bin Sulayem tells Global Coffee Report. “This growing demand, coupled with Dubai’s strategic location and our experience with the DMCC Tea Centre, prompted us to develop the facility. Until now, the region simply did not have the capacity, equipment, or expertise to facilitate global coffee trade on this scale.”

The temperature-controlled facility, which is projected to handle up to 20,000 tonnes of green coffee bean annually, offers core services including warehousing, logistics, green coffee cleaning, contract roasting, and packing. The centre houses a coffee quality laboratory, three fully outfitted cupping rooms, and a Specialty Coffee Association premier training campus, as well as five sample roasters that can accommodate specialty and commercial coffee for customers to conduct quality assessments.

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