Mars Incorporated, one of the world’s leading confectionary manufacturers, marked National Day and celebrated its recent expansion in the GCC region, including its new, state-of-the-art, SNICKERS® production line at its facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai. This investment has increased the factory’s net assets from US$100 million to US$160 million.
The new line, which will produce SNICKERS®, will increase the total site’s production capacity from 60,000 to 100,000 tons per year, and create more than 50 jobs to work on the line, adding to over 850 Mars associates currently employed across the GCC. The launch forms part of a major expansion drive of Mars in the GCC region, complementing its new factory in Saudi Arabia that was inaugurated earlier this month at the King Abdullah City.
At the VIP event in Jebel Ali, organized for Mars GCC’s friends and supporters, dignitaries paid tribute to Mars’ latest expansion. His Excellency Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Shihi, Under Secretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Economic Affairs, stated: “This state-of-the-art production line is further proof of Mars’ commitment to the region since commencing its operations in Dubai in 1993. Through 43 years of the Union, the UAE has witnessed impressive development within a short period of time. This has transformed Emirati cities into investor-friendly hubs for major corporations such as Mars.”
His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Economic Zones World, added: “Mars’ expansion reflects Jafza’s success in enabling major international businesses to grow in the UAE and the region. Jafza and Mars’ partnership is based on shared values and interests and Mars’ investment strategy in the region is driven by its long term and sustainable commitment to the region as well as its employees, partners and customers.”
“Both Mars and Jafza have a long-term relationship which began with the set-up of Mars factory in Jebel Ali Free Zone in 1998, as one of the key pioneering companies. The company’s commitment to quality and manufacturing excellence is evident in it being the recipient of the Dubai Quality Award and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award. We are extremely proud to be associated with a company of such high standards,” he added.
Salma Ali Saif bin Hareb, CEO, Economic Zones World and Jafza, said: “Mars GCC’s expansion is an important step by the company to meet the growing demand of its clients in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey region. The increased production capacity strengthens the company’s presence in the regional emerging markets.”
“Jafza is ready to provide Mars GCC all it requires to operate efficiently, and effectively. This is part of Jafza’s core values based on customer service and simplified procedures. We appreciate the future vision of the company, and will always be available as a facilitator to provide companies like Mars GCC with the perfect environment for doing business and achieving the company’s strategic goals,” she added.
Sami Darouni, President Mars Middle East, Turkey & Africa, stated: “The openings of the new Mars SNICKERS bar line and the new KSA factory constitute new milestones in Mars’ continuous expansion and investment in the UAE, and the wider GCC. Since the beginning of our operations in this region over 40 years ago, we have constantly expanded our manufacturing facility and created jobs and superior products for the GCC market and beyond. Our decision to invest US$140 million to expand our production facilities, which we are marking today, is the latest step in this process.”
With chocolate sales in the Middle East and North Africa expected to reach US$5.8 billion in 2016, the latest expansion of the manufacturing facility in Jebel Ali Free Zone and King Abdullah City in Saudi Arabia demonstrate Mars’ continued commitment to invest in the markets where it sells its iconic brands. The facilities will help the company to continue to meet the demand of the local UAE and KSA markets, as well as 30 additional markets across the Middle East, North Africa and the Sub-continent to which this facility exports.
As the UAE aims to diversify its source of economic growth, manufacturing has played an increasingly important role, and the launch of Mars’ new production line in Dubai will make a positive difference in boosting the manufacturing base in the UAE and the wider region.
The new production line has been implemented using the highest international standards, including HACCP, for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). It will continue to underscore Mars’ commitment to its Quality Principle – the first ingredient of quality brands and the source of the company’s reputation for high standards.