23/12/2018 07:43 AST

ZonesCorp, one of the largest developers of purpose-built economic zones in the UAE, said it has reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Berain Water to build a 36,000-sq-m water bottling plant at an investment of Dh138 million ($37.5 million) in the food industry zone of Al Ain Industrial City.

The food manufacturing sector in Abu Dhabi has witnessed remarkable growth over the past few years as a result of the booming domestic market and growing exports said a statement from ZonesCorp.

Boasting strong logistics networks and a strategic location, the emirate has built state-of-the-art capabilities in producing competitive and value-added products, emerging as one of the most important food manufacturing and processing hubs in the region, it stated.

Speaking on the occasion, Saeed Eisa Mohammed Al Khyeli, the director general of ZonesCorp, said: "The UAE and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong historic relations, and our latest partnership with Berain Water testifies to the strength of those ties."

"We are pleased and proud that Berain Water has chosen ZonesCorp as its partner, and look forward to a long and successful relationship," he stated.

"At ZonesCorp, we have succeeded in diversifying our portfolio within the economic zones to include the food industry. Our partnership with Berain Water demonstrates the level of support we can provide companies from Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC region in expanding their businesses into the UAE market," noted Al Khyeli.

"Over the last 14 years, ZonesCorp has been instrumental in enabling the region’s businesses to expand quickly and efficiently. Moreover, due to the concerted efforts of our staff, these companies have also integrated and well and contributed significantly to the Abu Dhabi community," he added.

On the UAE partnership, Berain Water CEO Engineer Mahdi Nasser Al Qahtani said: "We are happy to announce the investment of Dh138 million ($37.5 million) in a water bottling facility in Al Ain Industrial City with the complete support of the Abu Dhabi government and ZonesCorp."

Set to commence operations in the first quarter of 2020, the plant will produce around 70,000 200-600 ml bottles or 27,000 1.5-litre bottles per hour, he stated.

"The facility will also create 424 employment opportunities in manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sales. This may increase to 807 jobs within two years with the addition of new production lines in 2021 as we start exporting to the rest of the GCC region," said Al Qahtani.

The facility, he stated, will be able to handle the production of bottled water and other beverages in various types of packaging, such as glass and plastic bottles, in addition to manufacturing bottles and plastic caps.

Al Qahtani said ZonesCorp had presented itself as an attractive partner in this venture. "As the largest operator of purpose-built economic zones in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, the organisation is thoroughly familiar with client needs and can collaborate with us to create an attractive work environment. Its strategic locations and infrastructure enable ZonesCorp to provide comprehensive and integrated services, and offer full professional support from the first day of operations," he added.-

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