The Arabic countries share a distinct but not well-known tea culture to be celebrated in a new high-end brand called Shay Dubai. Shay is the Arabic word for tea.
The brand is the first to be owned by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) the trading arm of the Dubai government, according to Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
Bin Sulayem announced the new brand at the 6th Global Dubai Tea Forum and spoke afterwards about the importance of tea to the country. “This is not to compete with Lipton,” he said, “this will be a high-end tea brand” available initially in three flavors. Khaliji Blend, Arabic Breakfast and Dubai Spirit.
“We are excited to share a first look at this premium product,” he told the audience of 390 tea executives. “Diversification into new products and markets is the essence of commerce in every sphere, but especially in a consumer product like tea,” he said.
Sulayem told World Tea News the tea will enable executives at the trading center to observe consumer behavior first-hand. It also represents an opportunity to share globally an important aspect of Arabic life, he said.
“Dubai is at the [center] of the tea-trading world, positioned between the growers to its east and the big markets to its west. It has shown how important it is to implement and act upon strategies for long-term growth. In short, to deliver results,” he told The National.
Dubai has seen a big increase in the tea traded in the past five years to 41 million kilos in 2015 making it the largest re-exporter of tea in the world. The domestic market is also strong with an average spend of $63.50 per person in 2015, a number expected to increase to $77.80 by 2020. UAE ranks 7th in the world in per capita consumption at 1.89 kilos per person.
The blends are formulated and tested but large scale production is not yet underway. The brand will begin shipping in 2016 but details about distribution, pricing and where the teas will be marketed will not be available until later in the year, according to Bin Sulayem.
He confirmed the brand is destined for export and domestic markets but launching the brand does not signal a departure from the basic mission of DMCC. The Centre has no plans to market other commodities such as gold and diamonds, pearls or precious metals, which are some of the many commodities for which the Centre is known.
Source: World Tea News, The National