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Retail Market Report Oman

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					          Food & Hotel Oman 2009
       International Exhibition of Food & Beverages, Food Processing Technologies
Kitchen and Catering Equipment, Packaging Systems, Hotel Supplies and Related Services

                              26-28 October 2009
                       Oman International Exhibition Centre
                           Muscat, Sultanate of Oman




            Market
            Report        2 0 0 6         -     2 0 0 9




                      Food & Hotel Oman 2009 is organised by:




                                    OMANEXPO LLC
                    .O.
                   P Box 20, Code 117, Wadi Kabir, Sultanate of Oman
                     Tel. No. +968-24660124 Fax No. +968-24660125
                            E-mail: omanexpo@omantel.net.om
                               Website: www.omanexpo.com

                                                                            Market Report   1
                      Table of Contents
       Groceries flooded with Omani farm produce                                     04
       Khimji’s Mart opens in Jalan Bani Bu Ali                                      04
       Al Falaj hotel launches Mongolian food fest                                   06
       A touch of Italy at Crowne Plaza Muscat                                       06
       Oman’s high potential in its fisheries sector                                 07
       Latest Khimji’s Mart outlet begins operations in MBD                          08
       Barista’s new blend of coffee flavours come to Muscat                         08
       Indian cuisine festival from October 6                                        09
       Standard for Omani bread set                                                  09
       Steep rise in livestock prices unlikely to dampen demand                      10
       First ladies only café set to open                                            11
       Golden Dates takes pride of place at Origin Oman show                         12
       Dairy firms increase output to meet extra demand                              13
       Unique Bread&Co bakery café opens                                             13
       Khafeef, the lightest frying oil, launched                                    14
       Shangri-La has a royal treat for food lovers                                  15
       A’Saffa begins RO9.3m expansion project in Thumrait                           16
       Khimji’s Mart opens outlets at Sohar                                          17
       First Filipino grocery store opens in Oman                                    17
       Gulf states look to harvest food from foreign investment                      18
       Mango fiesta opens at Lulu Hypermarket                                        19
       Contracts given to import enough rice, sugar: Government                      20
       Mirchi — a new restaurant in town                                             21
       Palm oil exports to Oman cross 96,000MT, says MPOC report                     21
       Lulu embarks on major expansion plan                                          22
       Mars plans hypermarket in capital area                                        23
       Promotion for Philippine Mama Sita products at Lulu                           24
       The Great Kebab Factory opens outlet in Al Khuwair                            24
       Omanoil sets new standards in convenience with ‘Quick Shop’ growth strategy   25
       Inauguration of Lulu Hypermarket Barka today                                  25
       Al Fair’s CCC branch reopens today                                            26
       New fruit drinks JuJu launched                                                27
       Siblou seafood products launched in Oman                                      28
       Zee Nuts from Best Foods launched in Sultanate                                28
       Omani pavilion at German food exhibition bags $1m worth orders                29
       Demand for fruits and vegetables up by 50 percent                             30




2 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
Biggest livestock consignment arrives to meet Ramadhan, Eid demand         30
Almarai launches fresh juices in all-new ergonomic containers              31
Al Ansari bags $1.8m project                                               32
Import ban pushes up demand for Omani eggs                                 32
Training programmed for Omanis in grocery sector                           33
Fisheries to open to foreign investment                                    34
Safeer group opens its ninth hotel                                         34
Tanuf, Jabal Akhdar go for exterior makeover                               35
‘Sparks’ to speed up delivery of Americana Oman products                   36
Juma opens new Makkah Hypermarket in Tharmad                               36
Oman Fisheries posts earnings growth in June quarter                       37
$2-billion integrated resort to come up at Yenkit                          37
Starbucks brings exotic African coffee to Oman                             38
Cook and win with Philips                                                  39
Masafi unveils new brand identity                                          39
Oman Air introduces new menus                                              40
‘Green Acres’ to feature new hotels and recreational facilities            40
Pact inked to develop tourism projects in Al Seifa, Salalah                41
Tango with mango at Lulu                                                   42
Municipality honours restaurants                                           43
3rd Crowne Plaza hotel in Oman to be located in Sohar                      44
Yiti resort first phase may go on stream by mid-2009                       44
The Wave signs pact with Kempinski                                         45
Deals inked for luxury residence at Barr Al Jissah                         46
Khimji’s Mart in Sur holds national products drive                         47
Oman Air launches new menus for Gulf, Middle East sectors                  48
Omani fish exporters expect $4m order at Boston Fair                       50
Juman to open Lulu’s fourth hypermarket in Seeb                            51
Organic food outlet at Al Masa Mall                                        51
Salalah Mills to set up macaroni plant                                     52
‘Chicken Shewarma Pizza’ launched                                          52
Lulu launches promotion of ‘Best of UK’ products                           53
Viva Italia inaugurated                                                    53
Maimani opens Food Expo 2006                                               54
Freighter arrives with 36,000 heads of Australian sheep                    55
Abalone fishing season begins in Dhofar                                    56
Celebrate festivals with delicious offerings from Bombay Swees             57
OADC keeps milk market well supplied                                       57
Special aquaculture centre to be set up soon                               58
Muscat running out of milk                                                 59




                                                                     Market Report   3
                             G
                                      roceries in the city’s super-   grocery shops across the Sultanate
     Groceries                        markets and hypermarkets        are witnessing an increase in de-
  flooded with                        are flooded with not only       mand for local Omani fruits and
                             the regular grocery products but         vegetables because they are fresh
   Omani farm                also with fresh produce items
                             where people flock to buy fresh veg-
                                                                      and more competitively priced. De-
                                                                      mand for fruit and vegetable shoots
      produce                etables and fruits. Oman produces        up during the season because they
                             beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,       come fresh from the farms and
                             iceberg lettuce, potatoes, colour        abundant supply coupled with
                             pepper, tomatoes, cherry, roma,          competition brings prices down
                             melons, sweet pepper, and pump-          gradually, say experts. Citizen as
                Source:      kins from its farms across the coun-     well as resident consumers in
          Oman Observer      try. During the production season        Oman now realise that buying local
          22 March 2009      Oman has self-sufficiency in tomato      fruits and vegetables is a healthy
                             (Nov to May), cabbages, carrots, po-     choice because most local produce
                             tatoes, corn and all the melon fam-      has been picked inside of 24 hours.
                             ily items which grow well in Oman
                             because they need less water and         It comes to market ripe, fresh and
                             short season, experts told the Ob-       with its full flavour. Those who
                             server.                                  have tried Omani tomatoes, onions,
                                                                      aubergines, dates, bananas, limes,
                             A visit to the LuLu Hypermarket          mangoes, eggs, chicken, kingfish,
                             (Darsait) confirmed that Omani           tuna, shrimp, abalone, or lobster
                             vegetables are available in abun-        know the value of fresh produce.
                             dance and are priced competitively       Another reason for the increasing
                             such as tomato (RO 0.125), water-        demand for Omani farm products is
                             melon (RO 0.165), red pumpkin (RO        that people who eat locally find it
                             0.175), white cabbage (RO 0.125),        easier to know what they eat; what
                             lettuce (RO 0.375), Okra (RO 0.695),     pesticides were used or is that fruit
                             flat beans (RO 0.575), spring beans      genetically modified. “We eat more
                             (RO 0.465), Koosa (RO 0.225), moun-      fresh food at its nutritional peak
                             tain banana (RO 0.465), and green        whey we buy local fruits and veg-
                             banana (RO 0.465) among many             etables”, said Abdul Razakh, who
                             others. Of all the supermarkets,         regularly visits Al Mawaleh whole-
                             Lulu offers the largest variety of       sale vegetable market.
                             Omani fresh produce at lowest
                             prices. Other Omani vegetables           Seasonal produce is more readily
                             available at Sultan Centre and other     accessible, and customers can enjoy
                             supermarkets include red capsicum,       eating seasonal Omani fruits and
                             orange and yellow lettuce among          vegetables such as dates, banana,
                             other fresh fruits and vegetables.       pomegranate, orange, cucumber
                                                                      and coconut, among many others,
                             Supermarkets, hypermarkets and           he added.




                             S
                                   heikh Ali Mansoor Nassir Al        them in the capital and the others in
 Khimji’s Mart                     Busaidi, wali of Jalan Bani Bu     the interior locations of the country.
opens in Jalan                     Ali, inaugurated Khimji’s su-
                             permarket at Jalan Bani Bu Ali. The      The quick growth in the hinterland
   Bani Bu Ali               company’s executives were present        over the last few years stems from
                             at the inauguration ceremony.            the group’s strategy to consolidate
                                                                      its presence in the organised retail
                  Source:    Khimji’s Mart at Jalan Bani Bu Ali is    industry in Oman by opening out-
           Times of Oman     the 16th supermarket of the              lets in both category ‘A” and “B”
         13 January 2009     Khimji’s retail division. Khimji’s       towns.
                             Mart today is the largest chain of
                             supermarkets in Oman, with six of        “The objectives of opening such

  4 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
stores has been two fold: firstly to     The Ministry of Manpower has been
provide consumer with convenient         appreciative of the efforts being put
shopping in their native place but       in by Khimji’s Mart to train young
more importantly to generate em-         Omanis to improve their employ-
ployment for young Omanis. This          ment capabilities.
helps not only in the employment
but also in the development of the       Said bin Saif bin Ali Al Miqbali from
local economy,” said Nailesh             the Ministry of Manpower com-
Khimji, director, Khimji Ramdas.         mented: “We are really happy to
                                         know that Khimji’s Mart is opening
Sheikh Ali Mansoor, in a message         its new outlet at Bu Ali. Being one of
congratulating the company, said:        the largest private corporate in the
“I am really happy to know that          Sultanate, Khimji Ramdas has cre-
Khimji Ramdas is opening its 16th        ated many opportunities towards
Khimji’s Mart at Jalan Bani Bu Ali.      the empowerment of its citizens,
                                         through its excellent training and
“Over the years Khimji Ramdas has        development programmes. We have
played a key role in the develop-        absolute confidence that it will help
ment of the nation’s economy             them meet all future challenges not
through various businesses and           only in their professional life but
services. We are certain it will up-     also in their personal life. We wish
hold its legacy and reputation           Khimji’s Mart and its entire staff a
through this new venture also; and       bright and prosperous future”.
we wish Khimji Ramdas all the best
for its success on this prestigious      On this occasion, Khimji’s Mart has
occasion”.                               announced a special promotion for
                                         their new customers. A shopper just
People living in the wilayats of Ibra,   needs to make a purchase worth
Montrarib, Al Kamil, Barwani, Jalan      RO5 to participate in the raffle
Bani Bu Hassan etc. will also benefit    scheme. In this exiting promotion, a
from the new outlet.                     brand new Toyota Hilux can be
                                         won as a bumper prize with lots of
This new outlet, spanning                other exciting prizes.
20,000sqft, houses a wide range of
products catering to the daily needs     Several more special offers on food
of the consumers and giving them         and non-food, fruits and vegetables
the best convenience and value for       and accessories are available at the
the entire needs of the family.          new outlet.

The store provides not only the          “All the features of our supermar-
regular grocery products but also        kets in urban area have also been
has a fresh produce section where        incorporated into the Bu Ali super-
you can buy fresh vegetables and         market, and it will be a delightful
fruits. There is also a separate sec-    shopping experience for the people
tion for various meat and poultry        living in & around Bu Ali,” said Adil
products.                                Ghouse, CEO, Consumer Products
                                         Group, Khimji Ramdas.
The group, which lays strong em-
phasis on Omanisation, has re-           Promising ‘more for less’, Khimji’s
cruited and trained more than 25         Mart offers a wide range of mass-
young Omanis at Bu Ali outlet            market product lines that are
alone. These Omani nationals, for        sought by a majority of consumers.
whom this is the first job assign-
ment, were trained at Khimji’s           With its motto of “Your Friendly
Training Institute, Darsait, for a pe-   Neighbourhood Store” it also
riod of six months where they were       emphasises a high level of customer
taught the basic English, Mathemat-      service, combined with excellent
ics & Customer Service skills.           ambience.

                                                                                  Market Report   5
                            A
                                    l Falaj Hotel has launched a     so interactive. People can actually
Al Falaj hotel                      Mongolian food festival of       see how a particular dish is being
    launches                        grilled and barcued meats,       prepared. They can talk to the chefs
                            seafoods along with rice, noodles,       to learn about the recipes or
   Mongolian                and an array of salads that will take
                            place every Wednesday until early
                                                                     customise their dishes according to
                                                                     their tastes.”
     food fest              January.
                                                                     Taste and preparation wise, Mongo-
                            A cool, fresh breeze, soft lights and    lian food tastes quite a bit like Chi-
                            tables laid by the poolside together     nese cuisine except for the use of a
                            with the aroma of exotic oriental        few sauces, especially oyster sauce.
              Source:       cuisine as expert chefs busily grilled   The three types of cooking that
         Oman Tribune       and sautéed various dishes, made         guest could choose from were Wok
     18 November 2008       for an unforgettable dining experi-      cooking.
                            ence of Mongolian food.
                                                                     There was also a meat seafood and
                            Resident Manager Gajendran               vegetable table where one could
                            Nadesan said food festival were a        have a choice of either meat or fish
                            unique way to do something special       along with shredded carrots, cab-
                            for our regular guest and clients.       bage, leeks, bell pepper, coriander
                            “We try to give them a dining expe-      leaves, spring onions, baby corn,
                            rience that is quite different and one   and button mushroom cooked along
                            that they can savour for a long time     with rice vermicelli or steamed
                            to come”.                                basmati rice.

                            Nadesan emph-asizes that a food          Talking about promotional
                            festival also give people an opportu-    programme, Nadesan said a
                            nity to learn about the cuisine and      Hawker Night would be launched
                            lifestyle of different place.            sometimes in late December. The
                                                                     speciality of this would be to cap-
                            “What makes everything all the           ture the essence and flavour of the
                            more delightful is the fact that it is   Indian bazaar.




                            T
                                  he Crowne Plaza is holding         Italian Ambassador to Oman,
       A touch                    an Italian Festival — Intimate     Cesare Capitani, who said: “Over
      of Italy at                 Italian — in collaboration         the years, consumers around the
                            with the Italian embassy. The festi-     globe have come to recognise that
       Crowne               val will conclude on November 13.        ‘Made in Italy’ represents style, cre-
                                                                     ativity, innovation and quality, re-
           Plaza            The festival will allow diners to ex-    flecting the special characteristics of
                            perience a wealth of genuine con-        Italy and Italian cuisine and
        Muscat              temporary Italian cuisine.               lifestyle, which are appreciated in
                                                                     Oman too.
                Source:     Resident Italian chef Manuelo
         Times of Oman      Pintore will be joined by Italian        The Crowne Plaza Muscat has rec-
      8 November 2008       master chef Massimo Basso to pro-        reated a stylish yet comfortable and
                            vide a unique dining experience for      intimate Italian atmosphere”.
                            lovers of Italian food.
                                                                     Diners at Come Prima will be
                            Held at the Come Prima restaurant,       treated to starters, or antipasti, that
                            guests will enjoy the sea breeze and     include red snapper carpaccio, and
                            the breath-taking view along with        salmon and avocado panzanella —
                            their stylishly-prepared and             a local variation on the classic
                            mouth-watering Italian cuisine.          bruschetta. The impressive list of
                                                                     main courses features dishes such
                            The festival was inaugurated by the      as risotto with pumpkin, porcini

 6 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
mushroom and truffle, and roasted        Come Prima, while delighting them
duck breast with spiced honey and        with our modern take on Italian
potato pie. These and many more          favourites.”
regional specialities appear on the
menu, which has been crafted by          “Come Prima is a place where ev-
chefs Manuelo and Massimo, both of       erything just blends together per-
whom are passionate about the cui-       fectly. The surroundings, the energy,
sine of their country.                   the food, the service; we want to
                                         create a complete, unique experience
“Our guests are true food-lovers         for our guests, and the introduction
who seek out new and exciting            of these Italian specialities add a
flavours,” said chef Manuelo.            contemporary twist to the menu
“Throughout the Intimate Italian         that our diners will love,” said
festival we will share Italy’s culi-     David Todd, general manager,
nary traditions with our guests at       Crowne Plaza Muscat.




W
            ith the country’s rich sea   value of RO 59 million were ex-
            faring tradition, 1,700      ported.
                                                                                   Oman’s high
            kilometre of shoreline                                                 potential in
and adjoining sea-territory that         Oman’s lucrative fish-trade is safe-
contain an abundant assortment of
marine wealth, it is no wonder that
                                         guarded by regulatory controls, leg-
                                         islation and various enforced re-
                                                                                   its fisheries
the fisheries sector and associated      strictions, which have helped pre-        sector
industry plays an integral part in       serve plentiful fish-stocks and al-
the lives of tens-of-thousands of lo-    lowed them to flourish (particularly
                                                                                   Source:
cal Omani fishermen and employees        highly prized varieties such as
                                                                                   Oman Observer
in the fisheries sector. In combina-     much sought after lobsters and aba-
                                                                                   8 November 2008
tion with the added impetus given        lone). The restrictions imposed on
to this sector through the creation      commercial trawlers have proven
of a separate Ministry of Fisheries      to be a blessing to local fishermen
— established by Royal Decree in         and have had the added advantage
2007 from the previous Ministry of       of preserving precious fish-stocks.
Agriculture and Fisheries — the
fisheries sector has undergone vast      The set annual growth-rate for this
development.                             sector is 3.9 per cent. Extra vigilance
                                         and special care taken in hygiene
More than 32,400 full-time licensed      and the introduction of quality con-
Omani fishermen, utilising 13,560        trol guidelines, such as the Hazard
fishing vessels (based on 2005 fig-      Analysis Critical Control (HACCP),
ures), as well as those in affiliated    resulted in exports to European
establishments, are gainfully em-        markets reaching 13.8 per cent and
ployed in this lucrative sector, ben-    with regional exports to Gulf Coop-
efiting from its provision of high re-   erative Council (GCC) states ac-
turns on plentiful yields. In the 70s    counting for 27 per cent of total ex-
there were only 6,000 fishermen          ports made in 2002. Other newly es-
employed in the industry. The sub-       tablished markets are those of Japan
sequent growth can be directly re-       and the US. There has been a steady
lated to the sector’s importance and     rise in the quantity and value of fish
confidence of public and private in-     landed here with the total fish catch
vestors. The fisheries sector also       in 2003 amounting to 144,421
generates substantial income with        tonnes, valued at RO 64.8 million;
figures for 2005 showing that over       rising to 165,000 tonnes, valued at
157,000 tonnes of fish with a value      RO 75 million, in 2004. In 2005 the
of RO 84 million were landed. From       fish catch amounted to over 157,000
this amount, 84,000 tonnes with a        tonnes, valued at RO 84 million.

                                                                                        Market Report   7
                             T
                                   he much-awaited Khimji’s          benefit greatly from the opening of
         Latest                    Mart at MBD, set to become a      the new Khimji’s Mart in MBD area.
 Khimji’s Mart                     new landmark, commenced
                             operations from yesterday. The di-      The newly opened MBD Khimji’s
 outlet begins               rectors of Khimji’s Mart LLC, Kanak
                             G. Khimji and Nailesh Khimji, were
                                                                     Mart spanning over 30,000 sqft,
                                                                     houses a wide range of products ca-
   operations                present at the inaugural function.      tering to the daily needs of consum-
                                                                     ers and gives them the best conve-
       in MBD                Khimji’s Mart, MBD (at the former       nience and value for the entire
                             Shopping & Saving) is the fifteenth     needs of the family.
                             supermarket in Khimji’s Retail Divi-
                  Source:    sion. Khimji’s Mart today is the        The store provides not only the
           Times of Oman     largest chain of supermarkets in        regular grocery products but also
         19 October 2008     Oman, with six of them in the capi-     has a fresh produce section where
                             tal and the others in interior loca-    you can buy fresh vegetables and
                             tions of the country catering to the    fruits.
                             daily household needs of the citi-
                             zens over the last two decades. The     There is also a separate section for
                             quick growth in the hinterland over     meat and poultry products. Several
                             the last few years stems from the       more special offers on food and non-
                             group’s strategy to consolidate its     food, plastics, crockery, fruits and
                             presence in the organised retail in-    vegetables and accessories are
                             dustry in Oman by opening outlets       available at the outlet.
                             in both category ‘A’ and ‘B’ towns.
                                                                     The Mart showcases apparel and
                             “The objectives of opening such         accessories for the entire family. It
                             stores have been two-fold — first to    has women’s wear, kid’s wear, men’s
                             provide consumers with convenient       wear, ladies accessories, personal
                             shopping within their reach, second     care products, baby care products,
                             and more importantly to generate        stationery, toys, footwear, plastics,
                             employment for young Omanis.            home care products, household
                             This helps not only in generating       goods, gift articles, food product,
                             employment but also in the devel-       kitchen equipment etc.
                             opment of the local economy”, said
                             Nailesh Khimji, director, Khimji        It also houses a pharmacy from the
                             Ramdas.                                 pharmaceutical division of Khimji
                                                                     Ramdas, 3G shop-in-shop for a
                             Officials of Khimji’s Mart under-       complete range of mobile handsets
                             scored the fact that their supermar-    and accessories, and Muscat Bakery
                             ket is located in the heart of the      for confectionery and bakery prod-
                             capital and with ample parking          ucts. The newly trained young
                             space to serve the people living in     Omani staff at the outlet are at the
                             CBD, Wadi Kabir, MBD, Muttrah,          service of the customers from
                             Muscat and Ruwi area who would          8.30am to 10.30pm.




                             T
                                    he Barista coffee has intro-     Rehan Ahmed Mallick, manager op-
 Barista’s new                      duced new blend of coffee        erations of International Food Ser-
blend of coffee                     flavorus —milder and tastier     vices, told a news conference here at
                             than the bitter — more acidic           Barista’s recently-inaugurated
flavours come                coffees offered by others in a cozy
                             European-styled ambience at its
                                                                     fourth outlet in the Sultanate yes-
                                                                     terday.
     to Muscat               outlets.
                                                                     Responding a question, he said: “We
                  Source:    “It’s the roasting intensity and pro-   roast it brown to keep coffee bitter-
           Times of Oman     cessing that brings the flavour         ness milder rather than darker as
          8 October 2008     change and make the difference,”        done by others that makes it more

  8 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
bitter.” Barista International’s Op-    Expressing confidence about their
erations chief, Tarak Bhattacharya,     fourth outlet in Al Massa Mall at
said: “We also offer a warm and         Shatti Al Qurum, Rishi Khimji,
friendly, stress relieving environ-     managing director of the Ajit
ment, to make our coffee a third        Khimji Group of Companies, com-
place after home and work.”             mented: “We are sure this outlet
                                        will delight customers and prove to
Addressing the press in the cool        be an ideal hangout for them.” To
décor of the coffee house sur-          further enhance the coffee experi-
rounded by a variety of books to        ence, the company official said: “We
read, along with the long list of       offer an integrated bookstore con-
available snacks, drinks, Tarak ad-     sisting of a wide variety of
vocated: “Barista has always been       bestsellers, paperbacks, classics, fic-
the ideal place for authentic Italian   tions and more, including the
coffee.”                                Internet access for the customers.”




T
       he Embassy of India, in con-     Wadhwa on October 6. Supported
       junction with the Crowne         by the Embassy of India, India’s
                                                                                   Indian cuisine
       Plaza Hotel, will hold the In-   Ministry of Tourism and A&E Mus-           festival from
dian Festival from October 6 to 13.     cat, each evening will feature live
For the food aficionados, especially
those relishing Indian cuisine, it
                                        cooking stations offering a wide
                                        range of tandoori kebabs, tradi-
                                                                                   October 6
will be an occasion to savour India’s   tional Indian bread and an exten-          Source:
diverse cuisine.                        sive chaat counter, besides a selec-       Oman Tribune
                                        tion of delicious desserts and bever-      30 September 2008
The Tropicana Restaurant at the         ages.
Crowne Plaza Hotel will host the
festival, where diners will experi-     Wadhwa said: “The Indian Festival
ence a unique week of India at its      will offer a blend of dishes and
finest. Two of India’s finest chefs,    flavours from all over India.”
Amit Gothwal and Nand Kishore,
will treat diners to a fusion of In-    David Todd said: “The Indian Festi-
dian tastes inspired by muglai,         val plans to bring the overall India
frontier and awadhi cuisine.            experience to diners in the Sultan-
                                        ate. We are honoured to have two of
This was announced by HE Anil           the finest Indian chefs visiting us for
Wadhwa, India’s Ambassador to           the week, to give an authentic taste
the Sultanate, and David Todd, gen-     of Indian cuisine at its best,” he said.
eral manager, Crowne Plaza at a
press conference on the Embassy of      All preparations and cooking of
India premises on Monday.               food will be led by guest chefs
                                        Gothwal and Kishore, utilising their
The week-long festival will kick-off    experience as renowned chefs in
with a VIP reception attended by        their homeland of India.




S
      aleh bin Somar al Zadjali, Di-    through ensuring required quality,
      rector of Specifications at the   prevention of cheating and tighten-        Standard
      Directorate-General of Specifi-   ing control on bread production            for Omani
cations and Measurements, says the      and marketing in view of the im-
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
has accredited the Omani Standard
                                        portance of bread as a basic good
                                        product.
                                                                                   bread set
of Bread. The accreditation is within                                              Source:
the ministry’s endeavours to pro-       The standard requirements set by           Oman Observer
tect customers’ health and safety       the ministry are: Bread must be free       29 September 2008

                                                                                         Market Report   9
                              of lard and other pig products,           ferent cereals may be used with
                              strange odour and flour or salt           wheat at no more than five per cent.
                              lumps. Humidity must not exceed           Wheat flour bread is usually soft
                              38 per cent, fat four per cent, ash 2.5   and easy to cut compared with
                              per cent and fibre seven per cent         other cereals flour. White bread is
                              (except for high fibre bread). Protein    made of flour of 72 per cent extrac-
                              must not be less than seven per cent      tion, brown bread is made of wheat
                              and carbohydrates not less than 47        flour made of 85 to 96 per cent ex-
                              per cent. Bread must not contain          traction, while high fibre bread is
                              any fungal growth or potassium            made of full wheat flour and some-
                              bromide. Package must indicate            times additional fibres may be
                              date of production, approximate           added to it. Certain nutrients such
                              weight and the number of loaves.          as protein, wheat gelatin or some
                                                                        milk components may be added to
                              Bakeries must fix a notice board in       improve bread quality and increase
                              conspicuous place indicating in leg-      its nutritious value.
                              ible handwriting the weight of
                              loaves. The standard will be applied      Bread-making is a traditional in-
                              in collaboration between Quality          dustry that depends on the skill of
                              Control Department at the Director-       its maker. Unfortunately, it has re-
                              ate General of Specifications and         cently been noticed that bread var-
                              Measurements, Regional Commerce           ies in quality and weight from one
                              and Industry administrations as           bakery to another. Therefore it was
                              well as supervisory bodies in each        decided that it was time to develop
                              of Muscat Municipality, Dhofar Mu-        a standard for such essential food
                              nicipality, Health Control at the         product to serve its producer, con-
                              Ministry of Regional Municipalities       sumer and the competent authori-
                              and Water Resources, for the public       ties.
                              interest.
                                                                        Saleh said relevant studies were
                              The application will be open on ex-       conducted including, specifying the
                              perimental basis for six months so        mineral elements of certain kinds of
                              as to know its pros and cons prior        bread such as: calcium, iron, mag-
                              to the final and binding application      nesium, phosphor, potassium, so-
                              at the end of February 2009.              dium, zinc, copper, manganese and
                                                                        selenium. It also included specifying
                              Saleh said the word bread is used         chemical ratios of bread compo-
                              for the kinds of bread made of            nents of protein, fats, carbohy-
                              wheat flour. However, blend of dif-       drates, ash, water and energy.




                              A
                                        45 per cent spike in the        will be further bolstered with the
  Steep rise in                        price of Australian sheep        scheduled arrival today of another
      livestock                        over the past year is ex-        livestock carrier, Al Shuwaikh, with
                              pected to take some of the cheer out      a shipment of around 17,000 head of
prices unlikely               of this weekend’s Eid al Fitr celebra-
                              tions, but the steep increase is un-
                                                                        Australian sheep.

    to dampen                 likely to dampen demand over the          “These shipments are more than
                              religious holiday, say dealers.           adequate to meet demand over the
        demand                                                          key Eid holiday,” said a representa-
                              Around 35,000 head of Australian          tive of Al Batna Livestock, the larg-
                              sheep arrived last week on board          est importer of livestock in the Sul-
                Source:       the livestock carrier MV Becruz in        tanate. “Yes, it’s true average prices
          Oman Observer       anticipation of a surge in demand         of Australian sheep have gone up
       27 September2008       ahead of the Eid holiday. Supplies        over the past year, but so have the

  10 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
prices of just about every major          imports of livestock.
foodstuff item,” he added in com-
ments to the Observer.                    Rising demand from mainly Saudi
                                          Arabia, a major consumer of live-
The price of a mid-sized Australian       stock, is also compounding the
sheep now retails at RO 52 per            problem, it is pointed out. Also to
head, up from RO 35 a year ago.           blame is the steep increase in the
This compares with an average             cost of shipping and freight, driven
price of RO 42 per head during Eid        in large part by soaring fuel costs,
al Adha holiday earlier this year.        say importers. Spiralling fodder
The 45-50 per cent price increase         prices, which have gone up by over
over the past 12 months is de-            120 per cent over the past year,
scribed as the steepest in the his-       have also contributed to the rising
tory of livestock imports in the Sul-     trend.
tanate. Despite the hefty increase,
livestock demand over the Eid holi-       Further, with imports of Somali
day is expected to be healthy, say        goats having all but dried up, the
dealers.                                  domestic market depends almost
                                          entirely on Australia for its require-
Al Batna Livestock has preposi-           ments. Although smaller compared
tioned some 10,000-12,000 head of         to the Australian animals, Somali
Australian sheep for distribution         goats are significantly cheaper and
through a chain of outlets around         thus attractive to many budget-
the Sultanate. Malam Barka Live-          minded consumers. Until supply re-
stock, another leading importer, too      strictions came into force last year,
has made arrangements to meet the         small volumes of Somali goats were
livestock requirements of its cus-        being shipped into Oman largely
tomers. A combination number of           through irregular dhow-based
factors has contributed to the sharp      channels. Exports from the Horn of
rise in the cost of sheep from Aus-       Africa are now predominately
tralia, which is presently the only       channelled through Djibouti where
major source of supply of livestock       a modern quarantine and holding
to the Sultanate. Australia in fact       facility ensures that all livestock ex-
meets almost all of the Gulf region’s     ports meet international standards.




I
     n an increasingly competitive        a coffee shop only for women is be-
     world, where women are suc           ing opened in Oman. Because we are
                                                                                    First ladies
     cessfully making a niche for         a women’s association, it will serve      only café
themselves in every field, there’s an-    as a place for women to sit together
other first that can be added to the      and discuss their concerns, relax         set to open
list in Muscat. The city will soon        over refreshments and enjoy the
have its first all-women’s coffee         beautiful view of the sea.”
shop.
                                          The coffee shop will be located on        Source:
The new Nawaen Café, exclusively          the roof of the Omani Women’s As-         Times of Oman
for women, will be launched on            sociation building in Qurum, ad-          4 September 2008
September 6 on the Omani Women’s          joining which the association also
Association premises in Qurum.            has an Internet café and library. It
The launch event will include a           was during the renovation of the
number of activities to engage            building after the unusual weather
women and to get the coffee shop          conditions last year that the mem-
going.                                    bers of the association discovered
                                          they had a splendid view of the sea,
Shukur Al Ghammary, president of          which could be put to good use. The
the Omani Women’s Association,            members of the governing body of
said: “This will be the first time that   the association then decided to open

                                                                                         Market Report   11
                              the coffee shop.                         language. But from the 8th to the
                                                                       11th, we will have an exhibition of
                              “It has a kitchen where refresh-         things that women need in prepara-
                              ments are made, and we can use the       tion for Eid, like clothes, accessories
                              area also for lectures and other dis-    and fashion items.
                              cussions,” Shukur said, adding that
                              the café would be open to all            “We will also have activities like
                              women and not just to members of         poetry evenings, a ‘Mum and Me’
                              the association.                         fashion show and other games and
                                                                       activities.”
                              The café will be launched on Sep-
                              tember 6 with activities organised       During the month of Ramadan,
                              by Layali Al Asalah, an event man-       when coffee shops around the city
                              agement company that promotes            are open into the early morning
                              Omani talent in fashion and other        hours but frequented only by men,
                              fields. Nadia Al Zakwani of Layali       women too now have a place of
                              Al Salah said: “The event will           their own where they can hang out
                              launch with some motivational            and relax after a day of fasting and
                              speakers for women in the Arabic         prayer.




                              G
                                      olden Dates, a product of        requirements and tastes.
 Golden Dates                         United Dates Factory LLC,
                                      held the pride of place at       United Dates Factory is the only ISO
 takes pride of               this year’s Omani Pavilion exhibi-       and HAACP certified date process-
place at Origin               tion organised by Oman Interna-          ing company in Oman, hence the
                              tional Trade and Exhibitions at          quality is reflected in the products
   Oman show                  Salalah Tourism Festival which           under the Golden Dates brand.
                              concluded last month at the Munici-
                              pality Fair Ground.                      It is also the only date processing
                                                                       company to win the prestigious
                  Source:
                              With its vision to rejuvenate the        award from His Majesty The Sultan
           Times of Oman
                              dates industry in the country, the       for the five best factories in Oman in
        3 September2008
                              United Dates Factory LLC, has come       2007.
                              a long way since its inception in
                              1999.                                    “I inherited this passion for dates
                                                                       from my father and through the
                              Today, its Golden Dates brand has        years, we have modernised and en-
                              carved a niche, penetrating diverse      hanced the conventional trading
                              markets and consistently delighting      and processing method.
                              its trading partners in India, Malay-
                              sia, Japan, South Africa, East Africa,   “We have also been exporting our
                              Indonesia and the UAE with its in-       products to different parts of the
                              novative, fresh and value-packed         Middle East and Asia,” said Saud Al
                              products.                                Zakwani, chairman, United Dates
                                                                       Factory LLC.
                              United Dates Factory LLC, one of
                              the largest exporters of dates prod-     Nasser Al Kindy, business partner
                              ucts in the country will showcase a      and director of administration, said:
                              variety of processed dates ranging       “Our beginning was modest we
                              from pitted, un-pitted, stuffed,         used to have a farm house outside
                              sweets, assorted, desserts, date syr-    the capital area with a handful of
                              ups, date coffee pure, coffee blended,   employees processing manually.
                              mocca date chocolate, date fruits,       However, after two years of opera-
                              among others, hygienically packed        tion, we relocated in the capital due
                              in different sizes to suit individual    to the growing market demand”.

  12 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
D
         airy companies have as-          “The factory has increased the pro-
         sured the consumers of in        duction to five times to make dairy
                                                                                  Dairy firms
         creasing the milk supplies       products available everywhere,”         increase
to the local markets during Rama-         Gabir added.
dan month which witnesses in-
creased demand.                           Rabei Bin Abdullah Al Busaidi, di-
                                                                                  output to
                                          rector of personnel department in       meet extra
The company also assured the con-         Al Maraei Company, highlighted
sumers on the stability of milk           that the company realised the im-       demand
prices during the holy month.             portance of Ramadan month to the
                                          consumers in the term of dairy
Oman Tribune met many officials           products consumption, so the com-       Source:
from diary milk companies operat-         pany has planned well in advance        Oman Tribune
ing in the Sultanate. They also said      to increase the daily production        1 September 2008
the production of milk has been           from 6,000 litres before Ramadan to
doubled to meet the increased de-         25,000 litres during the holy month
mand during Ramadan.                      in order to meet the increased de-
                                          mand during this month.
Ghasi Taher Gabir, director of the
dairy factory of Al Safwa said the        “Dairy products will be available
factory has increased the daily pro-      during Ramadan and the company
duction rate of milk to meet the de-      will upgrade its stores with refrig-
mand in the Sultanate’s wilayats          erators to store large quantity of
during the month of Ramadan.              products,” said Mohammed




B
      read&Co’s new bakery café           outlet will serve as a showpiece for
      was launched at Shatti al           prospective clients looking to sign
                                                                                  Unique
      Qurum recently, offering cus-       up for similar bakery cafes under       Bread&Co
tomers a distinctively different          the Bread&Co franchise. Oman
snacking and coffee shop experience.      Flour Mills acquired the master
                                          franchise rights to Bread&Co,
                                                                                  bakery café
The tastefully appointed café at the      whose outlets range from full-          opens
Oasis by the Sea is the first of a se-    fledged bakery cafes down to com-
ries of outlets planned by its pro-       pact kiosks that occupy less than 12
moters, The Bread House, a division       sq metres of space. These outlets can   Source:
of the joint stock Oman Flour Mills       be set up within colleges, universi-    Oman Observer
Company SAOG. Saleh al Maawali,           ties, schools, government buildings,    31 August 2008
Deputy Chairman of Oman Flour             petrol stations and shopping malls.
Mills, formally inaugurated the out-
let in the presence of a large number     Dubai-based Bread&Co provides a
of dignitaries, guests and media.         turnkey solution based on the
                                          Bread&Co retail bakery concept.
According to Omer Khan, Business          According to Khan, the retail con-
Development Manager, the new out-         cept was developed as an experi-
let offers a staggering variety of        ence enhancement to the various
sandwiches, salads, pizzas and            and sometimes dull coffee shops
tartines, desserts, viennoiseries         where the coffee experience may be
(croissants, rolls, donuts, pastries      enjoyable, but the quality of the
and muffins), hot beverages, iced         food items and bakery products are
drinks, chillers and smoothies, milk      unappealing.
shakes and juices. The price struc-
ture puts all of these items in the af-   In Dubai, Bread&Co has created a
fordable range.                           memorable experience with the
                                          bakery café and kiosks solutions,
Significantly, the Oasis by the Sea       where not only the coffee is freshly

                                                                                       Market Report   13
                            brewed, but also every piece of           provide a ‘fresh-from-frozen’ bak-
                            bread, pastry and specialty bakery        ery solution to the service and retail
                            products are freshly baked and as-        industry. ProBake, a Dubai based
                            sembled into delicious yet afford-        frozen food manufacturer has in-
                            able sandwiches. The essence of           vested in equipment offering the
                            Bread&Co is its state-of-the-art          most technologically advanced pro-
                            bakery manufacturing facility,            duction lines. The product range in-
                            called Advanced Baking Concept            cludes breads, croissants, pastries
                            (ABC), located in Dubai.                  and cakes. Oman Flour Mills Co and
                                                                      ProBake’s vision is to become the
                            Oman Flour Mills has also joined          preferred baking partner of food
                            hands with ProBake, a division of         service and in-store bakery opera-
                            Advance Baking Concept (ABC), to          tors in Oman.




                            H
                                      ilal bin Hamad Al Ahsani,       PET bottle, is all set to revolutionise
    Khafeef,                          CEO, Public Establishment       the market,” said Prem Maker, ex-
 the lightest                         for Industrial Estates          ecutive director, AVOD, at the
                            (PEIE), launched Khafeef, the lightest    launch.
   frying oil,              frying oil in the AGCC, from Areej
                            Vegetable Oils & Derivatives              In her presentation Dr Wafaa Hilmi
   launched                 (AVOD), at InterContinental Muscat        Ayesh, head of clinical nutrition,
                            Hotel yesterday.                          Rashid Hospital, UAE, pointed to
                                                                      the health aspects of Khafeef while
                            Nasser bin Mohammed bin Nasser            frying.
               Source:
                            Al Hadhramy, chairman, AVOD,
        Times of Oman
                            was also present at the launch cer-       She explained: “Khafeef contains
       30 August 2008
                            emony.                                    more anti-oxidants and Vitamin E
                                                                      than any other frying oil. It remains
                            The “revolutionary product inno-          stable during frying and cooking,
                            vation” oil is a blend of corn oil and    does not become thick and sticky
                            super palmolein.                          (polymerised) when heated, nor re-
                                                                      leases solvents like hexane, and
                            This high-quality oil, with its at-       most importantly, does not contain
                            tractive packaging, promises to be        trans-fatty acids which are harmful
                            light in taste, light for digestion and   to the body.”
                            light for health.
                                                                      Eng. Salem Al Bortmany, DGM,
                            Official sources said it all started      AVOD, spoke at length about the
                            with consumer research and evalu-         benefits of the oil as well as the pric-
                            ation of different oils in actual fry-    ing strategy in Oman, while offering
                            ing tests conducted with breaded          insights on the brand value chain
                            chicken fillet. It was concluded that     from innovation to service cycles.
                            no single oil fulfilled all consumer
                            expectations in terms of crisp fry-       Eng Salem stressed: “Khafeef has
                            ing, reuse, lightness and health.         been positioned at a very reason-
                            However, a blend of corn oil and su-      able price compared to branded ed-
                            per palmolein seemed to be the            ible oils in the market. With current
                            most promising option.                    high prices for both corn and sun-
                                                                      flower oil, Khafeef will help bring
                            “It took a few years for AVOD to de-      down prices by lowering the cost
                            velop the technology internally. An       per litre to consumers.”
                            investment of RO4 million in plant
                            and packaging machinery was fur-          AVOD’s marketing activities will be
                            ther made to deliver the new tech-        spread across various media chan-
                            nology required. The finished prod-       nels such as TV, cinema, press, ra-
                            uct, Khafeef, packaged in a beautiful     dio, outdoor and point of sale to fur-

14 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
ther strengthen its brand value in       UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq
Oman.                                    soon. A promotional pack of 500ml
                                         is on offer with every two 1.5-litre
Khafeef will also be launched in the     pack.




A
        l Tanoor Restaurant at           choice. Fritters of different kinds,
        Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah      Dahi Kabab, Gobi Aloo, Palak            Shangri-La
        Resort & Spa is not a new        Mushroom and Dal Tadka are a
name for fine diners in town but the     royal delight for the veggies.
                                                                                 has a royal
recently launched Indian food pro-                                               treat for
motion night at the restaurant is        In the dessert section you can
wowing numerous Indian food fans         choose from the ubiquitous Indian       food lovers
of Muscat.                               sweets like Jalebi, Gajar Ka Halwa,
                                         Rasmalai, Gulab Jamun and Barfi or
Called ‘A Culinary Passage Through       head for cheesecake, tarts and fresh    Source:
India’, this month-long sumptuous        fruits.                                 Times of Oman
buffet serves one of the most au-                                                11 August 2008
thentic Indian cuisines.                 Chef Gurnam Singh, who has
                                         specialised in kebabs and
An intricately-designed gate of the      Peshawari Naans, was based in
restaurant takes you to the huge         Cyprus before moving to New
dining area and the menu strikes a       Delhi. He says that guests, espe-
good balance between non-vegetar-        cially the westerners, are pouring in
ian and vegetarian dishes including      even during weekdays and some of
some of the exotic cuisines from         them have even made their third
north and south India.                   and fourth visit in such a short
                                         span.
From kababs and tandoori items to
rich curries and scrumptious des-        “Our main intention is to revitalise
serts, the buffet spread offers an ar-   authentic Indian food with the in-
ray of dishes, meticulously pre-         gredients that are available in the
pared by guest chefs Deepak              market. The menu keeps changing
Malhotra and Gurnam Singh, who           as per the availability of the ingre-
have come all the way from               dients and the choice of the diners.
Shangri-La Hotel in New Delhi,           We have three set menus which we
along with the other chefs at the        carry out on a rotational basis,”
restaurant.                              says Wasim Sidiqqui, chef of Al
                                         Tanoor Restaurant.
“We have come here to showcase
some of the finest Indian dishes pre-    Having conducted food festivals in
pared in the traditional way. Our        Jakarta (Indonesia) before, he says
specialty is Mughlai, north and          they do try to do innovation with
south Indian cuisine and we have         Indian food but without compro-
selected the menu accordingly,”          mising on the authenticity part at
says chef Deepak Malhotra.               the restaurant. “We try to evolve
                                         the taste but do not do any kind of
Murgh Nasheela, Fish Hariyali            fusion,” he adds.
Tikka, Biryani, Rarha Gosht, Mut-
ton Roganjosh, Tandoori Chicken,         Talking about Indian cuisine,
Chicken Tikka Masala and Prawn           Wasim says Indian food is often
Vindaloo are some of the prominent       misunderstood and people have
dishes being served at the restau-       this misconception that they are
rant.                                    spicy, which is not always true.

The vegetarians need not be dis-         “Spice is not just chilli powder it
heartened as they too are spoilt for     means an whole array of flavours

                                                                                      Market Report   15
                            like cumin, cardamom and corian-          Diners can complement these sensa-
                            der powder to mention a few. While        tional flavours with traditional In-
                            selecting the menu we keep in mind        dian beverages including masala
                            that since our clients are of different   tea, cumin drink and karha (herbal
                            nationalities we need to cater to all     tea).
                            kinds of taste buds,” he adds.
                                                                      Dinner is served from 6.30pm to
                            Jose Hamann, communications co-           11pm daily. The buffet is priced at
                            ordinator of Shangri-La’s Barr Al         RO13.500* per adult and children
                            Jissah Resort & Spa, Muscat, says         under six can dine for free and chil-
                            that August was chosen for this           dren between 7 and 12 years have
                            particular promotion keeping              to pay just half the buffet price. The
                            India’s Independence Day in mind          food promotion that started on Au-
                            that falls on August 15.                  gust 1 ends on August 31.




                            A
                                    ’Saffa, the largest fully inte-   Nasser Al Mauly, CEO, A’Saffa Poul-
     A’Saffa                        grated poultry farm in            try Farms.
     begins                         Oman, has announced the
                            commencement of its RO9.3 million         Upon completion of the expansion
    RO9.3m                  expansion project in Thumrait, ac-
                            cording to a press release.
                                                                      numerous new farm and processing
                                                                      related jobs will be added. During
  expansion                                                           the construction phase, the expan-
                            Equipment and machinery con-              sion could create many jobs on the
   project in               tracts have been finalised and exca-      project, most of them temporary.
                            vation is underway. Emirates Build-
   Thumrait                 ing Systems and Teejan have been          Staneley Victor, head of marketing
                            awarded the contracts for steel and       and sales, A’Saffa Poultry Farms,
              Source:       civil works.                              also said: “When we started com-
         Oman Tribune                                                 mercial production in 2004, we
        3 August 2008       A’Saffa’s eight-month expansion           were producing up to 50 per cent of
                            plan announced earlier this year,         our total production capacity. To-
                            will upgrade, expand and increase         day, though we have reached 100
                            production capacity to 50 per cent,       per cent of our production capacity,
                            doubling the hatching egg produc-         we are still unable to meet the mar-
                            tion from the current 10 million          ket requirements, so this expansion
                            eggs a year to 20 million. The farm       will definitely help us to cater to the
                            currently processes 34,000 birds per      increased demand.”
                            day, which will increase to 51,000
                            birds after the expansion is com-         The company’s net worth is slated
                            pleted.                                   to move up to RO20 mill ion in 2009,
                                                                      once the expansion is complete,
                            The project is part of A’Saffa’s target   with commercial production sched-
                            of increasing the Sultanate’s food se-    uled to start at expanded capacity
                            curity and self dependence. Seventy       in the first quarter.
                            per cent of its produce is being con-
                            sumed in Oman and the rest is ex-         A’Saffa Poultry Farms is situated in
                            ported to the GCC and other foreign       Thumrait, in the southern Dhofar
                            countries. “At the moment we cater        Region. The plant processes 11 mil-
                            to just 16 per cent of the market and     lion chickens in a year, with 5 mil-
                            that exists in Oman, despite pro-         lion chickens available at any given
                            ducing 11,000 tonnes of chickens          time. The A’Saffa range includes
                            ever year. After expansion this will      fresh and frozen chicken along with
                            go up to 16,000 tonnes and we             chicken appetizers like nuggets,
                            should be able to increase our mar-       burgers, fillets, fingers, samosas and
                            ket share to 24 per cent,” informs Dr     spring rolls.

16 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
K
       himji’s Mart has opened its       The Khimjis Mart at Sohar has a
       13th and 14th outlets at          vast array of mass-market product
                                                                                Khimji’s Mart
       Sohar and Jalan Buni Bu           lines and popular brands under one     opens outlets
Hassan. The Sohar outlet opened on       roof.
May 23 and the Jalan Buni Bu
Hassan outlet on May 29. This was        Several inaugural offers on food,
                                                                                at Sohar
announced at a press conference          plastics, crockery, fruits and veg-
here on Sunday.                          etables and accessories were avail-    Source:
                                         able at the outlet.                    Oman Tribune
Khimji’s Mart currently has five su-                                            21 July 2008
per markets in Muscat and nine in        Adil Ghouse, CEO, consumer prod-
the interiors.                           ucts group, Khimji Ramdas, said:
                                         “All the features of our supermar-
The growth in the hinterland is in       kets in the urban area have also
keeping with the group’s strategy to     been incorporated into the outlets
consolidate its presence in the          at Jalan Buni Bu Hassan and Sohar”.
organised retail sector in Oman.
                                         Income from the first day’s sale at
Hritik Khimji, director of Khimji        Jalan Buni Bu Hassan, which was at
Ramdas said: “The objectives of          RO3286, was donated to the Asso-
opening such stores has been two         ciation for the Welfare of Handi-
fold: firstly to provide the consumer    capped Children. Hritik Khimji
with convenient shopping in their        handed over the cheque to Hamood
native place, but more importantly       Bin Hamed Al Husainy of the asso-
to generate employment for young         ciation.
Omanis. This helps in providing
gainful occupation not only to the       Madhu Nambiar of Khimji Ramdas
local populace but also assists the      said that 40 Omanis were employed
development of the local economy.”       in the two outlets and local traders
                                         supplied the outlets with many
Spanning over 23,000sqft, Khimji’s       products.
Mart at Jalan Buni Bu Hassan, is
perhaps the largest store in town.       Rajiv Ahuja, head of corporate com-
                                         munications Khimji Ramdas said
The store has not only got grocery       that they were meeting the needs of
products, but also a fresh produce       an important market segment in
section, where customers can buy         growing towns, where customers
fresh vegetables and fruits. There is    seek personalised service.
also a separate section for meat and
poultry products.




W
           ow Pinoy, the all-exclu-      tion. Also present on the occasion
           sive and the first Filipino   was the Cultural and Economic Di-
                                                                                First Filipino
           store in Oman was             plomacy Officer Omar M.                grocery
opened for business amidst a lot of      Pangarungan, several members of
fanfare and excitement at Athaiba,       the Philippines Embassy, prominent     store opens
next to Safeer Hypermarket, here on      members of the Filipino community
Friday.                                  and others all eager to buy a lot of   in Oman
                                         their familiar groceries from back
The store was inaugurated by             home.
                                                                                Source:
MacArthur Corsino, Consul-Gen-
                                                                                Times of Oman
eral at the Philippines Embassy,         According to Jeanie Hammad, op-
                                                                                19 July 2008
who was the chief guest at the func-     erations manager and Liza Alviar,

                                                                                     Market Report   17
                            marketing manager, the two enter-         and Carrefour. But this was always
                            prising Filipinas who came up with        so negligible that it really could
                            this idea to open a store with exclu-     never do justice and satisfy the
                            sively Filipino products: “There is a     needs of the community.” She
                            need to have a store like this. You       added: “There is a huge demand for
                            see the Filipino expatriates working      Filipino products in Oman. We also
                            here are thousands of miles away          believe that by patronising our
                            from their homes, families and            products we will help our farmers
                            loved ones. The least that we can do      and our economy to grow. And be-
                            is give some of the things that they      sides that, Filipino products are also
                            are so used to back home, so that         very competitive in the market”.
                            they feel happier over here.”
                                                                      Omar said the Philippines Embassy
                            Jeanie says: “It has been a long-         here had done whatever was pos-
                            cherished dream to have this kind         sible from their side because there
                            of a store here in Oman. “Now our         was a definite need for such a store
                            shop can serve as a common meet-          to serve the community’s needs and
                            ing ground for Filipinos and of           also because the initiative taken by
                            course they can come and buy              the two ladies, Jeanie and Lisa “to
                            many Filipino foods, groceries fruits     open this store is praiseworthy. We
                            and vegetable, which was previ-           had to make their dream come true.
                            ously hard to get. For us this is all a   In fact this is every Filipinos dream
                            labour of hard work, determination        come true”.
                            and love.”
                                                                      Besides fresh fruits and vegetables,
                            Lisa says that every Thursday and         and branded readymade garments
                            Friday fresh fruits and vegetables        and accessories, Wow Pinoy will
                            will be flown in from the Philip-         also sell a whole range of branded
                            pines. “There are a lot of traditional    groceries, confectionery and ice-
                            fruits and vegetables of our country      creams like Selecta, Del Monte, San
                            which you don’t get here. Some-           Miguel products, Pampanga’s prod-
                            times some of these could be found        ucts, Mama Sita’s products among
                            in hypermarkets like Lulu, Safeer         others.




                            F
                                  aced with a scarcity of fertile     Investing in agriculture abroad "is
   Gulf states                   land, water shortages and            part of our strategic investment in
       look to                   surging world food prices,           general," UAE Economy Minister
                            wealthy Arab states in the Gulf are       Sultan bin Said al-Mansuri said ear-
harvest food                seeking to secure their food supplies
                            by investing in agriculture abroad.
                                                                      lier this month.

from foreign                                                          Rapid growth fuelled by record oil
                            Saudi Arabia and the United Arab          revenues has triggered a huge influx
  investment                Emirates, the top food importers          of expatriates in the Gulf, steadily
                            among Arab countries in the Gulf,         boosting populations and stretch-
                            are now looking to Asia and Africa        ing the ability to meet demand for
               Source:      as opportunities for agricultural in-     mostly imported foodstuffs.
        Times of Oman       vestments.
          20 July 2008                                                The total population of the six mem-
                            UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin          bers of the Gulf Cooperation Coun-
                            Zayed al-Nahayan said in                  cil Bahrain, Kuwait, Sultanate of
                            Kazakhstan on Monday that his             Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the
                            country, which imports around 85          United Arab Emirates rose from
                            percent of its food, is interested in     around 30 million in 2000 to more
                            the central Asian nation "to diver-       than 35 million in 2006, according
                            sify its sources of food supplies."       to GCC statistics.

18 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
This figure is expected to reach       "In the 1970s and 1980s Saudi
nearly 39 million by 2010 and 58       Arabia developed its own agricul-
million by 2030, according to a        tural sector for food security," said
Dubai-based Gulf Reseach Centre        Monica Malik, economist at the
(GRC) report.                          Dubai-based EFG-Hermes invest-
                                       ment bank.
Although these nations have huge
oil reserves they are among the        "However the sector had to be
world's poorest in natural water re-   highly subsidised by the govern-
sources and arable land just two       ment for it to be economically vi-
percent of the vast Saudi desert       able given the climatic conditions,"
kingdom and one percent of the         she told AFP.
UAE.
                                       In a kingdom with scarce water re-
GCC food imports cost 10 billion       serves a tonne of barley requires
dollars in 2007, said the GRC study,   roughly 1,212 cubic metres (42,801
although some press reports put the    cubic feet) of practically exhausted
figure much higher. Saudi Arabia,      ground-water reserves, the GRC
with a population of about 24 mil-     said.
lion, remains the largest food im-
porter.                                Malik said the issue of food security
                                       has worsened globally given the
Amid surging food prices and a fear    sharp rise in food prices and de-
of shortages caused by export bans     mand.
from major crop-producing coun-
tries, GCC states now want food        "A number of GCC countries are
lifelines.                             looking at establishing agricultural
                                       ventures in nearby countries such
For Saudi Arabia investing in agri-    as Sudan for this food security and
culture abroad marks a shift from      as a cheaper alternative to domestic
its own costly crop self-sufficiency   production," she said.
scheme.




T
      he air in Lulu Hypermarket       in the fragrance of the fruit is an up-
      in Al Ghubra had the fra-        lifting experience. Besides Alphonso,     Mango
      grance of mango as the Lulu      I would love to eat Chausa any            fiesta opens
Mango Fiesta 2008 opened yester-       time.”
day with a splash of alluring                                                    at Lulu
colours of aromatic fruit adorning     The seductive and almost overpow-
its more than 15 artistically done-    ering smell of the mangoes grabbed        Hypermarket
up counters.                           everyone’s attention as people
                                       moved on to the taste section to
                                                                                 Source:
The Mango Fiesta 2008, which will      have a go at the small bits of mango
                                                                                 Times of Oman
run for two weeks, was inaugu-         esdisplayed for tasting. Even
                                                                                 28 May 2008
rated by Anil Wadhwa, Indian am-       though the fest is all about man-
bassador to the Sultanate. Ananth      goes, other things associated with
U. V., regional director, Lulu Oman    the fruit like mango salads, mango
and Shabbeer K. A, general man-        chutneys, mango-flavoured pizza,
ager, Lulu Oman, then took the am-     are available as well.
bassador and his wife and a host of
other dignitaries around.              Around 100 varieties of mangoes —
                                       red, green, yellow and even orange,
The ambassador was thrilled to see     share shelf space. There are different
such an amazing variety of man-        varieties of mangoes with various
goes up for grabs. He said: “Soaking   sizes and shapes from the big

                                                                                      Market Report   19
                              Malgova to the smallest Chakkaran        census, Omani mangoes are a rarity.
                              (the sweet sucking variety).             During the last five years, the crop
                                                                       has been hit by several diseases and
                              Indian mangoes like the Alphonso,        the production has dwindled over
                              Dussehri, Mallika, Ritual, Rajapuri,     the years.
                              Langra, Chausa, Kesar, Neealam,
                              Bangarapalli rule the roost while        According to Ananth: “This year’s
                              fairly big varieties from Sri Lanka      Mango Fiesta offers an opportunity
                              like Kottawa Coconut, Fibre,             to relish some of the most delicious
                              Kalakatti, white Dampara are on          varieties of the luscious mangoes.
                              sale at the fest.                        This is the ideal time to drool over
                                                                       the king of fruit. The fest comes with
                              According to Ananth, most Indian         lots of surprises and is poised to
                              varieties are from Andhra Pradesh,       thrill the shoppers with palate-tick-
                              Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.        ling recipes, mango carving, sculp-
                              The expensive ones are from Thai-        ture challenge, painting contest for
                              land like the ripe mango and green       the kids.”
                              sweet mango, priced at RO2.095 a
                              kg. Then there are a few varieties       Botanically known as Mangifera In-
                              from Oman grown in the Al Batinah        dica, mangoes are rich in vitamins,
                              region.                                  minerals and anti-oxidants and
                                                                       comforting enzymes, which give a
                              In spite of 400,568 mango trees in       feeling of contentment and create a
                              Oman as per the last agriculture         craving for more.




                              A
                                       hmed bin Sulaiman Al            two commodities were about to get
     Contracts                         Maimani, undersecretary         over which had led to unjustified
      given to                         for administrative and fi-      purchase and storage of these com-
                              nancial affairs and estates affairs at   modities by the consumers. He
import enough                 the Ministry of Commerce and In-
                              dustry and chairman of the Execu-
                                                                       called upon the consumers to rely
                                                                       only on information released by the
   rice, sugar:               tive Committee of the Public Au-         authorities concerned. He said the
                              thority for Stores and Food Re-          Authority was continuing to sup-
  Government                  serves, has stated that contracts        ply foodstuff as per the monthly
                              have already been given to import        quota approved for the distributors,
                              rice from a number of countries          taking into consideration the vol-
                              without any difficulty.                  ume of consumption.
                 Source:
          Times of Oman       “Thus, the rice reserve in the           “The Authority has raised its sup-
            8 May 2008        Authority’s stores will reach            ply ratio four folds, thereby, in-
                              200,000 tonnes, which is sufficient      creasing its market share to more
                              for more than two years,” he added.      than 50 per cent instead of its previ-
                              Talking to ONA, he said contracts        ous 25 per cent,” he explained.
                              had also been given to import sugar
                              where by the stock would reach           The Authority has raised the num-
                              21,000 tonnes, double the normal         ber of approved distributors in the
                              stock, in addition to the rice and       wilayats of the Sultanate to 234, in-
                              sugar quantities provided by the         stead of 200 as it was during 2007,
                              private sector. He said rice and         he added. “Consumers can obtain
                              sugar were available at the local        commodities provided by the Au-
                              markets for the prices approved by       thority through approved distribu-
                              the Authority despite global in-         tors in various parts of the Sultan-
                              crease in the price of rice.             ate as per the lists previously an-
                                                                       nounced in local newspapers,” he
                              He denied the rumours that these         said.

  20 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
R
        amee Group of Hotels and        months.
        Resorts has launched its Pre-
                                                                                Mirchi —
        mier Fine Dining Indian Res-    Presently the restaurant can seat       a new
taurant — Mirchi. Mirchi                upto 86 guests at a time. The unique
specialises in a very selected cui-
sine, of the royal kitchens of
                                        feature of the restaurant is an inte-
                                        rior theme of ancient palaces of In-
                                                                                restaurant
Magadh, Awadh and Rajasthan.            dia. The stone finished floors and      in town
                                        magnificent arches give you an ex-
Chef Sandeep Thakur has joined          perience of the ancient palaces. The
                                                                                Source:
Mirchi from the famed Rambaug           glass sketches have been inspired
                                                                                Times of Oman
Palace Hotel in Jaipur. He has had      by the ancient epics, each telling a
                                                                                6 May 2008
the privilege of serving the royalty    story of its own.
of Rajasthan, especially Maharani
Gayatri Devi and Maharaja               The restaurant has a VIP seating
Jaisingh.                               area called “Diwan-e-Khas”, which
                                        can seat 12 guests, and has its own
This is the launch of thefirst phase    private “Maikhana”. The restaurant
of Mirchi, and the second phase will    also has two secluded areas to seat
be launched in another couple of        8 persons each.




M
          alaysian Palm Oil exports     reaching 73,939MT in total imports,
          to Oman have exceeded         which preceded the current figures      Palm oil
          96,000 metric tonnes (MT)     at 96,359MT.                            exports to
in 2007, according to latest reports
from the Malaysian Palm Oil Coun-       “Oman has become a leading target       Oman cross
cil (MPOC).                             for Malaysian palm oil imports due
                                        to increasing local demand for the      96,000MT,
The figure is up by 30 per cent from    product in the domestic and indus-
the previous year, signifying high      trial sectors and the country’s         says MPOC
growth potential for Malaysian          growing palm product export mar-
palm oil exports to the country. In     ket,” said Ahmad Zafri Zawawi, re-      report
line with this, players within this     gional director-Middle East, MPOC.
growing local market are expected
to establish a strong presence at the   “In addition, its strategic geo-        Source:
first ‘Malaysia-UAE Palm Oil Trade      graphical location and the presence     Times of Oman
Fair and Seminar (POTS) 2008’,          of major entry ports have made          3 May 2008
which is being organised by MPOC        Oman a gateway for Malaysian
and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board        palm oil to reach countries within
(MPOB) and will run from May 26         the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, East-
to 27, 2008 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel    ern Africa and of the Indian Ocean
in Dubai.                               coastline.

Within the last five years, the         Given the existence of these busi-
AGCC has become a very important        ness-encouraging factors, we are
destination for Malaysian palm oil,     convinced that this is a perfect time
with total exports of the product to    to host the first ‘Malaysia-UAE
the region averaging at around          Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar
500,000MT annually. Oman is one         (POTS) 2008’ to further strengthen
among the largest consumers of Ma-      our product’s presence in the local
laysian palm oil in the region, re-     and regional market.”
cording imports of 44,825MT in
2003; 48,882MT in 2004, and             In addition to Oman, the UAE and
54,418MT in 2005. The trend has         Saudi Arabia have also topped the
taken an upturn the following year,     list of major Malaysian palm oil im-

                                                                                     Market Report   21
                            porters in the Gulf due to their ef-    packed goods with 40 per cent value
                            forts to become leading centres for     addition, as opposed to the 25 per
                            refining and subsequent distribu-       cent custom duty ad valorem im-
                            tion of the product to the Middle       posed on products imported from
                            East. Import statistics for 2007 re-    non-AGCC countries,” added
                            vealed the UAE has imported a total     Zawawi.
                            of 354,009MT of Malaysian palm oil,
                            while 33,736MT of the product has       Under the theme ‘Exceeding Expec-
                            been shipped to KSA.                    tations, Enriching Partnerships’, the
                                                                    event will bring together oils and
                            In addition, 13,527MT were deliv-       fats marketers, traders, economists,
                            ered to Kuwait, 986MT to Bahrain,       government officials and industry
                            and 108MT to Qatar. Responsible         professionals.
                            for the bulk of oils and fats imports
                            to the region are edible refineries     In addition, seminars within the
                            and manufacturers including Abu         event have been designed to encour-
                            Dhabi Vegetable Oil Company             age discussions on the prospects in
                            (ADVOC), International Foodstuffs       the Gulf and to provide networking
                            Company (IFFCO), Areej Vegetable        opportunities for the attendees,
                            Oils, United Foods Co., Afia Interna-   with visitors gaining first hand ex-
                            tional and Al Ghurair Foods.            posure to the latest palm oil prod-
                                                                    ucts and services from Malaysia via
                            “Favourable trade agreements be-        the trade exhibition booths.
                            tween the AGCC countries is also
                            driving the growth of the Malay-        “Our aim in this event is to high-
                            sian palm oil within leading re-        light the outstanding quality and
                            gional markets, with encouraging        benefits of Malaysian palm oil,
                            tax impositions, such as a minimal      which has elevated its standing as
                            5 per cent custom duty for all im-      the most popular product in the ex-
                            ported oils and fats raw materials      port and re-export market. We are
                            from outside the AGCC, working to       looking forward to further
                            the advantage of regional players.      strengthening the ties between the
                                                                    exporters and the AGCC importers,
                            Trading of edible oil products          manufacturers and palm oil users
                            among the Gulf states is also en-       and promote even more viable busi-
                            couraged through a tax exemption        ness within the region,” concluded
                            for regionally-manufactured and         Zawawi.




        Lulu                L   ulu, the biggest hypermarket
                                and supermarket chain in the
                            Middle East, has plans to open new
                                                                    this country.

                                                                    “With all-round development tak-
    embarks                 outlets in other parts of Oman. The     ing place in Oman under the wise
    on major                chain already operates six              leadership of His Majesty Sultan
                            hypermarkets, in Bausher, Darsait,      Qaboos bin Said, we feel very en-
   expansion                Seeb, Barka, Sohar and Salalah,         couraged to launch newer ventures
                            with a combined floor space of more     in different parts of the Sultanate.”
        plan                than 1.2 million sq. ft.
                                                                    As part of the new initiative, the
                            Yusuffali M.A., managing director of    Lulu Hypermarket in Bausher will
                            the group, said: “Right from day        be expanded into a full-fledged
               Source:      one we were quite positive about        shopping mall. Work on this has al-
        Times of Oman       the Omani market. The rapid             ready begun and once completed, it
        16 March 2008       growth that we have achieved here       will cover a total area of 1.6 million
                            in a short span is a testimony to our   sq.ft and house more than 150 inter-
                            confidence in the strong economy of     national brands, a food court with

22 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
more than 30 multi-cuisine outlets,      Yusuffali said: “Oman is one of our
an amusement centre and other            key focus markets in the region. The
world-class facilities. The group        unprecedented growth not only in
will also be starting new                oil-based revenue, but also in the
hypermarkets and mini malls in           tourism, real estate, industry and
Salalah, Nizwa, Buraimi and              service sectors is very fascinating
Musandam.                                for a multi level retailer like us and
                                         we are constantly looking at offer-
“Since Salalah and Musandam are          ing new shopping and leisure expe-
places of tourist interest, we plan to   rience to both residents and tour-
develop our outlets here into leisure    ists”.
shopping malls,” Yusuffali said. The
entire project is expected to be com-    The Lulu retail chain currently has
pleted by 2009.                          69 hypermarkets and supermarkets
                                         in the AGCC and Yemen, enjoying a
“We have already invested more           market share of 33 per cent in the
than RO90 million on our existing        organised retail sector. By the end of
projects and a further RO70 million      2009 the group will be opening an-
will be invested in the upcoming         other 12 new shopping malls and
projects. Another key area that we       hypermarkets, thereby strengthen-
are focusing is Omanisation. Out of      ing its number one position in the
the 2,500 plus staff we currently        region.
have 1,340 are Omanis and this fig-
ure is likely to reach the 2,000 mark    The group currently employs more
by the end of 2009”, he said.            than 18,000 staff from 29 different
                                         nationalities in its various opera-
Elaborating on his group’s retail ex-    tions, with AGCC playing the piv-
pansion plans in the region              otal role.




O   man’s Mars International LLC
    is planning to set up a
hypermarket in the capital area.
                                         tor-friendly environment, we con-
                                         sider Oman as the most favoured
                                         investment destination in the re-
                                                                                  Mars plans
                                         gion,” he said.
                                                                                  hypermarket
V. T. Vinod, managing director of                                                 in capital
Mars International said: “We are         At present, Mars International has
planning to set up a hypermarket in      eight ventures in the Gulf. Mars         area
the capital area. Discussions are un-    Shopping Centre, Queens Restau-
derway to finalise the location and      rant and Mars Departmental Stores
other requirements. This will be the     are the existing ventures in Oman.       Source:
ninth venture of Mars International      Mars Shopping Centre, the largest        Times of Oman
in the Gulf.”                            shopping centre on Ruwi High             10 March 2008
                                         Street, which opened last year, is al-
On the investment climate in Oman,       ready a household name.
he said: “I’m upbeat about Oman’s
investment climate. All our ven-         The centre is broadening its busi-
tures have been successful because       ness by bringing in exciting prod-
of the wholehearted support we re-       ucts for customers. The company’s
ceive from the authorities con-          Dubai operations have been suc-
cerned. Oman is one of the fastest       cessful since inception.
growing economies in the region. I
will continue to invest in Oman.”        Mars, Vinod said, believes in cus-
                                         tomer-friendly policies, and it will
“With comparatively better infra-        continue to uphold them. Currently,
structure facilities, conducive in-      an exciting scheme is on at Mars
vestment-climate and foreign inves-      Shopping Centre.

                                                                                       Market Report   23
                              T
                                     he Philippines-based Mari-       ager of Lulu Hypermarket, Baushar;
   Promotion                         gold Commodities Corpora-        and Gurpeet Singh, fresh food man-
for Philippine                       tion (MCC), makers of Mama       ager, Oman.
                              Sita brand of mixes and sauces, is
    Mama Sita                 on a drive to promote products in
                              Oman and other Gulf countries.
                                                                      Mama Sita’s mixes include guava
                                                                      soup base, tocino, manudo/afritada
     products                                                         kare-kare, adobo, palabok,
                              Two specially flown MCC represen-       caldereta, stew base, chopsuey/
       at Lulu                tatives, Pablo Caparros and             pancit, canton, sweet and sour
                              Reginald Mercado, are organising        sauce, sinigang breeding and
                              tasting sessions of the products at     lumpiang shanghai. All-natural
                 Source:      Lulu Hypermarket, Baushar. The          chilli sauce is the latest addition to
          Times of Oman       sessions, which commence at 6pm,        an array of sauces the corporation
        9 February 2008       will conclude today.                    manufactures at their plant in
                                                                      Metro Manila.
                              “We are here to answer all queries
                              of the potential customers,” they       Making an initial breakthrough in
                              said. Their next destination is Saudi   the United States in 1981, the MCC
                              Arabia.                                 has successfully penetrated markets
                                                                      in Asia, Oceania, North America,
                              Those present at the inaugural ses-     Europe and the Middle East, besides
                              sion included Omar M. Pangaru-          making its strong presence across
                              ngan, cultural and economic diplo-      the Philippines. Founded in 1980,
                              macy attaché at the Embassy of the      the MCC officials say that the bulk
                              Philippines; Nelson Filip, operations   of demands for its products come
                              manager (Oman) and general man-         from the overseas Filipinos.




                              T
                                     he most delicious kebabs are     more.
     The Great                       now here under one roof. The
Kebab Factory                        Great Kebab Factory (TGKF)       In addition to this eclectic range of
                              has opened an outlet in Al Khuwair,     kebabs, The Great Kebab Factory
  opens outlet                and has on offer a range of delec-      also offers vegetarian and non-veg-
                              table kebabs, all guaranteed to         etarian menu options, like biryanis,
 in Al Khuwair                make your eat-outs a gastronomical      a wide selection of Indian breads,
                              delight.                                dals, choice of seasonal vegetables
                                                                      and a selection of Indian desserts.
                 Source:      The outlet was inaugurated by
          Times of Oman       Tapan Vaidya, general manager,          TGKF has been attracting a great
        5 February 2008       restaurant division, Jawad Business     mix of Indian and international cus-
                              Group, at a grand function on the       tomers at all its locations. The am-
                              new premises yesterday.                 bience of the restaurant is also a
                                                                      winner. The music, the lighting, the
                              Right from the royal and melt-in-       service — all speak of comfort,
                              the mouth Shahi Gilawat Kebab           warmth, luxury and quality.
                              better known as the Galouti Kebab,
                              the street-side Macchi Amritsari        Each TGKF typically boasts of an
                              and Bhatti ka Murg, the temporal        open kitchen concept wherein
                              Kakori Kebab, the aphrodisiacal         guests can see the food being pre-
                              Pathar ka Kebab, and the charcoal-      pared. The idea behind such a con-
                              grilled Maas ka Sooley, these kebabs    cept is that each guest should feel
                              by TGKF, roasted on the tandoor or      that they are a part of the supply
                              on a sighri, shallow fried in a tawa    chain and are receiving freshly
                              or a mahi tawa, deep fried in a         cooked, hot food on demand. All
                              kadahi, steamed in pots, even           staff uniforms and service concepts
                              grilled on stone, are sure to whet      also reflect and merge into the over-
                              your appetite and make you ask for      all factory concept.

  24 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
O
        man Oil Marketing Com           ment of old Quick Shops.
        pany (Omanoil), one of the
                                                                                Omanoil
        leading Omani fuel and lu-      “More importantly, we are under-        sets new
bricants marketing companies, has       taking a complete re-evaluation of
embarked on an extensive ‘Quick
Shop’ growth strategy setting new
                                        our Quick Shops to provide a fully-
                                        integrated product offering to cus-
                                                                                standards in
standards in convenience.               tomers both inside and outside the      convenience
                                        stores.
With a total of 13 new Quick Shops                                              with ‘Quick
opened last year, most recently in      “Key to this assessment is a cus-
Barka, Al Qabil, Sohar and Buraimi,     tomer-driven focus on convenience       Shop’ growth
in December 2007, Omanoil’s net-        along with attractive consumer
work currently consists of more         promotions,” Al Ishaqi emphasized
                                                                                strategy
than 40 shops located strategically     in a statement.
across the Sultanate.
                                                                                Source:
                                        Catering to the various needs and
                                                                                Times of Oman
“Customers’ needs and opinions          local tastes of the market, Omanoil’s
                                                                                19 January 2008
guide us in all we do at Omanoil        expanding network of Quick Shops
and this transcends in our ap-          provides customers throughout the
proach to Quick Shops,” said            Sultanate with greater accessibility
Hussain Jama Al Ishaqi, general         for their daily groceries 24 hours a
manager-retail at Omanoil.              day.

“We strive to continuously raise the    In addition, Omanoil Quick Shops
bar of quality shopping experience      offer newspapers, magazines and
by providing the highest standards      phone cards; some with food sec-
of customer service along with          tions which provide freshly-baked
well-known trusted brands.”             goods delivered on a daily basis.
                                        Professionally managed by well-
Al Ishaqi further added: “Going for-    trained staff, Quick Shops present
ward, we are planning for contin-       the ideal shopping experience for
ued and steady growth in 2008,          the on-the-go customers as they
which will include the refurbish-       commute.




T
      he much-awaited Lulu Hyper        tering to more than 150,000 people
      market Barka, set to become       living in and around Barka.
                                                                                Inauguration
      a new landmark in this re-                                                of Lulu
gion, will be inaugurated today         Lulu Hypermarket Barka will be the
with a soft launch. The gates will be
open to the public from 11am on-
                                        fifth hypermarket for the EMKE
                                        Group besides the two
                                                                                Hypermarket
wards.                                  hypermarkets in Muscat (Bausher         Barka today
                                        and Darsait), one each in Sohar and
Yusuffali M A, managing director of     Al Burj.
EMKE Group which owns Lulu Hy-                                                  Source:
permarkets, and other dignitaries       Among the main features of Lulu         Times of Oman
will be present at the soft opening.    Hypermarket Barka is the bulk sales     13 January 2008
                                        section for the local people espe-
With an upmarket coffee shop, a         cially those with large families.
modern foodcourt, and a complete
KFC outlet, Lulu Hypermarket            Besides this, the fresh local produce
Barka is expected to transform the      sourced in close proximity and the
shopping scene in this region by ca-    modern and innovative shelving



                                                                                     Market Report   25
                            systems are some of the additional        sides other first time tenants like
                            features that mark the Barka Lulu         Joyalukkas and Purshottam Kanji
                            Hypermarket.                              exchange house.

                            Apart from the usual product lines        Officials of Lulu underscored the
                            like clothing and electronics, the su-    fact that their hypermarket is lo-
                            per market section of Lulu has            cated in a central location and
                            fruits, butchery, and delicatessen        people living in wilayats of Rustaq,
                            serving hot and ready to eat foods        Musannah, Udham, Nakhl, Suwaiq
                            serving the best of bakes and cakes       etc. are expected to benefit from the
                            and Arabic sweets, all produced in-       opening of this hypermarket.
                            house.
                                                                      “All the features of our hypermar-
                            Employing over 400 employees              kets have been incorporated into
                            with 220 Omanis, the hypermarket          the Barka Hypermarket and it will
                            is spread over an area of 125,000sq       be same shopping experience like in
                            ft on a single level and has a total of   the capital area,” said Ananth A. V,
                            40 cash points including location         regional director, Lulu Hypermar-
                            billing stations.                         kets. Commenting about the open-
                                                                      ing, Ananth thanked all the Omani
                            Coffee Junction, Barka’s first upmar-     people who have support and
                            ket coffee shop is also located in        patronised Lulu which is the main
                            Lulu Hypermarket as a tenant be-          reason for their success.




                            A
                                    l Fair LLC’s store at CCC         available in Al Fair CCC,” he added.
   Al Fair’s                        mall, which was closed, as
CCC branch                          an aftermath of the effects of    Mentioning that the CCC supermar-
                            the unusual weather conditions,           ket will store the full range of
   reopens                  will reopen today at 11 am.               Omani products available in the
                                                                      market, he said: “We endeavour to
      today                 Speaking to Times of Oman, Sarel          support Omani suppliers at all cost
                            Myburgh, deputy general manager,          and we therefore source Omani
                            Al Fair LLC said: “It will be a brand     products as they become available.”
                Source:     new showroom. It will be nothing
         Times of Oman      like the previous store. I would call     Speaking about Omanisation at Al
     18 December 2007       it the most beautiful and the most        Fair, he said: “In this supermarket,
                            modern store in the Gulf.”                customers will be served by 64 per
                                                                      cent Omani employees. Currently,
                            Pointing out that it is a “completely     Al Fair consists of 54 per cent
                            new store from top to bottom and          Omanis with the number increas-
                            from side to side”, Myburgh said,         ing every month. We are proud of
                            “All the refrigeration is brand new       the fact that we are keeping up with
                            and has been imported from Italy.         the Omanisation objectives set by
                                                                      the government.”
                            The bakery equipment is from
                            South Africa. All equipment is of the     The “new look” Al Fair at CCC will
                            highest standard and best in the          have an ultra-modern bakery bak-
                            market.”                                  ing fresh bread on a daily basis, a
                                                                      delicatessen stocked with hot and
                            “In Al Fair, we import approxi-           cold foods including the widest
                            mately 6,000 products from                range of cheeses, olives and other
                            America, the UK, South Africa and         products, a fruit and vegetable sec-
                            various other countries in an effort      tion including salad bar where
                            to better serve our customers. A          fresh fruit and vegetable salads can
                            wide range of these products will be      be selected, a butchery where cus-

26 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
tomers can buy various cuts of           patriate groups who have been
meat or ask for a specific cut to be     shopping at this branch through
done for them, a range of fish will be   the years. The fact the CCC has
presented daily, fresh flowers sec-      ample parking, it has a clean store
tion, island and freezers where all      and friendly shopping environ-
possible frozen products will be         ment, quality of products of the
kept, wide range of dairy and other      highest standard, consistent supply
perishable products all grouped to-      of products needed by our custom-
gether for the convenience of our        ers on a daily basis puts shoppers
customers. The store also provides a     at Al Fair at an advantage.”
number of line shops consisting of       Myburgh also mentioned that the
among others garments and per-           Al Fair, which has eight stores in
fume retailers.                          Oman, aims to expand.

Stressing that the Al Fair store at      “We are looking at opening a store
CCC is a convenient location for         by the end of next year in the No-
shoppers, he said, “The CCC store        vember 18th Street. “We are looking
lies in the catchments area of           at a suitable building in Sohar. We
mainly Omani customers living in         are looking at Ma’abelah, Sumail
the Qurum area as well as custom-        and also other interior places. Of
ers employed by and living at PDO.       course, these are in the planning
                                         state and not definite plans,” he
“However, there are many other ex-       added.




J
    uJu (Just Juicy) is a new brand of   NMWC brands like Tanuf, El Jabal
    fruit drinks recently launched       El Akhdar, Salsabeel and Assaha are
                                                                                New fruit
    by National Mineral Water            widely accepted by one and all in      drinks JuJu
Company SAOG (NMWC) under its            Oman. These brands have earned
most reputed brand of natural min-       solid reputation for “purity, re-      launched
eral water — El Jabal El Akhdar.         freshment, trust and world-class
                                         quality”. Pankaj said NMWC is in
                                                                                Source:
The new fruit drink comes in 250ml       the business of “quenching the
                                                                                Oman Observer
tetra pack format and is available in    thirst, and JuJu is a value added
                                                                                2 November 2007
three flavours, namely Orange,           proposition for quenching thirst
Mango and Mix fruit drink, Pankaj        with the goodness of fruits and vi-
Chugh, General Manager, NMWC             tamin C.
said.
                                         “Initial response has been encour-
The company has set great store by       aging. Within four weeks of the
this brand and hopes it will soon        launch in Muscat, ‘JuJu’ is now
carve out a niche for itself in the      available in all hypermarkets, gas
market. JuJu has been launched af-       stations and other shops in the
ter extensive market research and is     Muscat capital region”, says
aimed at filling an underserved          Chopra.
niche in the market.
                                         NMWC’s nationwide distribution
Armed with “three decades” of ex-        network has given the fledgling
perience and a nationwide distribu-      new fruit drinks brand a good head
tion network, NMWC has simulta-          start in the market. The company’s
neously launched a nationwide pro-       flagship brand — Tanuf — launched
motional campaign to create aware-       in 1979 is the Sultanate’s first and
ness about the high quality and          oldest brand of mineral water. Both
unique value proposition of this         Tanuf and El Jabal El Akhdar are
product, said Vijay Chopra, deputy       grounded in a brand philosophy
general manager (sales & produc-         that reflects the nature and purity
tion).                                   of Oman.

                                                                                    Market Report   27
                            S
                                  iblou, one of the leading inter-   dumplings and seafood stick rolls
       Siblou                     national seafood brands, was       which have proven to be extremely
      seafood                     recently launched in the           popular the world over, have re-
                            Omani retail market through its ex-      ceived a very good response in the
     products               clusive agent in Oman, Assarain
                            Food Products LLC.
                                                                     Oman retail market as well.

    launched                                                         “Our first consignment has been
                            Since its beginnings in 1996, Siblou     sold out already — the stores have
     in Oman                has grown to offer a diversified         informed us that customers are
                            product range that provides the          very happy with these products
             Source:        seafood market with quality prod-        and we have already received re-
       Oman Observer        ucts and exceptional service tai-        peat orders from a number of
    22 November 2007        lored to every customer’s needs.         stores,” said S V Iyer, Manager —
                                                                     Assarain Food Products. “We will
                            Seafood is a vulnerable commodity.       soon be launching more such excit-
                            Consequently, customers need reli-       ing products from the Siblou range
                            able service and consistent quality      into the market,” he added.
                            from suppliers. So far, Siblou has
                            been able to meet these require-         Despite cultural differences, more
                            ments by using the best raw mate-        than 300 million consumers enjoy
                            rial from prime fishing areas            Siblou products in 21 countries in
                            around the globe.                        the Middle East, North Africa and
                                                                     Central Europe. It is leading the sea-
                            With time and effort, Siblou has         food retail category in most of the
                            gathered a family of international       markets it penetrated. Determined
                            suppliers scattered over the five        to set strong foundations for its glo-
                            continents with the common com-          bal expansion, Siblou has been very
                            mitment to deliver superior, quality     selective in choosing its distribu-
                            products. Most of the facilities in-     tors: professional people with reli-
                            volved are EU approved and sup-          able resources, well established in
                            ported by HACCP in order to guar-        their market and already offering a
                            antee consistency in quality.            wide portfolio of multinational
                                                                     brands.
                            Today, Siblou embraces more than
                            70 frozen, chilled and canned sea-        Assarain Food Products was a
                            food items, produced in 15 different     natural choice when it came to the
                            countries. It has launched a wide        Omani retail market. The Siblou
                            variety of seafood in Oman — fish        range has been stocked at leading
                            fillets, shrimps, seafood cocktails      hypermarkets in Oman, including
                            and calamare rings. Seafood snacks       Lulu, Carrefour and the Sultan Cen-
                            like shrimp spring roll, shrimp          ter.




                            B
   Zee Nuts                       est Foods, one of the largest      cially launched Zee Nuts. Other
                                  dry nuts packers in the            than the official launch, the function
  from Best                       Middle East, introduced a          also saw a presentation. Bahjat
                            new brand, Zee Nuts, in Oman at a        Hassan, general manager of Best
      Foods                 function held at Crowne Plaza on         Foods; Rajesh Naraya, marketing
                            Wednesday. Ramniklal B. Kothary          manager of Best Foods;
launched in                 & Co. are agents and distributors
                            for Zee Nuts in Oman.                    Venkatramanan, sales and market-
   Sultanate                                                         ing controller of Ramniklal B.
               Source:      Arif Al Majid, director of Best Foods    Kothary & Co; Arshad Iqbal, sales
        Times of Oman       and Abdullah Ali Dawood, director        manager of Ramniklal B. Kothary &
    10 November 2007        of Ramniklal B. Kothary & Co. offi-      Co. were some of the speakers.

28 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
Prabodh R. Kothary from                 packaging and is available in cans,
Ramniklal B. Kothary & Co. and          bags and pouches. Now it caters to
other dignitaries attended the          the discerning lovers with more
launch function.                        ranges added to its portfolio.

Zee Nuts has already been launched      Zee Nuts are sourced from the finest
in the UAE around three months          orchards in the US and India with
ago. It has steadily gained market      manufacturing practices adhering
space in the AGCC market, officials     to international guidelines. Thus
said at the meet.                       Zee delivers uncompromising qual-
                                        ity freshness and taste to its con-
Zee Nuts product range includes         sumers.
peanuts, cashew nuts, mixed nuts,
almonds, pistachios, pumpkin            Zee Nuts is now available in the
seeds, Egyptian seeds, sunflower        UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Ku-
seeds and mixed seeds. The brand        wait, Saudi, Yemen, Jordan, Leba-
has been launched in attractive         non, Syria, Egypt, Algeria.




T
      he Omani pavilion at the          The participants stated that they
      Anuga Food Exhibition at Co-      had a good response for all products
                                                                                 Omani
      logne, Germany attracted a        displayed by them.                       pavilion at
number of visitors resulting in or-
ders estimated around $1 million, it
was revealed here.
                                        The Omani exporters also had a fair
                                        exposure to the latest equipment,
                                                                                 German food
                                        machineries and technology used          exhibition
The exhibition had 14 participants      for food processing as well as differ-
from five Omani food industries         ent packing methods.                     bags $1m
and was headed by Faris Al Farsi,
acting director-general of Export       Khalifa bin Ali Al Harthy, ambassa-      worth orders
Development of the Omani Centre         dor of the Sultanate of Oman in Ger-
for Investment Promotion and Ex-        many, visited the Omani pavilion at
                                                                                 Source:
port Development (Ociped).              the exhibition centre and interacted
                                                                                 Times of Oman
                                        with all the five participating com-
                                                                                 22 October 2007
The Omani participants felt confi-      panies.
dent after having met many of the
importers and distributors of food      The ambassador hoped that this ex-
products and said that this would       hibition would increase the trade
result in substantial orders to the     between the Sultanate of Oman and
tune of approximately $1 million.       European Union in general and be-
                                        tween the Sultanate of Oman and
The companies which took part in        Germany in particular.
the expo included AATCO LLC,
Mehdi Foods LLC, Nizwa Food In-         The Omani pavilion was also vis-
dustries, National Biscuit Industries   ited by Friedhelm Jost, honorary
Ltd SAOG and Sun Packaging Com-         consulate-general of Sultanate of
pany LLC.                               Oman in Frankfurt, Germany.

Some of the food products displayed     Faris Al Farsi, acting director-gen-
by them were food condiments, po-       eral of Ociped is upbeat about the
tato chips, snacks and juices, fruit    outcome of Omani participation
jam, jelly, cream caramel, custard      and hoped that the food processing
powder, honey, biscuits, wafers,        and the packaging companies
snacks and packaging materials for      would follow up with the various
the food industry.                      leads generated at the show.

                                                                                      Market Report   29
                               S
                                     upermarkets, hypermarkets          demand from shoppers. Salih ech-
   Demand for                        and grocery shops across the       oed similar views and said the
     fruits and                      Sultanate are witnessing more      prices have “largely remained the
                               than 50 per cent increase in the the     same except for slight changes from
 vegetables up                 demand for fruits and vegetables
                               during the holy month of
                                                                        the suppliers’ side”. Today’s custom-
                                                                        ers are educated, plus there is very
 by 50 percent                 Ramadhan. All shopping malls             stiff and growing competition
                               have made elaborate arrangements         which prevents anyone from rais-
                 Source:       for Ramadhan shoppers.                   ing prices. In this situation no one
           Oman Observer                                                can afford to increase prices because
       23 September 2007       Salam Abu Salih of Sultan Centre         that would drive away customers
                               said: “We have made available a          immediately, he added.
                               very wide variety of fruits and veg-
                               etables. We know that the con-           Shabeer said actually the cause of
                               sumption of these items goes up          the increase in prices is due to the
                               considerably during Ramadhan.            increase in demand during
                               Therefore we made deals with sup-        Ramadhan. The increase in prices
                               pliers in many different countries to    encourages suppliers to put more
                               ensure that there is a steady supply     goods in the market, hence the
                               of these commodities. Also, one          quantity increases.
                               week before Ramadhan, Sultan Cen-
                               tre began to open for 24 hours and       Major reason why the prices have
                               this will continue till October 25”.     not gone up much is that Minister of
                                                                        Commerce and Industry Maqbool
                               Shabeer K A, General Manager,            bin Ali Sultan has exhorted traders,
                               LuLu Oman, said: “LuLu                   suppliers and shop-owners to con-
                               Hypermarkets too have made               trol prices of essential commodities,
                               elaborate arrangements for               especially during the holy month.
                               Ramadhan shoppers in terms of            The minister said that there was no
                               wider choices of fruits and veg-         need for prior approval from the
                               etables. During Ramadhan, LuLu           ministry for offering discounts at
                               Hypermarkets remain open from 9          supermarkets and hypermarkets
                               am to 1 am daily”. Shabeer said the      during Ramadhan. The ministry
                               prices of fruits and vegetables have     has taken a number of steps to rein
                               gone up only slightly due to heavy       in prices, said market sources.




                               T
                                      he recent arrival of a major      “We are proud to have handled the
         Biggest                      shipment of Australian live       single biggest shipment of livestock
       livestock                      stock will ensure a well-sup-     ever imported into the Sultanate,”
                               plied market during the Ramadhan         said a spokesman of Al Batna Live-
  consignment                  and Eid holiday season, but a 10-15      stock, the largest wholesaler and re-
                               per cent price spike over the past       tailer of livestock in Oman. “It took
arrives to meet                year promises to add to the woes of      almost three days for the discharge
                               consumers already buffeted by an         of all 60,000 sheep, and the deploy-
    Ramadhan,                  all-encompassing consumer price          ment of a fleet of around 25 live-
                               increase. An estimated 60,000 head       stock trucks to ferry them to our
    Eid demand                 of Australian sheep arrived on           distribution outlets outside Muscat.
                               board the giant livestock freighter      Thanks to the support of the port
                               MV Becruz during its recent visit to     and local authorities, we were able
                 Source:       Port Sultan Qaboos. The consign-         to handle this operation in quick
           Oman Observer       ment, billed as the largest to be dis-   time,” he added. The Panamanian-
       22 September 2007       charged at Muscat, is expected to        registered MV Becruz, described as
                               more than meet domestic demand           one of the biggest livestock freight-
                               for fresh meat during the holy           ers in the world, can carry up to
                               month, say importers.                    70,000 sheep and 16,000 cattle.

   30 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
The vessel makes regular calls be-       shortfall, consumers will take little
tween Australian and ports in the        cheer from the fact that prices of
Gulf, including Muscat. Importers        their favourite mealtime staple
are also preparing to ensure the         have jumped 10-15 per cent over
market is suitably stocked ahead of      the past year. Australian sheep cur-
Eid al Fitr around mid-October. To-      rently retails at around RO 44-45
wards this end, two more ship-           per head, as against an average re-
ments of Australian livestock are        tail price of RO 36-38 during the
due in the weeks ahead: one later        same period last year. The price in-
this month, with around 40,000           crease has been attributed to a com-
sheep, and other, a return visit by      bination of factors .
MV Becruz just before Eid with a         — local, regional and international.
further 35,000 sheep. Australian re-     “Demand for Australian sheep has
mains the dominant supplier of live      been growing not only in Oman,
sheep to the Oman market, as in-         but also in the wider Gulf region.
deed to the rest of the Gulf region.     Australia supplies huge quantities
                                         of sheep to markets in the UAE,
But while these imports will help        Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as to
ease concerns about any supply           its biggest market — Saudi Arabia.




A
       lmarai, dairy foods com-          brand across the AGCC,” stated
       pany, has launched a dis          Krishnakumar Menon, regional
                                                                                  Almarai
       tinctive and innovative           sales manager —Oman, at press            launches
packaging for its fresh juice range in   conference held yesterday in the
Oman.                                    presence of Scott Shankland, re-         fresh juices
                                         gional manager, UAE and Oman.
The new 1.75 litre pet container is                                               in all-new
user-friendly, ergonomically de-         Almarai (meaning green pastures),
signed and eye-catching that can be      which claims to be the world’s larg-     ergonomic
handled with ease even by children.      est integrated dairy foods company,
Extensive consumer research by ex-       markets a range of food and bever-       containers
perts in the field brought about the     age products principally through
shape of this latest container that is   34,000 retail outlets in the AGCC
                                                                                  Source:
easy to grip, pour and store even for    countries.
                                                                                  Times of Oman
a six-year old kid.
                                                                                  17 September 2007
                                         The product range includes fresh
Its freshness seal underneath the        and long-life dairy products that
unique cap helps maintain the qual-      are made from fresh milk such as
ity of the product. The juices now       yoghurt, cheese and butter, as well
come with a ‘satisfaction guaran-        as fruit juices. Almarai is an inte-
teed or your money back’ claim that      grated organisation spanning the
clearly indicates the confidence that    food supply chain from dairy farms
Almarai has in its products.             through to retail stores.

The juice itself is sourced by the       The Almarai range of juices in its
company’s fruit experts who are          new 1.75 litre pet packaging is cur-
sent to different parts of the world     rently available at all leading retail
to identify and source the finest        outlets in Oman. Almarai enjoys
fruit for juice that is patronised by    leadership shares in the categories
consumers all over the AGCC, in-         that it markets in almost all the
cluding Oman.                            AGCC countries. It is the number
                                         one milk, juice and yoghurt brand
“Market leadership in four out of six    in the Sultanate of Oman and is the
regions has propelled Almarai to         favourite dairy and juice brand
the position of leading fresh juice      amongst consumers in the country.

                                                                                      Market Report   31
                            N
                                     ational Hotels, the owners     Al Ansari group is a pioneer in
  Al Ansari                          of Oman Sheraton and a         kitchen, laundry, heating and venti-
bags $1.8m                           member of Al Hashar            lation products, swimming pool
                            group of companies, has chosen Al       equipment, irrigation equipment,
    project                 Ansari Trading Enterprise LLC as
                            their sub-contractor for a project
                                                                    sanitaryware, tiles – all for the
                                                                    building service industry.
                            worth $1.8m.
              Source:                                               Bovis Lend Lease International of
         Oman Tribune       The contract will be for completing     Australia is the project manager
    03 September 2007       the refurbishment of the kitchen        and HCTC is the facility planning
                            and laundry at The Oman Sheraton.       consultant of this project.




                            T
                                   he demand for Omani table        million eggs annually. About 75 per
 Import ban                        eggs has gone up consider        cent of these imports are sourced
 pushes up                         ably in Oman and                 from India and 10 per cent from
                            neighbouring countries, following       Holland”. Omani poultry farms are
demand for                  import curbs on Indian eggs in the
                            UAE and elsewhere. The UAE im-
                                                                    currently busy expanding their
                                                                    production capacity in order to
Omani eggs                  posed an import ban on Indian           meet local requirements as also to
                            poultry products on July 30 as a        feed GCC markets.
                            precautionary measure against bird
              Source:       flu, which was reported in the          “The bird flu scenario in India has
        Oman Observer       northeastern state of Manipur on        certainly pushed up the demand for
    03 September 2007       July 25. Oman has not officially an-    locally produced eggs in Oman,
                            nounced a ban on Indian poultry         UAE and other GCC countries. Egg
                            products, and Indian eggs continue      is a very basic food product for
                            to be present in hypermarkets, ac-      which even if there is a big demand
                            cording to market sources.              you cannot charge very high price.
                                                                    The price rise that has taken place
                            However, Omani authorities are not      in August was mainly due to the in-
                            giving permits for the import of In-    crease in feed price rather than due
                            dian eggs for hatcheries in the coun-   to the demand for the product”,
                            try. Abdul Hameed, Marketing            emphasised Kanna. The UAE too
                            Manager, Barka Farms Co SAOC,           imports a daily shipment of about
                            said “We have a hatchery in our         one million eggs. Indian eggs, the
                            Nizwa farm, which uses Indian           cheapest available in the market,
                            eggs for hatching purposes. In re-      are also sourced from the UAE mar-
                            cent times, the Ministry of Agricul-    ket into Oman. That source how-
                            ture and Fisheries has stopped giv-     ever is currently cut off as a result
                            ing permits for importing Indian        of the UAE ban on these eggs.
                            eggs for the hatchery”. The Nizwa
                            farm is currently using eggs from       It is the third time in two years the
                            Holland and other countries for its     UAE has imposed a ban on the im-
                            hatcheries.                             port of Indian poultry products as a
                                                                    precaution against bird flu. The ban
                            Kanna Biran, Marketing Manager,         imposed in February 2006, in the
                            Modern Poultry Farm Co SAOG,            wake of the deadly H5N1 strain of
                            whose Dana brand of eggs is popu-       avian bird flu outbreak in
                            lar in the GCC region since 1989,       Maharashtra, was lifted in January
                            says “Oman has a total demand of        2007. Oman, Bahrain and Qatar had
                            350 million eggs annually. Modern       followed suit as a precautionary
                            and Barka Poultry together produce      measure following reports by the
                            around 200 million eggs per annum.      World Organisation for Animal
                            Oman imports around 150 to 200          Health on the emergence of bird flu

32 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
cases in India. The ban was again        der extremely hygienic conditions.
imposed in March this year and           Barka Poultry has a well-main-
lifted on June 7. The current UAE        tained layer farm of more than
ban covers “all domestic and wild        525,000 best breed birds reared in
birds, including ornamental birds        most modern automatic poultry
and products.”                           houses,” said Abdul Hameed. The
                                         company was awarded “Quality
In Oman, market sources say, ho-         Cup” by the Ministry of Agriculture
tels, cafeterias and bakeries pur-       and Fisheries in 1997 and “Environ-
chase a substantial amount of the        ment Award for the year 2000”, by
Indian eggs. Kanna and Abdul             the Ministry of Environment and
Hameed agree that Omani eggs are         Regional Municipalities in recogni-
fresh from the farm are 100 per cent     tion of maintaining very high stan-
safe because they are produced un-       dards of hygiene and cleanliness.




M
           aster Foods Middle East —     with existing and new owners.
           an international leader in
                                                                                Training
           the production of snack       “Master Foods is committed to sup-     programme for
food, pet care and main meal food —      porting the local community and
in partnership with local distribu-
tor W. J. Towell & Co., conducted a
                                         businesses, as well as the
                                         Omanisation programme imple-
                                                                                Omanis in
training programme for Omanis in         mented by His Majesty Sultan           grocery sector
the grocery sector.                      Qaboos bin Said,” said Fuad
                                         Kanaan, Oman market manager for
The training session, entitled ‘Part-    Master Foods Division.                 Source:
ners in Progress’, offers training and                                          Times of Oman
support on subjects essential to the     “Through this session we hope to       16 August 2007
grocery industry like cash manage-       provide newcomers to the grocery
ment, space management and stock         industry with an overview of the
management.                              key skills required to develop and
                                         sustain their businesses,” Kanaan
The grocery shops account for al-        said.
most 50 per cent of the grocery mar-
ket in Oman, more than in any            “Partners in Progress is a continu-
other country in the AGCC.               ous process and we want to main-
                                         tain a strong relation with bakala
Held at the Radisson SAS hotel in        owners as the main objective of the
Muscat, the session is the fourth        programme is to allow the bakalas
such training provided through           to have a profitable business,” says
‘Partners in Progress’, due to popu-     Mohammed Al Taweel, business de-
lar interest amongst new and exist-      velopment manager, Master Foods.
ing grocers and is based on the
Sanad Programme and Omani-               In addition to the “Partners in
sation policy of the government.         Progress” programme, Master
                                         Foods also supports community
Similar programmes were held in          programmes across the AGCC in-
Salalah, Sur, Nizwa, and Sohar be-       cluding the Injaz Al Arab
sides Muscat. Nearly 500 bakala          programme in the UAE, which aims
(grocery store) owners attended the      to educate and inspire young people
training programme in all these cit-     to be successful in the global
ies.                                     economy.

Master Foods and W. J. Towell & Co.      Master Foods, a subsidiary of Mars
are preparing new businesses for         Incorporated, is an international
the challenges of the grocery sector     leader in the production of snack
and encourage close relationships        food, pet care and main meal food.

                                                                                    Market Report   33
                             H
                                      E Dr Hamad Bin Said Al           “We will soon attract Japanese in-
    Fisheries                         Aufi, Underse-cretary for        vestors to cultivate and export ur-
                                      Fisheries at the Ministry of     chins or porcupine fish to Japan. We
   to open to                Agriculture and Fisheries, an-            will also cultivate sea cucumbers
      foreign                nounced that the ministry intended
                             to open the door to foreign invest-
                                                                       for higher economic returns exter-
                                                                       nally,” he said.
  investment                 ment in the fish farming sector to
                             bring in modern technology and            Aufi explained that the Sultanate
                             capital.                                  wanted to be a central market, so it
               Source:                                                 imported some varieties that were
          Oman Tribune       He pointed out that it was agreed         not available in the Sultanate such
        12 August 2007       that there would be more than one         as shrimp, tilapia and salmon fish.
                             foreign investor in this sector. He       He confirmed that the Sultanate’s
                             told Oman Tribune that the goal of        fish were of considerably higher
                             encouraging the investment was to         value that enabled it to compete in
                             organise the fishing operations so as     the world market. Aufi indicated
                             not to harm the fish stocks.              that the production of fish in the
                                                                       Sultanate had witnessed, during the
                             He indicated that the ministry had        last five years, a growth rate of 10
                             suspended applications for licences       per cent and that the demand for
                             for fishing. The ministry had de-         fish was increasing steadily.
                             cided to open the way for other job
                             opportunities associated with fish        Aufi added that the Ministry of Ag-
                             industries and exports. He men-           riculture and Fisheries had adopted
                             tioned that the first batch from the      the best possible methods to pre-
                             Omani shrimp farm would be pro-           serve fish resources without having
                             duced next year.                          a negative impact on fishermen. He
                                                                       said: “We appeal to fishermen and
                             He added that through the coopera-        fishing companies to be partners
                             tion in foreign investment, the Sul-      with the ministry in the fishing
                             tanate would be able to benefit from      regulatory process.”
                             the surplus of locally available fish.




                             T
                                   he Safeer Hotel and Tourism         The unique concept of Safeer Hotel
Safeer group                       Company inaugurated Safeer          and Tourism Company is that most
   opens its                       Plaza Hotel, the ninth in a         of its hotel resorts and projects are a
                             chain of hospitality properties           fusion of luxury hotels and serviced
  ninth hotel                owned by the company.                     apartments where the guests can
                                                                       have the best of the most spacious
                             Safeer Plaza Hotel, located at Al         accommodation in hotel apart-
                Source:      Kuleiah Street in Al Khuwair, has 44      ments and hotel rooms with vast
         Times of Oman       well-designed suites with all mod-        luxury hotel facilities.
        11 August 2007       ern fixtures and fittings, satellite TV
                             with multiple channels, multi-cui-        The fusion concept can cater to both
                             sine restaurant, 24-hour room ser-        the high and low ends of the market
                             vice, health club, indoor games, wi-      needs by providing luxury hotels
                             fi internet connectivity, business        and serviced apartments to the
                             centre and other allied services.         guests.

                             The hotel also has a ballroom             This means that guests can have the
                             named ‘Sohar’ with a capacity of          most spacious accommodation in
                             400 people for weddings and confer-       the hotel apartments and hotel
                             ences. Safeer Plaza Hotel has intro-      rooms and also get luxury hotel fa-
                             duced a specially designed                cilities like food and beverage out-
                             children’s room on all the floors         lets, 24-hour room service, shop-
                             with a city view, a first of its kind.    ping arcades, health club, banquet-

 34 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
ing halls.                              country aiming to bag a major mar-
                                        ket share of the booming tourism
“Safeer Hotel and Tourism Com-          industry in the country,” said D.
pany (SHTC), a member of the            Shekar, general manager, hotel
Golden Group of Companies, has          projects and operations at a press
several projects of hotel resorts and   conference to announce the launch
hospitality projects across the         of Safeer Plaza Hotel.




T
      anuf and Jabal Akhdar, lead-      and work experience in their perti-
      ing natural mineral water         nent fields. Also, a fully equipped
                                                                               Tanuf, Jabal
      brands in the Sultanate of        in-house laboratory with microbi-      Akhdar go
Oman, made a bold, yet exciting         ology, chemical and physical testing
change, with their refreshing new
packaging.
                                        facilities, ensures that only world-
                                        class products are supplied.
                                                                               for exterior
                                                                               makeover
The new look took shape last            Tanuf is the first Omani brand in
month. Playing on the colours of        mineral water category launched in
blue and green, which are tradition-    1979. El Jabal El Akhdar was           Source:
ally used for freshness, the new look   launched in 1988. With over 40 per     Times of Oman
is part of National Mineral Water       cent market share, NMWC has been       04 August 2007
Company’s strategy to add on ex-        able to retain “market leadership”
citement to its quality brands.         in the category it represents owing
                                        to superior consistent quality.
Pankaj Chugh, general manager of
NMWC said: “We decided to change        NMWC is a major player in bottled
the packaging to one that communi-      mineral water business in lower
cates a pure, healthy and contempo-     Gulf area. It regularly exports to
rary feel to our superior product of-   neighbouring countries including
fering. The aesthetically designed      the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain
bottles are the outcome of research     and Pakistan. Occasionally, its
into customer convenience and er-       products are also exported to other
gonomics. The new look was              countries.
launched in the first week of July,
consumers have liked the new look       Set up in 1978 with technical exper-
and we are receiving appreciation       tise from Evian, France — world
from across the country. Despite the    leaders in the field of natural min-
change in packaging, consumers can      eral water, NMWC is a totally
be assured that it is still the same,   Omani owned Public Limited Com-
trusted mineral water of the Sultan-    pany incorporated in Oman with
ate.”                                   its shares listed and traded in the
                                        Muscat Stock Exchange (MSM).
Even though the company is well-
recognised locally, NMWC still          NMWC has exclusive lease for ex-
wants its products known better         tracting water from wells located
nationally. A big step in accom-        near the Jabal Akhdar mountain
plishing this goal comes from the       range, situated deep inside Oman.
company’s newly designed every-         This mountain range, with peaks as
day packaging. The products sold        high as 2000 metres, lies in a
by NMWC are bottled in an inte-         sparsely populated belt with green
grated, state-of-the-art, fully auto-   vegetation. The products manufac-
matic plant with machinery from         tured by NMWC conform to inter-
some of the world’s best equipment      national and Gulf standards and
suppliers in Europe and USA.            are approved by appropriate gov-
                                        ernment agencies in all Gulf mar-
The plant is manned by qualified        kets. All products conform to WHO,
technicians with adequate academic      EC and Japanese standards.

                                                                                   Market Report   35
                               A
                                       mericana Oman, which             its first two restaurants, KFC and
   ‘Sparks’ to                         holds the franchise of KFC,      Hardee’s, in 1986 as the first leading
     speed up                          Hardee’s, and their own          concepts of QSRs ever introduced in
                               concept Americana Chicken Tikka,         Oman.
   delivery of                 will now deliver their delicious and
                               popular food products as quick as        Throughout the years, KFC,
   Americana                   possible with the induction of 30        Hardee’s and Chicken Tikka have al-
                               Chevrolet Spark cars into their          ways delivered their promises to
Oman products                  home delivery fleet.                     their customers, and there is still
                                                                        more to come after this new fleet of
                  Source:      Speaking at the function, Mamdouh        Sparks was added recently to the
           Times of Oman       Shalaby said: “The Chevrolet Spark       existing home delivery fleet.
             30 July 2007      attracts attention with its modern
                               design. It has intelligent packaging,    As a result, the group will be able to
                               and has a surprisingly spacious and      deliver its products hot and fresh to
                               versatile interior. Chevrolet Spark      its customers, something that was
                               suits Americana’s needs perfectly,       always its primary objective and
                               for both commuting in congested          concern. The Chevrolet Spark fea-
                               city traffic and for parking in small    tures a progressive design that at-
                               spaces.                                  tracts immediate attention with its
                                                                        ‘smiling face.’ It is the perfect choice
                               International Tourism Restaurants        for the younger generation, looking
                               LLC (Americana Oman), established        for greater freedom and fun.




                               D
                                        r Juma bin Ali bin Juma,        square feet in a multi-storeyed
  Juma opens                            minister of manpower, in        building, the hypermarket is loaded
  new Makkah                            augurated the new Makkah        with all goods and stuff including
                               Hypermarket in Tharmad, the first        those from leading brands and
  Hypermarket                  of its kind in the suburban and ru-      Omani products that will prove to
                               ral area of Batinah.                     be a big draw for customers.
   in Tharmad
                               The hypermarket located halfway          The hypermarket also has Oman-
                               between Muscat and Sohar is ex-          UAE Exchange, KFC, Baskin Robins,
                               pected to cater to fulfil the shopping   a studio, internet café, and an opti-
                  Source:
                               needs of people living in and around     cal shop and beauty parlour.
           Times of Oman
                               Tharmad, Musannah etc.
             28 July 2007
                                                                        Makkah Hypermarket officials
                               A special attraction for families        Mohammed Kutty, managing direc-
                               shopping with their children is a        tor, and Anurag G., general man-
                               special entertainment zone for kids      ager, said the hypermarket has been
                               located in the basement of the mall,     segmentised in such a way as to
                               something, which is not found even       give Omani products more impor-
                               in the capital area’s shopping cen-      tance as more than 75 per cent of
                               tres.                                    the population in this area consists
                                                                        of locals.
                               Officials of Makkah Hypermarket
                               are upbeat that residents in this        According to Anurag, all the facili-
                               part of the Batinah region who till      ties that rural and suburban people
                               now were used to small                   have been deprived of for so long,
                               neighbourhood grocery stores will        will be provided in the Makkah
                               get a taste of urban shopping expe-      Hypermarket. “That is why we
                               rience right at their doorstep.          have an internet cafe, a beauty
                                                                        parlour and food court attached to
                               Spread over an area of 88,000            our hypermarket,” he said.

   36 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
O
         man Fisheries Co SAOG           mt, compared to 66 mt during the
         posted revenues of RO 1.550     same period last year. The recent
                                                                                  Oman
         million for the quarter         unusual weather conditions im-           Fisheries
ended June 30, 2007, as against          pacted purchases and operations
earnings of RO 1.233 million during
the same period last year. The com-
                                         for 25 days, the company said.           posts
pany made a net profit of RO             Meanwhile, Oman Fisheries’s              earnings
311,000 after income tax, during         shrimp farm pilot project in India
this period, in comparison with a        has already started operations,          growth in
net loss of RO 408,000 during the        with the first harvest of shrimps
same period in 2006.                     slated for November this year. The       June quarter
                                         launch of its Yemen operations too
Fish purchases during the past           has the potential to positively add      Source:
quarter were slightly lower at 1,600     to the company’s overall turnover.       Times of Oman
metric tonnes (mt), as compared to                                                30 July 2007
1,834 mt during the corresponding        The company is also in the process
period last year. Fish landings by       of appointing share investment bro-
trawlers amounted to 397 mt, as          kers to handle its investment port-
compared to 353 mt during the            folio of shares traded on the Muscat
same period last year. Production of     Securities Market for better
taqa breaded products during the         realisation of investment returns, it
quarter in question climbed to 73        added.




Y
       enkit Tourism Development         up to 1,900 residential apartments
       LLC has announced plans to        and townhouses.
                                                                                  $2-billion
       develop a $2 billion luxury                                                integrated
Integrated Tourist Resort Complex        The site has been both recognised
at Yenkit in Muscat Governorate.         and planned as a high-end environ-       resort to
                                         mentally sensitive tourism and in-
Yenkit Tourism Development has           vestment project specifically de-        come up
been established by a group of pri-      signed to reflect the natural form of
vate Omani investors and the Majid       the land. Approval of the master         at Yenkit
Al Futtaim Group, one of the             plan has been granted and develop-
region’s most pre-eminent property       ment is expected to commence in
developers, in order to plan, de-        early 2008, subject to finalisation of
velop and manage this signature 5-       agreements with the government.          Source:
star complex. The 950-hectare                                                     Oman Observer
Yenkit master planned community          “Oman has enormous potential             26 July 2007
will be developed along the              with visitors coming to indulge in
country’s eastern coastline and is       the natural splendour of the coun-
located just 20 kilometres to the        try and with Middle East residents
southeast of Muscat.                     looking for sound investment op-
                                         tions. We are certain that the fully
The project will be an ‘Integrated       integrated Yenkit Development
Tourism Complex’ as designated by        with its stunning location and di-
the Ministry of Tourism, and will        verse product offerings will be a
consist of four 5-star hotels with       flagship project for the country and
approximately 900 rooms, an 18-          the region,” said Hakim bin Majid al
hole international golf course; a        Maamari, Chairman of Yenkit Tour-
wide range of tourist facilities, in-    ism Development LLC.
cluding sports and leisure facilities,
a resort village, nature reserve and     “We are delighted to be part of this
visitors centre, beach club, heritage    prestigious development that has
and craft centre and major open          great potential. Along with The
spaces; 1,400 residential villas and     Wave Muscat master planned com-

                                                                                      Market Report   37
                             munity and Muscat City Centre             the scenic coast between Muscat
                             shopping mall, the Yenkit project         and Sur to the south. The location
                             provides us with the opportunity to       has been identified as an interna-
                             further consolidate Majid Al              tional destination within which sig-
                             Futtaim Group’s reputation as one         nificant tourism facilities and at-
                             of Oman’s and the region’s leading        tractions will create a world-class
                             developers of signature projects,”        development.
                             said Jeffery Rossely, CEO of MAF De-
                             velopments.                               A team of internationally renowned
                                                                       consultants are involved in master
                             The Yenkit project will be a flagship     planning, architecture, landscape,
                             development for potential inves-          engineering and project realisation
                             tors, tourists, Omanis and interna-       of the Yenkit lifestyle resort. The
                             tional visitors. The project responds     resort’s design theme is based on a
                             to a major initiative of the Omani        number of key elements which
                             government to create a world-class        build on the distinctive locality and
                             tourism corridor, stretching down         illustrious history of Oman.




                             A
                                      taste of exotic African coffee   tainable coffee buying guidelines
    Starbucks                         has come to Oman this            that were originally developed be-
                                      summer with Starbucks            tween the company and Conserva-
 brings exotic               bringing its latest and exceptional       tion International in keeping with
African coffee               Black Apron Exclusive (BAE) Zam-
                             bia Terranova Estate coffee to
                                                                       ethical coffee buying guidelines.

      to Oman                tantalise the tastebuds of coffee lov-    Cafe Practices farmers are not al-
                             ers.                                      lowed to use fertilisers to grow
                                                                       their coffee and Terranova Estate
                             Zambia Terranova Estate is best de-       became a supplier under this
                Source:
                             scribed as soft, complex and nu-          programme in 2003.
         Times of Oman
                             anced with hints of black tea, stone
           25 July 2007
                             fruit (like apricot) and a cocoa finish   For producing a Black Apron
                             – revealing more about itself with        Exclusives coffee, Terranova Estate
                             each sip.                                 was awarded $15,000 to help fund a
                                                                       project that will improve the lives
                             Barry Peppin, brand ambassador of         of the farmers in the community of
                             Starbucks, brought this very special      its origin, that is in Zambia. Maan
                             coffee to Times of Oman office to ex-     Kouly, senior operations manager
                             plain its properties and the layers of    for Starbucks Coffee Middle East,
                             flavour and its complexity, very          said in a statement: “When I took
                             rare in a single region offering.         my first sip of Zambia Terranova
                                                                       Estate, I was overwhelmed by its
                             BAE coffees are the most outstand-        taste and felt a sense of pride that
                             ing and exceptional coffees the           this fine coffee was sourced from the
                             world has to offer. Discovered by         Cafe Practices. By introducing these
                             Starbucks coffee buyers on farms          high quality coffees, which are
                             around the world, BAE coffees are         available in limited quantities, we
                             prized for their flavour and distinc-     aim to provide our customers in
                             tiveness.                                 Oman, with a glimpse of exotic Af-
                                                                       rica.”
                             Zambia Terranova Estate coffee is
                             sourced from the first Coffee and         In recent years, quality coffee has
                             Farmer Equity (Cafe) practices veri-      also taken on new dimension: social
                             fied supplier in Africa.                  responsibility. As parts of its corpo-
                                                                       rate social responsibility, Starbucks
                             Cafe Practices are Starbucks sus-         has launched several initiatives.

 38 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
M
          ustafa Sultan Electronics     lighting solutions, consumer elec-
          Co. LLC (MSEC) is back        tronics and personal care and home
                                                                                Cook and
          with their much-awaited       appliances.                             win with
“Philips Domestic Appliances &
Personal Care (DAP) Cook and Win
Recipe Contest” in the Thursday
                                        The innovative nature of the com-
                                        pany is illustrated by the 80,000
                                                                                Philips
magazine of Times of Oman.              registered patents. In a world in
                                        which technology increasingly           Source:
All you have to do is, send in your     touches every aspect of daily life,     Times of Oman
recipes to the Thursday magazine        Philips want to bring “sense and        18 July 2007
and the best recipe wins a shopping     simplicity” to consumers with ad-
voucher worth RO20/- from MSEC          vanced, easy-to-use products that
every week. The winner can shop         are designed specifically to meet
for Philips DAP products for that       their needs, wherever in the world
amount from MSEC’s Al Khuwair           they may be. And they continue to
showroom and can choose from a          develop products designed to help
wide range of products.                 make life simpler and more relax-
                                        ing.
Headquartered in the Netherlands,
Philips employs approximately           Mustafa Sultan Electronics Co. LLC
121,700 employees in more than 60       (MSEC), one of the leading electron-
countries worldwide. With sales of      ics companies in Oman, is the dis-
27 billion euro in 2006, the company    tributor for Philips. MSEC has three
is a market leader in medical diag-     showrooms in the capital at Al
nostic imaging and patient moni-        Khuwair, Qurum and Ruwi in addi-
toring systems, energy efficient        tion to a showroom in Salalah.




M
          asafi distributed by          ter packaging has captured the es-
           Matrah Cold Stores LLC       sence of the Masafi brand and its
                                                                                Masafi
           (MCS) throughout the Sul-    personality in line with core corpo-    unveils new
tanate has unveiled a new brand         rate values. By unveiling our new
identity aimed at becoming a com-
plete FMCG brand by 2011. As part
                                        brand identity in water, Masafi has
                                        reinforced its commitment to our
                                                                                brand
of this new identity, Masafi has        consumers and furthers our reputa-      identity
rolled out a new, refreshing look for   tion of providing world-class prod-
its natural mineral water. The new      ucts renowned for their pure natu-      Source:
brand logo with a silver outline        ral freshness.”                         Times of Oman
combines the essence of Masafi’s                                                17 July 2007
heritage and signals the company’s      This new logo along with the entry
strategic growth direction.             into the juice and flavoured water
                                        categories over the past 12 months
The new brand identity simplifies       have demonstrated Masafi’s ability
the look and feel of Masafi in an ef-   to innovate and provide a full port-
fort to communicate its vital char-     folio of choice to consumers. This
acteristics and values to consumers.    new logo will enhance Masafi’s
It epitomises Masafi’s unique brand     reputation as the leading natural
promise — ‘Premium Products for         mineral water in the market”.
Better Life’ and is designed to com-
municate the values, which drive        Masafi has grown in Oman over the
Masafi as a company — ‘Quality,         past two years with MCS winning
Purity and Transparency’.               Masafi’s Best Distributor Award for
                                        2006, achieving the highest rate of
Ashraf Abushady, chief executive        growth above market for the year.
officer, said: “Masafi is one of the    Masafi is also exceeding their expec-
leading brands in the Middle East.      tations for business growth in
The new, refreshing logo on our wa-     Oman in 2007.

                                                                                     Market Report   39
                               O
                                        man Air has introduced           equipment, colour schemes, etc.”
      Oman Air                          new in-flight menus on
                                        Muscat-Salalah-Muscat            She added: “Menu choice is made af-
    introduces                 sectors, with effect from July 1, and     ter considering passenger profile,
    new menus                  Oman Aviation Services meals cater        route, time of flight, duration of
                               to IATA’s special meal codes for di-      flight, equipment, industrial prac-
                               etary or religious reasons, said          tice, service style, eating trends —
                  Source:      Sumaya bint Saif Al Busaidi, senior       health, seasons. To enhance our
           Times of Oman       manager (catering).                       products, we utilise authentic Arab
             10 July 2007                                                dishes, expand the range of prod-
                               “We believe our customers are our         ucts on offer, redesign menu cards,
                               partners, and we constantly strive        and exploit different presentation
                               to strengthen that partnership and        concepts for the cards to break mo-
                               offer quality service,” she said.         notony. “Where applicable, the con-
                                                                         cept is standardised to a choice of a
                               “In-flight catering is an integral        regional dish, international dish
                               part of our services and our menus        and a vegetarian choice to offer
                               are planned on a three-cycle format       choice on preference to the passen-
                               which will rotate every 10 days, of-      ger”.
                               fering different menus depending on
                               rotation, and the inbound and out-        She affirmed in conclusion that food
                               bound flights,” she said.                 safety is a priority in the entire food
                                                                         production process from supplier
                               “We are committed to understand-          and product evaluation to delivery
                               ing the needs of our customers and        of the product to the respective air-
                               we place emphasis on the quality          craft.
                               and variety of food.
                                                                         HACCP principles are followed to
                               “We review our menus regularly            ensure food safety, with analysis of
                               based on customer feedback, and a         products on microbiological assess-
                               complete overhaul of menus is done        ments at different stages in the pro-
                               annually, addressing new concepts,        duction cycle, she added.




                               T
                                     he region’s biggest family rec-     This Oman-Malaysia joint venture
 ‘Green Acres’                       reational centre, known as          also underscores the scope for in-
     to feature                      ‘Green Acres’, is being devel-      creased economic ties between the
                               oped by Radiance International in         two countries.
new hotels and                 the capital area of Muscat.
                                                                         His Highness Khalifa bin Taimur Al
   recreational                Spread over an area of two million        Said, chairman and CEO of Radi-
                               square metres, this prestigious $500      ance International, disclosed the de-
      facilities               million project will consist of sev-      tails of this project at a press confer-
                               eral ‘firsts’ for the Sultanate like a    ence held at Grand Hyatt in the
                               water theme park and the largest          presence of Dato Mohammed Zamri
                  Source:      indoor playpen for children.              Mohammed Kassim, the Malaysian
           Times of Oman                                                 ambassador to the Sultanate.
             07 July 2007      Green Acres, which is a joint ven-
                               ture between Radiance Interna-            Others present at the press confer-
                               tional and Transmit Nanyang, a            ence included His Highness Harub
                               Malaysian company, is quite unlike        bin Taimur Al Said and Mohammed
                               the regular tourism projects that         Faisal Razabi, head of the Malay-
                               are coming up in Oman and is pre-         sian Chancery in Oman.
                               dominantly meant as a family des-
                               tination, according to top officials of   A number of royal family members
                               the project.                              were also present on the occasion

   40 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
besides other dignitaries.               The stress of the project is not on
                                         beachfront development but on ex-
“Green Acres is a brand that can be      ploiting the natural beauty of Oman
recreated anywhere and we want           like the mountains and wadis.
to keep it as a family recreation cen-
tre to serve the local community. It     The Green Acres project will also
is not a tourism project but tourists    create a number of job opportuni-
are also welcome,” Khalifa said.         ties for Omani nationals and will
                                         create business opportunities for
The basic elements of the project in-    the local companies.
clude a golf academy with a nine-
hole golf course and a driving range;    The Green Acres project is a proto-
4- to 5-star hotels; water theme         type and in future, Radiance Inter-
parks; theme parks; large indoor         national will be launching similar
playpen for children; miniature golf     projects but with different invest-
courses; stables; riding school;         ment groups in Dhofar, Buraimi,
equestrian sports; ranches; ranch        Sohar and other regions of the Sul-
hotel; shopping centres; entertain-      tanate.
ment mall; natural camping sites;
adventure tourism facilities; health     Radiance International, in the past
farms; and spa hotels and residen-       two years, has been studying and
tial areas.                              exploring the business and invest-
                                         ment opportunities for Omani and
A master plan has already been pre-      AGCC investment groups in Malay-
pared for the project but the exact      sia and was successful in getting a
location is yet to be announced as       number of projects.
hectic negotiations are going on
with the government, Khalifa said.       With the thrust of diplomacy being
                                         on trade and economic ties all over
Once the project is approved, it will    the world, there is a huge scope to
take at least 4-5 years before it is     further the horizons of economic co-
ready.                                   operation. Khalifa said more col-
                                         laborative ties would mean more
The Malaysian ambassador said he         investments in Oman and “we be-
was pleased with the joint venture       lieve that the government and pri-
as it could be a prelude to more         vate sectors should work together
such cooperation in the future.          in this regard”.




T
       he Sultanate government and       As per the Al Seifa project develop-
       the Muria Tourist Develop         ment agreement, the Sultanate will      Pact inked
       ment Company signed agree-        allocate six million square metres of
ments at the Ministry of Tourism,        land and the Right of Utilisation to
                                                                                 to develop
yesterday, to develop tourist            set up a fully integrated tourist       tourism
projects at Al Seifa area in the Mus-    project.
cat governorate and in the wilayat                                               projects in
of Salalah in the governorate of         Phase I of the project includes con-
Dhofar.                                  struction of five-star hotels, golf     Al Seifa,
                                         course of high standard, a berth to
Dr Rajiha bint Abdul Amir bin Ali,       accommodate 200 boats, commer-          Salalah
minister of tourism, signed the          cial centre, markets and luxury resi-
agreements on behalf of the govern-      dential units.
ment, while Eng. Sameeh Sawers,                                                  Source:
board chairman, signed on behalf of      The Muria Tourist Development           Times of Oman
the company.                             Company will undertake the imple-       02 July 2007

                                                                                      Market Report   41
                            mentation and completion of the          200 boats, commercial centre, tradi-
                            tourist utilities within a maximum       tional markets and luxury residen-
                            period of five years of the signing      tial units.
                            the agreement, in addition to the
                            setting up of infrastructural utili-     The company will undertake to
                            ties.                                    implement and complete the
                                                                     infrastructural utilities and the set-
                            The right of utilisation period will     ting up of tourist projects in a maxi-
                            be for 50 years, with a possibility of   mum period of five years of the
                            free ownership in accordance to          agreement signing date.
                            Royal Decree No. 12/2006 and its ex-
                            ecutive panel.                           The tourist area in Salalah, which is
                                                                     renowned for its unique tourist lo-
                            The Al Seifa area in the wilayat of      cation and sandy beaches, extends
                            Muscat is renowned for its tourist       from the wilayat of Salalah to Khor
                            attraction and sandy beaches. It is      Taqah, which is about 15km away
                            about 45km away from the Seeb In-        from Salalah airport.
                            ternational Airport.
                                                                     It is worth noting that the inte-
                            As per the agreement of the Salalah      grated tourist complexes comprise
                            development project, the govern-         tourist and real estate utilities.
                            ment will allocate a space of 15 mil-
                            lion square metres of land with 50       Free ownership is permitted for in-
                            years utilisation right to set up a      dividuals and establishments in ac-
                            fully integrated tourist project to be   cordance with Royal Decree No. 12/
                            implemented in two phases.               2006. The signing of the agreements
                                                                     comes within the context of the
                            Phase I comprises construction of a      Sultanate’s efforts to attract more
                            five-star hotels, a high standard golf   tourist investments.
                            courses, a berth to accommodate




                            K
                                     halfan bin Saleh bin            Lanka, and of course, Oman.
      Tango                          Mohammed Al Naabi,
with mango                           undersecretary, Ministry of     After the inauguration, the
                            Agriculture and Livestock yester-        undersecretary had a special word
     at Lulu                day inaugurated the third mango
                            festival at Lulu Hypermarket, here.
                                                                     of encouragement for the manage-
                                                                     ment of Lulu Hypermarket for
                                                                     bringing together such a large vari-
               Source:      The festival, popularly known as         ety of mangoes under one roof.
        Times of Oman       ‘Mangomania’, will showcase 110
          31 May 2007       varieties of the delicious fruit. Free   It is a mango haven, with the lus-
                            mango tasting, mouth-watering            cious variety of mangoes on display,
                            mango chats, mango-topped pizza          exuding a certain scent, that sweet
                            and mango soufflé are some of the        distinctive smell, which inevitably
                            other attractions during the festi-      means a mango is around. And you
                            val. It is being organised simulta-      just cannot help but reach out to get
                            neously at all Lulu Hypermarkets.        this exotic fruit into your hand
                                                                     when you see the golden hue.
                            Lulu has imported over 110 variet-
                            ies of mangoes from different coun-      Besides Alphonso, the king of man-
                            tries. Nearly 30 of these are from In-   goes, there is the Malliga, Malgova
                            dia, while the rest are from Thai-       and Badami from India; Sensation
                            land, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia,     from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and
                            Yemen, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri       Bada from Oman. These are some of

42 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
the significant and sweet tasting      tival will turn out to be an exciting
mangoes that are expected to be the    experience for all,” says K. A. Sha-
hot favourites among customers.        beer, general manager, Lulu Oman.

Says Zulfiker K., purchase manager     “We have put together probably the
of fruits and vegetables division of   largest array of mangoes at one
Lulu: “We have sourced mangoes         time in Muscat to open the window
from all over the world. This goes     to the world of mangoes for our cus-
on to show our seriousness in pro-     tomers here in Oman,” he added.
moting mangoes here in Muscat.”
                                       “The number of footfalls — custom-
Ananth, regional director of Lulu      ers — during these kind of promo-
Hypermarkets, Oman, said that this     tions keep increasing every year
annual promotion has been much         and it becomes a huge responsibil-
talked about by customers, and has     ity on the part of the management
gone to the extent of familiarising    to keep the customers satisfied,”
different varieties available during   Nelson Filip, general manager, said.
the season.
                                       Going by the previous ‘Mangoma-
“This year Lulu has really focused     nia’ promotion, Muscateers can defi-
on promoting healthy eating habits     nitely look forward to a sumptuous
and food in a big way and this has     time ahead, he added. Besides the
really raised the bar in terms         tempting ‘Mangomania’, customers
ofinformation dissemination by         can browse through a vast choice of
bringing out information and recipe    the latest international and regional
booklets on the subject,” he said.     brands on display. Lulu has always
                                       been an attractive shopping desti-
“We are all prepared for the           nation for customers with its fabu-
‘Mangomania’, and I’m sure the fes-    lous prices as well as prizes.




M
          uscat Municipality has       Hayak, Amerat; Hamad Al Mahrazi,
          honoured best restau-        Amerat; and Nasoor Al Seefa,
                                                                               Municipality
          rants in Bausher, Amerat,    Amerat won the Grade III award.         honours
Quriyat, Seeb and Muscat.
                                       Pizza Muscat, Pizza Hut, KFC,           restaurants
The restaurants were classified into   McDonalds, Kamilia Restaurant and
first, second and third for the pur-   Al Hail Restaurant received certifi-
pose of evaluation. Restaurants in     cates of appreciation for keeping up    Source:
Sultan Centre, Bausher; Automatic      with the guidelines issued by the       Times of Oman
Restaurant, Al Khuwair;                municipality.                           29 May 2007
Saravanabhava, Muttrah; Kamat,
Rex Road; Kamat, Ruwi; Chillies,        The awards instituted by the mu-
Seeb; Wali, Mawallah; and Auto-        nicipality are considered presti-
matic, Al Hail won the Grade I         gious for restaurants as standards
award. Omani Company for Fast          applied to choose the winners are
Food, Muttrah; Bin Atiq for Tradi-     tough. Major factors that the au-
tional Omani Food, Muttrah; Arifaq,    thorities explored included hygiene
Seeb and Asfali restaurant, Seeb       of the place; personal hygiene of
won the Grade II recognition.          people working in restaurants; stor-
                                       age facility; commitment to good
Arab World, Bausher; Tarboosh,         practices; general maintenance of
Bausher; Horizon, Muttrah; Arab        kitchen equipment; cleaning; prepa-
World, Muttrah; Amouge Restau-         ration area; and usage of disinfec-
rant, Seeb; Zanzibar Restaurant,       tants for cleaning facilities.
Seeb; African Coffee Shop, Seeb;

                                                                                    Market Report   43
                            I
                                nterContinental Hotels Group,        be available for lease.
3rd Crowne                      the global hotel company, has
Plaza hotel                     reinforced its commitment to         Tony Zamora, director of opera-
                            Oman as a thriving business and          tions, InterContinental Hotels
 in Oman to                 tourist destination by announcing
                            the development of a third Crowne
                                                                     Group, Oman said, “With the addi-
                                                                     tion of Crowne Plaza Sohar we will
  be located                Plaza hotel, in the burgeoning in-       see the group’s portfolio in the coun-
                            dustrial city of Sohar.                  try rise to 1,300 rooms, this will al-
    in Sohar                                                         low us to offer a complementary
                            The hotel, developed by owners           choice of hotels in Oman, to cater to
                            Samco Trading & Contracting, is lo-      a diverse mix of business and lei-
               Source:      cated on a hilltop in near the Sohar     sure travellers. While established
        Times of Oman       Industrial Port Company project,         global corporations and intra-re-
          20 May 2007       launched in 2002 and is set to be-       gional travel remain key to the com-
                            come the economic backbone of            mercial success of the hotel, the
                            Oman’s diversification effort.           Sohar property will also act as a vi-
                                                                     tal facility and employer for the lo-
                            Planned to open at the end of 2007,      cal community, further testament to
                            the 126-room Crowne Plaza Sohar          the group’s commitment to
                            will be the first internationally        Omanisation.”
                            branded hotel in the area. It will
                            feature a diverse mix of food and        Added Zamora, “The Sohar devel-
                            beverage, leisure, commercial and        opment is indicative of the high lev-
                            service outlets, including a Mediter-    els of industrial enterprise cur-
                            ranean restaurant, a lobby-level         rently occurring in the country and
                            patisserie, sports bar, poolside din-    we are proud to play a significant
                            ing and a banquet hall catering for      role in its success as a world-class
                            up to 400 guests.                        leisure and business destination.”

                            The extensive leisure facilities in-     Salim Macki of Samco Trading &
                            clude a bowling alley with pool and      Contracting said: “The development
                            snooker tables and a worldclass          of an established branded hotel
                            health club with a fully equipped        such as Crowne Plaza is vital to
                            gym, steam room, sauna and mas-          meet the business needs of the port
                            sage facilities, tennis courts and an    of Sohar and local business commu-
                            outdoor swimming pool. Commer-           nity. The high standards that are in-
                            cial services include boardrooms,        herent of the Crowne Plaza brand
                            meeting and training rooms fur-          and its tailormade facilities will
                            nished with state-of-the-art equip-      prove integral to international busi-
                            ment. The 800-square-metre fully         ness travellers and provide a wel-
                            serviced office space with separate      come addition to the leisure activi-
                            entrance and car parking will also       ties of the local community.”




   Yiti resort              T   he first phase of the pictur-
                                esque $1.4 billion Salam Resort
                            & Spa (Yiti) is expected to be com-
                                                                     and magnificent apartments,
                                                                     complemented by a golf course, a
                                                                     marina, a state-of-the-art wellness
  first phase               pleted by mid-2009.                      spa and eco-marina centre. The
  may go on                                                          project is being developed by the
                            Official sources told the Times of       UAE-based Sama Dubai in a joint
   stream by                Oman that when fully developed,          venture with Omran (Oman Tour-
                            over 700 hotel rooms would be            ism Development Company).
    mid-2009                available for tourists with addi-
                            tional serviced residences.              Sama Dubai is the international
               Source:                                               property development & invest-
        Times of Oman       The property offerings will include      ment subsidiary of Dubai Holdings
          14 May 2007       exclusive 5-star hotels, luxury villas   while Omran is the Oman Govern-

44 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
ment sponsored tourism develop-         tional and regional tourists as well
ment representative.                    as second-home owners in search of
                                        tranquillity, wellness and relax-
Salam Resort & Spa-Yiti is one of       ation and aims to convey the true
the two resorts being created under     essence of Oman.
the Sama Dubai Resort & Spa
brand. The other is Salam Beach Re-     Luxury villas and townhouses will
sort & Spa – Bahrain, which will be     be available for private freehold
the kingdom’s first exclusive beach     ownership to expatriates.
community.
                                        Officials of Sama Dubai are upbeat
The 3.7sq.km Salam Resort & Spa–        that Salam Resort & Spa-Yiti fits
Yiti located at a 15-minute drive       into the overall tourism component
south of Muscat, is positioned as an    of the Sultanate of Oman.
architectural testimony to Oman’s
diverse natural beauty, rich culture    “With Oman’s politically stable en-
and beauty and is poised to become      vironment and a growing economic
a prime destination for the interna-    and social system, the progression
tional luxury travel market.            of the country has resulted in a
                                        great increase in tourism. Oman’s
Building on the natural canvas pro-     dramatic deserts and coastal land-
vided by Oman’s breathtaking sur-       scapes surrounded by the azure
roundings, the Salam Mountain           waters of the Gulf of Oman com-
Beach Resort & Spa-Yiti will har-       bines to create a wonderful tourism
ness the beauty of the region, offer-   experience.
ing long stretches of beach and
spectacular views.                      In addition the historic culture of
                                        the Omani lifestyle which dates
One of the elements which makes         back 5,000 years, makes Oman a
this project appealing is the unique    truly unique destination for inter-
architecture which is inspired by       national visitors,” representatives
the Omani heritage and remains          of Sama said.
true to the traditions and culture of
the Sultanate. The mountain and         Living up to its Arabic connotation
beach club setting will also deliver    meaning of ‘peace’, the ‘Salam’ re-
a luxurious and sophisticated envi-     sorts promise harmonious living
ronment to guests seeking escape.       within the finest integrated luxury
The resort aims to attract interna-     resort communities in the world.




C   ome 2010, the Azaiba shore
    overlooking the vast expanse of
turquoise Gulf of Oman will be
                                        nies’ officials and Majid Al Futtaim
                                        Group, one of The Wave, Muscat’s
                                        main investors.
                                                                               The Wave
home to a palace of dreams.
                                                                               signs pact with
The Wave, Muscat, Oman’s leading
                                        At a ceremony Abdullah bin Abbas
                                        bin Ahmed, chairman of Muscat
                                                                               Kempinski
tourism and beachfront residential      Municipality, and chairman of The
development, announced that             Wave, Muscat, and Ulrich Eckhardt,     Source:
Kempinski Hotels, one of the leading    senior vice-president, Middle East     Times of Oman
luxury hotel groups worldwide, has      and Africa, Kempinski, exchanged       28 April 2007
signed up for a beachfront property     documents after inking the pact. En-
at the development during a cer-        thused by Oman’s strong economy
emony held here on Thursday at the      and the resurgence of the hotel in-
magnificent Emirates Palace (man-       dustry in the sultanate, Kempinski’s
aged by the Kempinski). The cer-        presence will add momentum to the
emony was attended by the compa-        tourism growth.

                                                                                    Market Report   45
                            After the signing ceremony              CEO, The Wave, Muscat, said that
                            Abdullah bin Abbas bin Ahmed            the management expertise of
                            said: “The partnership between the      Kempinski will ensure that highest
                            world-renowned Kempinski Hotels         levels of service will be savoured by
                            and The Wave, Muscat, is yet an-        our guest and residents. Wael
                            other important milestone in creat-     added: “The Kempinski Hotel will
                            ing our landmark destination. The       blend gracefully onto the Wave sur-
                            Wave, Muscat, epitomises the aspi-      roundings and offer luxurious ac-
                            ration and culture of Sultanate of      commodations and unrivalled
                            Oman and we are committed to de-        amenities complemented by impec-
                            livering exceptional residential, re-   cable service.”
                            tail and leisure facilities”.
                                                                    Wael added that the third hotel in
                            He added: “With the expertise on of-    The Wave would be announced next
                            fer from our strategic partners like    year as they are already tied up
                            Kempinski Hotels, the development       with Fairmont and Kempinski pres-
                            joins the league of the top commu-      ently. When asked if the presence of
                            nity projects in the Middle East. Our   hotels would not disturb the pri-
                            tie-up with Kempinski is part of our    vacy of the residents in the project
                            vision to involve the finest world-     Wael allayed the fears saying the
                            class companies in the field.”          residences are protected and would
                                                                    not lose privacy.
                            In his comments, Ulrich Eckhardt,
                            VP Development at Kempinski Ho-         Participating in the press confer-
                            tels, said: “We are delighted to be     ence, Ulrich said: “We are pleased
                            part of The Wave, Muscat.               and honoured to participate in
                            Kempinski has entered the regional      Oman’s premier real estate and
                            resort market in response to grow-      tourism project and guarantee to
                            ing consumer demand even as we          add value to the equation. Being
                            continue to maintain our leadership     Europe’s oldest international hotel
                            in the business travel market, en-      which is into business for the last
                            dorsed by our renowned properties       110 years and which has a strong
                            in many of the world’s key cities.”     brand name, Kempinski will be able
                                                                    to attract guests from Europe as
                            He added: “Our foray into Oman          Oman receives the largest number
                            and participation at this unique de-    of visitors from European countries.
                            velopment property further rein-
                            forces our expansion plans in the       For leisure and business guests
                            Middle East. Our property at The        alike, the name Kempinski has long
                            Wave, Muscat, will offer an excep-      been synonymous with style, nobil-
                            tional range of business and leisure    ity and efficiency. Put simply, they
                            facilities, and luxury amenities        are the first choice for the discern-
                            within a breathtaking beachside lo-     ing individual.” He further said: “In
                            cation.”                                addition to operating many of finest
                                                                    city hotels in the world, Kempinski
                            Rashid Al Saadi, board member of        is a name that now be found in
                            The Wave; Ahmed bin Brek, vice-         many exciting resort locations, each
                            chairman, board of directors, The       combining local flair and ambience
                            Wave, Muscat and representative of      with the international standards of
                            Majid Al Futtaim Investments and        service and luxury Kempinski
                            Michael Henssler, general manager,      guests have come to expect.” Ac-
                            Mall of Emirates, Abu Dhabi were        cording to Ulrich the marketing
                            present during the signing cer-         strategy would be begin with the
                            emony.                                  leisure segment. “With superb loca-
                                                                    tion, close proximity to the airport
                            Later at a press conference held yes-   and brand image of Kempinski
                            terday at the Emirates Palace here,     Oman would be able to entice tour-
                            Wael Ahmed Al Lawati, deputy            ists pretty quickly.”

46 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
Jeff Rossely, board member of the       Rich in tradition, the Kempinski
Wave and CEO of MAF Develop-            over the world comprises a fine col-
ments LLC, averred: “‘The opulence      lection of sumptuous hotels and re-
at its finest’ property will have       sorts, from the truly historic to the
about 300 rooms and will deliver        breathtakingly avant-garde.
service as a complete product.”
“The entry of Kempinski,” he said,      Today Kempinski’s prestigious port-
“would offset the shortage of good      folio comprises over 55 luxurious
five-star rooms in Oman. He said:       properties in Europe, the Middle
“With the tourism-friendly Gov-         East and Africa, Asia and South
ernment of Oman addressing the in-      America. Well known and estab-
frastructure demands and the po-        lished names such as the Hotel
tential of more air traffic from dif-   Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, the
ferent regions of the world to Oman     Cira?an Palace Kempinski in
being realised property like            Istanbul, Emirates Palace Hotel in
Kempinski would be an ideal choice      Abu Dhabi, the Kempinski Grand
for the business as well as leisure     Hotel des Bains in St Moritz and the
travellers.” Commentinmg on the         Kempinski Grand Hotel in
increasing demand for five-star ho-     Heiligendamm are part of the inter-
tel occupancy, Jeff Rossely said that   national growing group.
three years ago Oman’s five-star ho-
tel occupancy rate was 40 per cent      Upon completion, The Wave, Mus-
on an average and currently it has      cat will be a fully master planned
touched 80 per cent.”                   community occupying a total area
                                        of 2,500,000 square metres stretch-
Ahmed bin Brek, vice-chairman           ing along 6km of natural beach and
board of directors, The Wave, Mus-      will include a string of man-made
cat and representative of Majid Al      lakes and islands.
Futtaim Investments commented:
“It is particularly exciting to have    The development will encompass a
Kempinski Hotels at The Wave,           signature 18-hole green links golf
Muscat. We have worked with             course designed by renowned golfer
Kempinski at Mall of the Emirates       and designer Greg Norman, a 300
and we hope to continue our excel-      berth marina, four luxury hotels,
lent rapport with the development       retail and restaurant outlets along
of this landmark property”.             with approximately 4,000 one, two
                                        and three bedroom apartments,
Also present on the occasion was        three and four bedroom town-
Amer Al Fadhil, vice-president (Ex-     houses and garden, waterfront and
ternal Affairs), The Wave Muscat.       beachfront villas.




S
       hangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Re    Visitors to the resort will have
       sort and Spa has already be-     dreamed of living in such a unique      Deals inked
       come renowned around the         location, and now this dream is
region as one of the most superb        about to become a reality as the
                                                                                for luxury
destinations for the discerning trav-   Barr Al Jissah Residences move          residences at
eller. Nestled between majestic         ahead. Eighty-six specially designed
mountains on one side and the           luxury residences in four separate      Barr Al Jissah
sparkling turquoise waters and          areas of Barr Al Jissah will be sold
pristine beaches of the Gulf of Oman    on May 26 and signs are that they
on the other, the three luxurious ho-   will be taken up with enthusiasm.       Source:
tel properties encapsulate the es-      The residences range in size from 1     Times of Oman
sence of traditional Arabian culture    to 6 bedrooms, and all are luxuri-      15 April 2007
in an elegant contemporary oasis        ously appointed with every ame-
setting.                                nity needed for modern living.


                                                                                     Market Report   47
                              There is the perfect setting for ev-      valuable early consultations on the
                              eryone: for boating enthusiasts the       project to assist with ensuring the
                              residences named ‘Sailing’ will be in     best possible product and lifestyle
                              high demand as they are situated          for potential purchasers.
                              on the marina itself; ‘Dawn and
                              Dusk’ are named for their ambience        James Fox, MD, PRDnationwide,
                              and the views their occupants will        said: “We are extremely excited to
                              enjoy. ‘Dusk’ is located above the        be involved in Oman’s first pre-
                              marina facing the sea and the             mium boutique waterfront residen-
                              ‘Dawn’ residences are nestled into        tial development, which boasts a
                              the mountains overlooking the re-         truly unique and irreplaceable loca-
                              sort and the ocean. The jewel in the      tion and investment opportunity.”
                              residential crown is the site known
                              as ‘Pearl’. These villas will enjoy the   In addition to PRDnationwide and
                              most sought after location, on a se-      L&T (Oman), a large team of other
                              cluded beach adjacent to Al Husn,         professionals is working together
                              the resort’s 6-star luxury hotel.         on every stage of the development
                                                                        to ensure construction is to the
                              All residences are within easy reach      highest quality so as to satisfy even
                              of Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort     the most demanding buyer. Turner
                              & Spa’s extensive facilities, which       Construction International LLC is
                              occupants will be able to enjoy           managing the project, which has
                              while staying close to home. Con-         been designed by W.S. Atkins Inter-
                              tracts were signed on March 27            national & Co, who are also super-
                              with PRDnationwide to handle              vising the residences. Hanscombe
                              sales and marketing for the project,      International are acting as cost con-
                              and with L&T (Oman) to undertake          sultants, Landscape Designs are the
                              the construction. PRDnationwide           landscape consultants, and LJW De-
                              have already contributed a range of       sign Consultants are working on
                              technical and research-based ser-         the interior design. Shangri-La’s
                              vices, including feasibility studies,     Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is
                              market research, buyer profiling          known for its environmental
                              studies, pricing and design-based         awareness, and Five Oceans LLC
                              input. PRD have developed an envi-        has been engaged to undertake an
                              able reputation as a leader in their      environmental study in the Marina.
                              field and undertake research ser-         Jetty pontoons for the marina have
                              vices to obtain essential informa-        already been supplied by Septech
                              tion that determines market re-           Emirates and TBWA\Zeenah has
                              quirements, and they conducted            responsibility for advertising.




                              W
      Khimji’s                           ali of Sur Hilal bin Ali Al    Public Establishment for Industrial
                                         Busaidi inaugurated the        Estates besides Anil Khimji, director
   Mart in Sur                           National Products pro-         of Khimji Ramdas and other top
                              motion at Khimji’s Mart in Sur on         management team members.
holds national                April 22 in the presence of
                              Undersecretary of Ministry of Com-        This National Product Promotion
     products                 merce and Industry Ahmed bin              programme at Khimji’s Mart Sur is
                              Hasan Al Dheeb; — President of the        being organised under the auspices
         drive                Oman Chamber of Commerce & In-            of the National Product Promotion
                              dustry Salim Said Al Ghatami; Gen-        Committee of the Ministry of Com-
                              eral Manager of Muscat Municipal-         merce and will run for two weeks
                 Source:      ity Abdulla Mohammed Al Farsi             from April 22 to May 7.
          Times of Oman       along with members of National
           28 April 2007      Product Promotion Committee and           Khimji’s Mart organised this pro-
                              members of board of directors of the      motion in association with Nissan,

  48 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
which besides being the leading au-     Anil Khimji said: “Khimji’s Mart
tomobile seller in Oman is always       has been at the forefront of
in the forefront in supporting the      Omanisation with initiatives taken
growth of home grown companies          to organise National Products Pro-
and economy.                            motion. The main objective of this
                                        exhibition would be to provide ex-
 Besides that a number of leading       posure to Omani products in the in-
companies came forward to sup-          terior markets and build long-term
port this initiative of National        demand from the consumers for
Products Promotion which includes       these products. This will increase
Oman Mobile, Oman Flour Mills           the production and sale of such
Company, Mugatlal P. Pandya,            products thus supporting the local
Areej Vegetable Oil & Derivatives,      manufacturers and distributors.”
Al Kamayil, Ali Shahani Food In-
dustry, Middle East Disinfectant, Al    Adil Ghouse, general manager (Con-
Felaj Plastics, Oman Foodstuff Fac-     sumer Products Group) said : “To
tory & many more.                       popularise this promotion, adver-
                                        tising leaflets and flyers carrying
Several special offers on fruits and    details of the products and promo-
vegetable, groceries, crockery, mo-     tions have been distributed in Sur
bile phones and accessories are         and neighbouring towns.
available at the outlet.




O
          man Air’s Catering Busi-      from Intra Gulf and Middle East
          ness Unit launched its 2007   routes, determining what the pas-
                                                                                 Oman Air
          product at a recent food      senger actually expects and what is      launches new
presentation held at their “state-of-   actually feasible to supply onboard.
the-art” flight catering facility at    With the recent introduction of new      menus for
Seeb International Airport in Mus-      routes to Intra Gulf, i.e., Doha,
cat. A 10,000 sq metre premises in-     Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait,       Gulf, Middle
augurated in 2002 is reputed to be      Salalah and Middle East, i.e.,
the most modern within the Gulf         Amman it has become necessary to         East sectors
region and boasts a full in–house       regionalise the foods offered to sat-
production capability. The empha-       isfy the authentic palate of those       Source:
sis of customer service being a ma-     from these particular sectors.           Times of Oman
jor priority to Oman Air enabled                                                 17 April 2007
the awarding of ISO 9001:2000 cer-      “Many of the catering services have
tificate to be achieved.                been enhanced with cycles of menus
                                        changing every 10 days
This event which is held in the pres-   complimenting the new onboard
ence of senior airline officials, in-   and giving more variety – espe-
vited dignitaries and a selection of    cially noticeable for those frequent
frequent flyers presents an ideal op-   travellers. Greater emphasis has
portunity to view the current           also been taken to utilise and pro-
trends of in-flight products served     vide “local Omani produced prod-
within the region as well as observ-    ucts” wherever possible, thus sup-
ing the ways in which Oman Air          porting and encouraging local busi-
have addressed and improved the         nesses.
requirements of its clientele.
                                        Once implemented, travelling pas-
Sumaya Al Busaidi, senior manager       sengers will now be able to view in
catering said that the development      advance what they can expect to re-
and planning team of the Catering       ceive onboard, by simply logging on
Business Unit have spend the recent     to the newly upgraded website —
months collating feedback and data      as a full listing of meals served will

                                                                                      Market Report   49
                            be available for all to view ,” she       panies around the world “out
                            added.                                    source” much of their operations.

                            Senior manager catering further           “The advantages are that with the
                            avowed that an additional full            ability to produce goods from raw
                            range of dietary and medical meals        materials by skilled staff – the cus-
                            are also available as a free service to   tomer airline has no restrictions of
                            passengers travellling within all         supply or quality to worry about.
                            classes, however, these must be           The skills of the chefs and cooks are
                            specified at the time of booking giv-     constantly being enhanced with
                            ing notice at least 24 hours in ad-       many internal development pro-
                            vance of the due travel date.             grams undertaken internally, lo-
                                                                      cally and overseas. An onsite chef
                            The catering production facility          instructor – evaluates the training
                            currently produces an average of          needs of the production brigade for
                            11,000 meals each day for many in-        final consideration to undergo in-
                            ternational carriers departing Mus-       tensive culinary skills based in-
                            cat – of which Oman Air makes up          struction.”
                            over 35 per cent of this figure — an
                            indication of how the national flag       She concluded saying. It is expected
                            carrier has expanded its operations       with the future envisaged growth of
                            during the past year.                     tourism and expansion of the air-
                                                                      port – the catering facility is likely
                            The recent acquisition of an Arabic       to continue to grow from strength
                            bread plant – has enabled the             to strength over the next few years.
                            kitchen operation to now attain an        Oman Air seems confident that the
                            almost totally an in-house produc-        introduction of the new menus will
                            tion capability – this being ex-          significantly add to the enjoyment
                            tremely rare as many similar com-         of the flight once introduced.




                            A
 Omani fish                         number of Omani fish ex-          Oman Fisheries, who were display-
                                    porting companies partici-        ing value-added products such as
  exporters                         pated at the International        fish nuggets, fish fingers, shrimp
expect $4m                  Seafood Fair, which concluded in          crispies, fish burgers etc., had a
                            Boston, USA, last Tuesday.                good appeal from the sampling car-
    order at                                                          ried by them all through the fair.
                            The companies’ participation at the
Boston Fair                 fair was organised by Omani Cen-          The participants felt confident after
                            tre for Investment Promotion and          having met many of the importers,
                            Exports Development (Ociped) in           distributors of fresh, frozen and
               Source:      coordination with the Ministry of         value-added seafood which would
        Times of Oman       Agriculture and Fisheries.                result in substantial order genera-
        17 March 2007                                                 tion to the tune of $4 million.
                            The Omani fish companies — Oman
                            Fisheries, Al Bahihi Fish Freezing        The Omani exporters had a fair ex-
                            Company, Ideal Marine, Al Hamadi          posure of the latest equipment, ma-
                            Fisheries and Asmak Quriyat Inter-        chineries and technology used for
                            national — which participated at          fish processing as well as different
                            the fair, had a very good response        packing methods.
                            for all the products that were dis-
                            played such as tuna, tuna loins, lob-     The Omani pavilion attracted a lot
                            sters, lobster tails, shrimps, grou-      of people who watched with keen
                            pers, sea breams and other                interest the harvesting of tuna
                            dermesal species.                         which was displayed on video by
                                                                      Asmak Quriyat International.

50 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
L
       ulu Hypermarkets and Su-          Two new facilities exclusively avail-
       permarkets, the largest retail    able in this new Lulu Hypermarket       Juma to open
       chain in the Middle East will     are the bulk shopping area and a
be opening its fourth hypermarket        demonstration cubicle for custom-
                                                                                 Lulu’s fourth
at the Al Burj Complex in Seeb to-       ers wanting to purchase car stereos.    hypermarket
morrow.
                                         This innovative cubicle is fitted       in Seeb
Juma bin Ali bin Juma, minister of       with a car console complete with
manpower, will be inaugurating           steering wheel. A stereo system of
this hypermarket located at the          your choice will be fitted in the mu-   Source:
renovated Al Burj Complex, which         sic slot of the dashboard and you       Times of Oman
the EMKE Group had taken over six        will be able to listen to the music     02 December 2006
months ago.                              exactly as you would in a car to en-
                                         able you to make better a choice.
The new Lulu Hypermarket is the
fourth after Bausher, Darsait, and       The Omani products, though not
Sohar in the Sultanate and is the        segregated will be highlighted with
group’s 56th shopping centre.            the products logo in each shelf.

Spread across an area of more than       Yusuffali M A, managing director of
160,000sqft and fitted with most         EMKE Group said in a statement
modern shopping facilities and ca-       here: “After taking over the Al Burj
pacity to park more than 1,000 cars,     Complex, we have extensive reno-
the Lulu Hypermarket Al Burj will        vation with latest imported prod-
cater to the needs of the people liv-    ucts and now we are fully ready to
ing in Seeb, Mawaleh, Barka, Hail        welcome the shoppers with the big-
and other surrounding areas which        gest range of best quality products
are fast expanding into residential      at the most affordable prices.”
hubs.
                                         EMKE Group with operations in 16
Other outlets at the Lulu Hyper-         countries has over 15,000 employ-
market include Damas & Pure Gold         ees from 28 countries. The group
Jewellery, UAE Exchange, Lulu            will be opening nine new hyper-
Pharmacy, Amalia Perfumes,               markets and shopping malls in Abu
Techlink Computers, Dar Optics,          Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, Bahrain,
Mobile Shop among other outlets.         Saudi Arabia and India in 2007.




O
         rganic House, Oman’s first      netically modified and is richer in
         organic food outlet prom        vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
                                                                                 Organic food
         ises food with all its nutri-                                           outlet at Al
ents intact; juices that contain no      Organic House Managing Director
preservatives; and above all, safe,      Mohammed Dagmash says: “All             Masa Mall
healthy and better tasting foodstuff.    over the world, there has been a
                                         conscious shift to healthy eating
Inaugurated by Eng. Salim bin Said       habits. Organic food is probably the    Source:
Al Ghattami, chairman, Oman              healthiest you can find anywhere        Times of Oman
Chamber of Commerce and Indus-           and with awareness levels rising,       17 December 2006
try at Al Masa Mall, Al Sarooj, Or-      it’s time to bring the best to Oman.
ganic House offers Omanis a chance       The response, even though it is re-
to discover the real taste of food —     ally early to say, has exceeded even
grown without any chemicals or           my expectations” Organic House is
pesticides, that have not been ge-       open from 10.00am to 11.00pm


                                                                                      Market Report   51
                            A
                                     new macaroni plant is ex        ciency in food, food security promo-
     Salalah                        pected to come up within         tion, privatisation and export pro-
        Mills                       the Salalah industrial estate    motion.
                            over the next one-and-a-half years.
    to set up               The project is being undertaken by
                            Salalah Mills Co. (SAOG) following
                                                                     “Pasta such as macaroni is made of
                                                                     durum wheat which is an inexpen-
    macaroni                the completion of a recent feasibility   sive and healthy source of nutri-
                            study conducted by the company.          tion,” said Al Dhahab. The upcom-
        plant                                                        ing plant will incorporate the most
                            “The plant will cover the local as       modern and environment-friendly
                            well as the export market including      technology while conforming to the
              Source:       countries like Africa and Yemen,”        best practices in hygiene and safety,
         Oman Tribune       said Ahmed Al Dhahab, General            he added.
     29 December 2006       Manager of Salalah Mills Company.
                            Construction of the plant will begin     Established in 1995 Salalah Mills is
                            in early 2007 and the plant will be      a joint stock company with a total
                            completed in 2008.                       investment of about RO7 million.
                                                                     The company is located in Raysut
                            Billed as the country’s largest pasta    Industrial Estate just 3km from
                            processing plant yet, the new plant      Salalah Port to cater to the markets
                            will offer competition to interna-       of Oman, Yemen and East Africa. Its
                            tional players in the segment while      products include white flour,
                            reducing the local market’s depen-       baker’s flour, Arabic flour, atta,
                            dence on imports, according to           chakki atta and brown bread flour.
                            Dhahab.                                  In addition, the company also pro-
                                                                     duces Harees, Jareesh, Semolina,
                            This, he added, is in line with the      barley, feed flour, barley and wheat
                            government’s policy of self-suffi-       bran mix and wheat bran.




                            C
                                     hicken Shewarma Pizza’, a       Trial runs of the Chicken Shewarma
    ‘Chicken                         completely ‘Omanised’ pizza     Pizza showed that 90 per cent of the
                                     was launched by Pizza Mus-      customers were satisfied with the
  Shewarma                  cat at its Al Harthy outlet.             taste and flavour, officials said.
       Pizza’               The hitherto ubiquitous ‘chicken         While asserting that the concept of
   launched                 shewarma’, which was a working           this shewarma pizza is teamwork,
                            snack consumed on the run by one         the idea was generated some
                            and all, has found its way onto the      months ago when a customer
                            tables of pizza lovers.                  walked into Pizza Muscat and
                Source:                                              asked for a chicken shewarma.
         Times of Oman      “Now pizza lovers can have a taste
     19 December 2006       of both the worlds with chicken          While it did seem to be an out of the
                            shewarma pizza,” says K. S.              blue order in a pizza outlet, the
                            Chakrovarty, operations manager          management decided that if chicken
                            of Pizza Muscat, while introducing       shewarma was what the customers
                            this new pizza to the media persons      wanted they would get it only in a
                            during a press conference.               pizza. Production manager
                                                                     Kamlesh Rathod worked on the
                            Pizza Muscat also launched veg-          technical details of producing a
                            etable spring rolls as part of their     chicken shewarma pizza with the
                            menu along with Chicken                  right ingredients and flavour.
                            Shewarma Pizza. Both these new
                            delicacies will be available at Pizza    Chicken Shewarma Pizza comes in
                            Muscat outlets located in Al             two varieties of deep pan and
                            Khuwair, Al Harthy Complex as            cheese crust with prices ranging be-
                            well as MBD.                             tween RO4.3 and RO2.

52 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
L
       ulu’s second edition of the       able to involve the British Embassy
       ‘Best of UK’ products promo-      as it gives us a much wider plat-       Lulu launches
       tion got underway yesterday.      form to broadcast the message. We
The event, inaugurated by British        also have plenty of independent
                                                                                 promotion of
Ambassador Dr Noel Guckian in the        wholesalers from Oman and across        ‘Best of UK’
presence of officials form the British   the world who are supporters of
Embassy, senior management of            British products and this event         products
Lulu and other officials, is organised   gives us a great opportunity to
by the UK Trade & Investment.            showcase these products.”
                                                                                 Source:
Lulu opened up this year’s promo-        We are delighted that the British       Times of Oman
tion on a larger scale the highlight     Embassy is associating with this        14 December 2006
of which was the presence of the         year’s event yet again, especially
traditional Scottish Piper. The inno-    with the addition of more Lulu out-
vative promotion is designed to          lets, the latest being the Lulu
show off the excellence of British       Hypermarket – Al Burj Complex,
produce to the local market and has      promotions like these really act as
all the ingredients of a quality expe-   catalyst for the retailing business,”
rience.                                  said Shabeer K.A., general manager,
                                         Lulu.
The ‘Best of UK’ products promotion
at Lulu celebrates the wonderful ar-     Keeping the festive spirit in mind,
ray and diversity of British food        Lulu has also displayed a wide
and it’s not just food on show either,   range of Christmas goodies and
there’s outdoor equipment, cook-         trimmings. Cakes, cheese, pickles,
ware, cosmetics, and plenty of other     chutneys, apple juice, pates, Cor-
items. Lulu will also be highlighting    nish pastries and traditional mar-
the event in store with banners,         malades are just some of the thou-
leaflets and local foods, while spe-     sands of tasty British specialty
cial offers will focus on British        foods that will adorn the shelves
products.                                during the period. The ‘Best of UK’
                                         products show is a shopper’s
Ananth A.V., regional director, Lulu     heaven, with everything from cook-
Hypermarket said: “We’ve been            ware to cat food under one roof.




V
        iva Italia, a ten-day exhibi     luxury sedan, Mazzerati, is also on
        tion of Italian products, was    display outside the supermarket.
                                                                                 Viva Italia
        inaugurated yesterday at Al                                              inaugurated
Fair supermarket in Madinat Sultan       Viva Italia promotion is also run-
Qaboos by Dr Ferdinando Fiore,           ning simultaneously at other Al
trade commissioner, Italian Trade        Fair outlets in CCC, Markaz Al
Commission, Dubai. Officials of          Bahja and Sarooj.                       Source:
other embassies were present.                                                    Times of Oman
                                         “The opening of Viva Italia promo-      07 December 2006
Showcasing the best of Italy, Viva       tion in the prestigious Madinat Sul-
Italia features mainly food products     tan Qaboos store is part of our de-
as well as lifestyle items that depict   velopment efforts that will
the renowned Italian lifestyle. As       strengthen Al Fair’s position as the
part of the festive season, special      retailer of choice in Oman,” said
Italian cakes, pastas, tomato pastes,    Sarel Myburgh, deputy general
olive oils etc., are also on display.    manager of Al Fair, who is also in-
                                         charge of all Al Fair supermarkets
All products exhibited are marked        in Oman.
with Italian flags to bring aware-
ness among the customers.                “There are around 1,000 items from
As part of the Italian flavour, a        Italy, which are renowned, on dis-

                                                                                      Market Report   53
                            play here. And it is our pleasure to    Tarek Chazli, deputy head of mis-
                            showcase so many Italian prod-          sion and commercial attaché at the
                            ucts,” Sarel disclosed.                 Italian Embassy, said he was proud
                                                                    to be associated with the event.
                            Dr Ferdinando Fiore, while thank-
                            ing the Italian Embassy in Muscat       Viva Italia was an attempt to por-
                            for bringing about this event, said     tray the unforgettable lifestyle of
                            that this was an attempt to bring       Italy, not only through the food, but
                            awareness among the expats in           through a mixture of food, music
                            Oman about the world famous Ital-       and lifestyle and the Italian way of
                            ian food sector.                        life, he said.




                            T
                                   he Food Expo 2006 was inau       Factory Company LLC, one of the
   Maimani                         gurated at the Oman Interna      Omani companies participating at
                                   tional Exhibition Centre on      the expo. The company has all kinds
opens Food                  Sunday by HE Ahmed Bin Suleiman         of date products, including date
 Expo 2006                  Al Maimani, Undersecretary for          syrup and date chocolates.
                            Administrative and Financial Af-
                            fairs at the Ministry of Commerce       Sixty to 70 per cent of the
              Source:       and Industry, and Khalid Bin            company’s products are exported,
         Oman Tribune       Hamad Bin Hamoud Al Busaidi,            mainly to Asian countries and also
     04 December 2006       Chairman of Omanexpo LLC.               to Canada and Syria. “We are the
                                                                    exclusive supplier for Muscat Duty
                            “Trade exhibitions like Food Expo       Free shop and Abu Dhabi Duty
                            plays an important role in bringing     Free,” said BC Lincoln, marketing
                            new products into the Sultanate as      manager of United Dates Factory
                            well as in forging close ties between   Company.
                            local companies and their foreign
                            partners,” said Al Maimani.             “I am happy to see that many lead-
                                                                    ing companies from Oman have a
                            Over 55 exhibitors from Oman and        strong presence in the exhibition.
                            other countries like Germany, Italy,    This speaks highly of the healthy
                            the UK, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tunisia    competition in the market and it
                            and the UAE are taking part in the      also indicates the existence of major
                            expo.                                   opportunities that drive the rapid
                                                                    growth of the Sultanate’s food and
                            The Food Expo 2006 will be open         beverage industry,” said Al
                            until Tuesday. Products on display      Maimani.
                            are a range of food items, catering
                            equipment, packaging products, bar      AKAH Najwani & Partners, the
                            accessories, kitchen utensils and re-   largest catering equipment supplier
                            frigeration systems.                    in Oman and major sponsor of Food
                                                                    Expo 2006, is heading the list of
                            “The expo welcomes all visitors         Omani companies that are partici-
                            who want to know about new food         pating in the expo.
                            products, the latest kitchen equip-
                            ment and other products related to      Other major participants include
                            food preparation, food processing       A’Saffa Poultry Farms SAOG, Gen-
                            and food manufacturing,” said CJ        eral Electric & Trading Co., Sharikah
                            Paul, general manager of Oman           Fanniyah Omaniyah, Al Bayader
                            Expo LLC.                               International, Matrah Cold Stores,
                                                                    Sohar Poultry Co., and Oman Gulf
                            Omani dates flavoured with coffee       Enterprises. The expo will be open
                            or other fruit are some of the prod-    for the next three days from 10am
                            ucts showcased by the United Dates      to 1pm and from 4.30pm to 9pm.

54 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
F
      resh meat supplies across the      All three companies run country-
      Sultanate are set to be bol-       wide distribution networks, ensur-
                                                                                  Freighter
      stered ahead of the key Eid al     ing ready supplies of live animals       arrives with
Fitr holiday with the arrival of a       for both retail customers and well
livestock carrier bearing a major
consignment of Australian sheep.
                                         as wholesalers.                          36,000 heads
                                         Roughly half of MV Al Kuwait’s           of Australian
The freighter, MV Al Kuwait,             cargo will be lifted by Al Batna
docked at Port Sultan Qaboos last        Livestock, while the rest is ear-        sheep
afternoon and began discharging its      marked for Al Buraimi and Malam
cargo of 36,000 head of sheep —          Barka. Livestock transporters ar-
billed as among the largest single       ranged by all three companies were
shipments of livestock handled at        on hand yesterday to take delivery       Source:
Muscat.                                  of the cargo. A specially designed       Oman Observer
                                         ramp provided by the port allows         14 October 2006
Given the size of the shipment, dis-     for the sheep to be quickly and eas-
charge operations are expected to        ily herded directly into the truck.
last until late in the evening, said a   Prior to the discharge, a team from
representative of Inchcape Shipping      the Ministry of Agriculture and
Services, agents for MV Al Kuwait        Fisheries and the Quarantine Unit
in the Sultanate. “Indeed, this con-     boards the vessel to inspect the live-
signment is one of the largest live-     stock. The unloading takes place at
stock cargoes we’ve handled at           the rate of 1,000 — 1,500 head per
Muscat in recent years,” Thomas          hour.
Mathew, manager (Marine Ser-
vices), Inchcape Shipping, said.         Despite a recent spike in fresh meat
                                         prices at supermarkets and butch-
Inchcape Shipping presently              eries, demand continues to remain
handles around 80 per cent of all        robust, according to traders. Fortu-
livestock ship calls at Port Sultan      nately for consumers, price of live
Qaboos. Among its biggest princi-        sheep is expected to be only a tad
pals is the Kuwait Livestock and         above last Eid’s trends. The increase,
Trading Company (KLT) which op-          estimated at $4 per head of sheep
erates a large fleet of special live-    (roughly RO 1.500), is attributed to
stock carriers, including MV Al Ku-      a number of factors, notably higher
wait. KLT has been serving Oman          freight costs, stronger value of the
for the last several years, with an      Australian dollar, and greater de-
average of two vessel calls per          mand for Australian meat. Conse-
month at Muscat. According to live-      quently, live Australian sheep are
stock importers, Al Kuwait’s con-        expected to retail at around RO 37-
signment is large enough to meet         38 per head during Eid, as against
demand for fresh Australian mut-         last season’s average of RO 36 per
ton for the remainder of the holy        head, say traders.
month of Ramadhan, as well as
during the crucial Eid holiday.          Significantly, Australia livestock is
                                         seeing market share gradually
“Demand during Eid is estimated at       whittled down in favour of Somali
around 10,000 head of sheep, which       goats, which is making steady in-
leaves ample stocks for the rest of      roads into the local market. Shipped
Ramadhan, as well for the post-Eid       by dhow to Salalah and then
period. Consequently, there should       trucked to different parts of the
be no concerns whatsoever about          country, Somali livestock currently
the market being undersupplied,”         accounts for about half of national
said a representative of Al Buraimi      demand. Although smaller in size
Livestock, which along with Al           and lighter in weight compared to
Batna Livestock and Malam Barka          the Australian sheep, these goats
Livestock are among the biggest im-      are finding increasing favour with
porters of sheep and other livestock.    some expatriate Arab communities,

                                                                                       Market Report   55
                            it is pointed out.                       mali goats. For around RO 37, cus-
                                                                     tomers get an Australian sheep
                            Still, demand for Australian sheep       weighing as much as 50-60 kilos. In
                            remains strong as consumers see          contrast, a Somali goat, costing
                            better value for money when com-         around RO 20-22, weighs around
                            pared, weight-for-weight, with So-       only 20-25 kilos.




                            A
                                    ‘Sufailah or Abalone fishing     Abalone nutrition and breeding is
      Abalone                       season began in the Dhofar       carried during night time. Many
       fishing                      Governorate on Saturday.         Omanis are engaged in Abalone
                            Omani coastal areas are rich in          fishing. Divers need to dive 10
       season               these natural resources, Abalone is      metres down the sea bed to get the
                            available in the Omani waters and        Abalone.
     begins in              is concentrated in the coastal strip
                            of Dhofar Governorate in the area        Fishermen, use a knife like tool, and
       Dhofar               between the wilayat of Mirbat and        basket tied to their waist to strip off
                            Sharbathat area in particular. It is a   the abalone shell normally attached
              Source:       famous international sea-food. The       to the rocks.
        Oman Tribune        average price per kilogram is RO50.
      29 October 2006                                                Oxygen cylinders and modern
                            Last year, production of the Aba-        equipment are not permitted in
                            lone in Dhofar Governorate ac-           Abalone fishing in order to safe-
                            counted for 50 tonnes. The               guard the catch. The diver takes the
                            abundancy of Abalone in the Sul-         hardship in extracting the Abalone,
                            tanate was attributed to concentra-      coupled with low sea temperature,
                            tion of water outflow phenomenon         abundant grass at Abalone sites,
                            in this area, that is, vertical deep     snake fishes which pose threat to
                            water movement and gushing pro-          the lives of divers.
                            cess, resulting from the south-east-
                            ern seasonal winds, to the surface.      Abalone is sold to merchants who
                                                                     in turn boil them and spread them
                            These waters contain significant         on special wooden surface. They are
                            quantities of micro foodstuff.           then dried in the sun. Abalone, after
                            The Ministry of Agriculture and          being canned will be exported to
                            Fisheries, is making efforts to pro-     East Asian countries.
                            tect this marine wealth from extinc-
                            tion. In this connection, the minis-     The high cost of Abalone is attrib-
                            try had fixed specific season during     uted to the restrictions regarding
                            the year to fish for Abalone while       fishing, the number of competing
                            the remaining period of the year         companies and high demand for the
                            was specified for breeding. The min-     Omani Abalone, which is known for
                            istry had also banned fishing for        its quality.
                            Abalones with a shell diametre less
                            than 9cm. Studies suggest that Aba-      Studies indicated a remarkable de-
                            lone could live for 10 years, while      cline in Abalone catches in recent
                            its shell reaches 18cms. Aabalone,       years. So, the Ministry of Agricul-
                            which feeds on algae and sea grass,      ture and Fisheries decided to re-
                            is located at rock beds.                 strict the size of permissible Aba-
                                                                     lone catches, methods of fishing,
                            Though, Abalone is located in the        and application of a strict monitor-
                            coastal area, stretching from the        ing system.
                            wilayat of Mirbat to Shirbathat
                            area in the wilayat of Shaleem and       The Directorate-General of Agricul-
                            Al Halaniyat islands, most of the        ture, Livestock and Fisheries in
                            production is concentrated in            Dhofar Governorate is issuing div-
                            Hadbeen area in the wilayat of           ing permits for divers through its
                            Sadah.                                   centres in the wilayat of Mirbat.

56 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
B
       ombay Sweets is offering a        According to the management, this
       variety of sweets this festive    is their first outlet. The tremendous
                                                                                  Celebrate
       season. Prepared under strict     interest that this outlet has created    festivals with
quality control and keeping in mind      has prompted the management to
religious traditions and culture,
Bombay Sweets has a range of milk-
                                         start another Chaat Corner on Rex
                                         Road as well, which will have
                                                                                  delicious
based and mawa-based goodies             plenty of space for parking and din-     offerings from
made with the best ingredients.          ing.
                                                                                  Bombay
The range of milk-based prepara-         It has plans to open an outlet that
tions, Bengali sweets, halwa and         will have extensive facilities and a     Sweets
burfi are prepared on a daily basis.     special hall for birthday parties,
The shop, which started in Ruwi,         which will be ready in a couple of       Source:
has since expanded and now has           months.                                  Oman Tribune
branches in Al Khuwair, Makha                                                     21 October 2006
Business Centre and Rex Road,            Bombay Sweets has carved a niche
apart from the many supermarkets         for itself and always catered to cus-
where their products are sold.           tomers’ needs by providing the
                                         tastiest sweets, savouries and
This had prompted the manage-            chaats for the past 15 years. There is
ment of Bombay Sweets to open a          also a special offer of sweet boxes
Chaat Corner in Makkah Business          along with sweets purchased at the
Centre in Ruwi High Street.              shop.




O
        man Agriculture Develop-         dairy products during the Holy
        ment Company (OADC),             Month of Ramadan. If products are
                                                                                  OADC keeps
        producers of Sohar Fresh         unavailable, customers can call the      milk market
Milk, has assured customers that         chief marketing manager on
the company is supplying all its
products in large quantities daily to
                                         99315269, or call for assistance on
                                         99479184 and 95054465.
                                                                                  well supplied
supermarkets and grocery shops
throughout the country, with the         Customers in the capital can also        Source:
exception of Salalah.                    contact the capital home delivery        Oman Tribune
                                         salesperson on 92443599 and              11 October 2006
The company also makes Sohar             92923172. In addition, the
Fresh Yoghurt, Sohar Fresh Laban,        company’s Sohar office or the mar-
Sohar Full Cream Laban, Jeera            keting office in Ghala can be con-
Laban and other dairy products.          tacted on 26840301 or 24503259.
The company says there is no short-
age of milk and it is getting approxi-   OADC’s General Manager Suhail
mately 3 per cent return from the        Khan says the company is in the
market everyday.                         process of expanding production fa-
                                         cilities in view of the increased de-
OADC’s marketing department has          mand for dairy products. For this
noticed that in some supermarkets        purpose, the company has ordered
the product is stocked in cold stor-     new equipment that will be in place
age and not displayed on the             in another four months. In the
shelves. Such outlets have been re-      meantime, during the Holy Month
quested to do away with this prac-       of Ramadan, OADC has increased
tice and display all products on         production by 10 per cent and other
their shelves so that customers are      plans are being studied to increase
not under the impression that there      production further.
is a shortage.
                                         The company reassured customers
The company says that there has          that it is doing its best to keep the
been no increase in the price of         market well supplied.

                                                                                       Market Report   57
                            A
                                    special aquaculture centre      through aquaculture is superior.
     Special                       will be constructed this         Nowadays, we are breeding com-
aquaculture                        year in Marina Bandar Al         mercially valuable species like
                            Rowdah, according to Abdul Aziz         shrimp, sea bass, grouper and
centre to be                Al Marzouqi, head of the Marine Bi-
                            ology Laboratory at the Marine Sci-
                                                                    tuna,” said Al Farsi.

set up soon                 ence and Fisheries Centre, Muscat.      According to the Marine Science
                                                                    and Fisheries Centre, 460 tonnes of
                            “We will start off with abalone fish    sea bream, 27 tonnes of sea bass,
                            and shrimp culture,” said Ismail        220kg of grouper and six tonnes of
              Source:       Ibrahim Al Farsi, a specialist in       mullet were produced in Omani
        Oman Tribune        aquaculture at the centre. The focus    waters between 2003 and 2005. For
      01 October 2006       will be on the development of spe-      example, there is a fish farm in
                            cies through tuna and shrimp farm-      Bandar Al Khiran (about 40km from
                            ing.                                    Muscat) that has a production ca-
                                                                    pacity of 250 tonnes per year. An
                            Aquaculture comprises shore farm-       aquaculture farm also exists in
                            ing and fish farming. Shore farming     Quriyat.
                            is conducted on private land, while
                            fish farming is done in public wa-      “We have received more than 20 ap-
                            ters. Fish farms have existed in        plications for new ventures in fish
                            Oman since 1992. Each farm usually      farming,” said Al Marzouqi.
                            comprises about 10 cages with an        According to Al Farsi, the annual
                            annual production capacity of 250       per capita consumption of fish in
                            tonnes. Each species - like sobaity,    Oman is 25kg to 40kg. Other Gulf
                            hamour or yellow fin tuna – has a       Cooperation Council (GCC) states
                            cage allotted to it. The fish is bred   with commercial shrimp farms are
                            over a year and fed thrice a day        the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arab).
                            with protein, hormones and antibi-      Saudi Arabia produces 10,000
                            otics.                                  tonnes of shrimp annually.

                            “Some fish require antibiotics, for     The history of fish farming dates
                            instance sea bass, because they are     back to 2,500BC. In Europe, it be-
                            not resistant to disease,” said Al      came common during the Middle
                            Farsi. “Divers check the nets daily,    Age when fish was scarce and ex-
                            but sometimes fish from outside get     pensive. The current boom in
                            into the cages which can affect the     aquaculture began in the 1960s
                            ecosystem.”                             when worldwide fish prices soared.

                            Around 713 tonnes of fish - mostly      Today, China and other Southeast
                            sea bass and sea bream - were           Asian countries are by far the larg-
                            farmed in Oman in 2003, according       est producers of farmed fish.
                            to the centre. On average, one kilo-
                            gram of sea bream produced here         According to State of World Fisher-
                            costs about RO2.                        ies and Aquacultures in 2004, a re-
                                                                    port by the Food and Agriculture
                            “Small sea bream was imported           Organisation of the United Nations
                            from France or Greece. The quality      (FAO), the growth of aquaculture
                            of the water and the high tempera-      production of fish, crustaceans and
                            tures in Oman are conducive to          molluscs in developing countries
                            aquaculture. Also, the cost of farm-    has exceeded the corresponding
                            ing is lower than in Europe,” said Al   growth in developed countries, pro-
                            Farsi. “However, in the past, all       ceeding at an average annual rate of
                            equipment related to aquaculture        10.4 per cent since 1970. In contrast,
                            had to be imported into the coun-       aquaculture production in devel-
                            try,” he said.                          oped countries has been increasing
                                                                    at an average rate of 4.0 per cent per
                            “The quality of fish obtained           year.

58 Food & Hotel Oman 2009
H
         ypermarkets and even           rated and even powdered milk have
          small grocery stores have     dwindled as customers stock up on
                                                                                  Muscat
          run out of fresh milk in      every available option.                   running out
Muscat in the past 48 hours. Man-
agers of a few hypermarkets told
Oman Tribune yesterday evening
                                        “We have asked our suppliers to
                                        give us their held-over stocks, but it
                                                                                  of milk
that the shortage has been caused       is very doubtful that these will be
by a near four-fold rise in demand.     able to meet even the short-term de-
There is fresh milk available in        mand,” said Ashwath.                      Source:
some places, which stock produce                                                  Oman Tribune
from the Sultanate’s dairies. How-      Other hypermarkets that were af-          25 September 2006
ever, customers who wish to buy         fected by the shortage include
only branded imported fresh milk        Safeer Hypermarket. Outside the
may have to do without it until the     Safeer Mart branch in Athaiba, cus-
supplier is able to import fresh        tomers were frustrated about the
stocks.                                 sudden shortage. “It’s so bad, even
                                        flavoured milk cannot be found
At Lulu Hypermarket in Bousher,         anywhere. I don’t know where to
the evening rush was more than          go,” said Reena Gomes, a resident of
usual. Customers were making a          Athaiba who returned empty-
beeline for the dairy section only to   handed from Safeer Supermarket.
return empty-handed.                    “Consumption has drastically in-
                                        creased and we’re trying our level
“This kind of demand is totally un-     best to meet the sudden escalation
precedented,” said Ashwath N,           in demand,” said Agnelo, manager
Lulu department store manager.          of the branch.
“We really don’t know what to do.
The farms that are supplying us         “We normally order 100 to 150
with milk claim that they may not       units (2litre cans) of Al Marai (im-
be able to produce enough to meet       ported from KSA) and Al Rawabi
the demand. Also, the full capacity     (Dubai) per day, but now demand
of the dairy farms has to be consid-    has gone up to more than 250 units,
ered. Meeting demand is only pos-       and that’s going to be tough to meet.
sible if overall capacity can be im-    We have turned to local producers
mediately increased, and that is a      like Oman Agricultural Company
big question mark. As this demand       and Modern Dairy Farm (Al
was not foreseen, we still have to      Khamayil milk) for help. We nor-
negotiate and find out what can be      mally bring in 10 crates of assorted-
done.”                                  size Al Khamayil milk cans per day,
                                        but today we had to order more
“The problem is, all the                than 60 crates.”
hypermarkets have only one sup-
plier. So the situation is the same     Besides milk, supplies of labaan
everywhere. It is impossible to         have also fallen, and consumers are
come up with a solution overnight,      getting irate.
and currently we are trying to pla-
cate customers and manage this un-      “The worst part is dealing with the
foreseen situation. Farms right now     customers. It is very difficult to tell
are supplying us only once - in the     them that we do not know when
mornings - but that’s evidently not     more stock will arrive. But as far as
enough.                                 I have heard, major dairy farms are
                                        planning to increase capacity.
We will need supplies twice a day if    It’s only the first day of Ramadan,
we have to meet the demand from         so supplies will have to start com-
the evening rush. But as of now, this   ing in if demand has to be met over
seems unlikely,” said Ashwath.          the next four weeks. I am sure the
Supplies of other milk products like    situation will definitely turn
UHT (Ultra High Treatment), evapo-      around tomorrow,” said Agnelo.

                                                                                       Market Report   59

				
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