ADQ launches Silal to enhance food and agriculture ecosystem in the UAE

Sep 14, 2020

News

  • Silal to support Abu Dhabi government's efforts to secure supply chains, production and distribution of essential foods
  • H.E. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri appointed as Silal's Chief Executive Officer

ADQ, one of the region's largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi's diversified economy, today announced the establishment of Silal, a new company in Abu Dhabi developed to diversify food sources and increase locally grown, raised and manufactured food. This entity complements the Abu Dhabi government's efforts to secure food supply chains as well as to boost the supply and distribution of food in the Emirate.

Designed to protect the overall food and agriculture sector and local farmers, Silal's efforts include the management of offtake programmes and strategic food reserves. Silal will also implement knowledge-transfer programmes related to desert farming technology and other R&D projects to support an increase in local production of fruits and vegetables from small farmers in the UAE.

Silal will be led by H.E. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri who has been appointed as its Chief Executive Officer. An industry veteran, Al Dhaheri has more than 25 years of experience and he has served in several leadership positions.

H.E. Khalifa Sultan Alsuwaidi, Chief Investment Officer at ADQ, said: "The creation of Silal helps to ensure that the UAE population has access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food at affordable prices. Silal also complements ADQ's existing investments in the food and agriculture sector as we seek to expand this important economic cluster. Under Jamal's leadership, Silal will benefit from his depth of industry experience as we deliver upon this key national initiative."

Commenting on his appointment, H.E. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Silal, said: "Through a number of programmes and initiatives, Silal will facilitate sustained production, sourcing and distribution of essential foods in Abu Dhabi for the benefit of retailers, farmers and the community. The name Silal, which means "baskets" in Arabic, denotes the variety and abundance of produce that is at the core of what the new company will deliver. Our team will work collaboratively across the entire value chain to ensure an adequate, reliable supply of fresh and longer-life food items for our local communities."

Earlier this year, ADQ announced its acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Al Dahra Holding Company, a multinational agribusiness specialising in animal feed and essential food commodities. Agthia and Al Foah, which produce a range of food and beverages, are also part of ADQ’s food and agriculture portfolio through Senaat.

The UAE has long recognised the importance of securing food supplies as a national priority. It produces nearly six million tonnes of food locally per year, reflecting its growing self-sufficiency in food production. The UAE has also championed the enhancement of local food production through 'ag-tech', and has taken strides to increase domestic food yield through bioscience, research and development (R&D), and technology-enabled food production.

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