Can you give us a brief overview of the company?
Al Douri is a modern enterprise with an inspiring and proud heritage that goes back to the 18th century. A dynamic and forward-looking company, Al Douri specializes in manufacturing, distributing, and retailing premium-quality food. The company stands out for delivering the freshest products by leveraging state-of-the-art production technologies. Since the group's establishment in the UAE in 1979, it has successfully diversified and expanded its portfolio to cover more than 1,000 SKUs.
What is the significance of the UAE and Dubai to your business?
The development and expansion of the group over the years has been in line with the development and expansion of Dubai, which continuously accomplishes unprecedented achievements in various fields. Since its establishment, the company has set strategic plans to gradually become a leading global food industry company. Al Douri Group has gained a significant market share in the regional coffee and nuts industry. To support our ambitious growth plans, we have made a series of investments, such as opening a modern and fully automated nuts factory, the inauguration of new coffee production line in Dubai to manufacture and package coffee products, and expanding our production lines in the confectionery sector. At present, we export to over 30 countries.
What challenges are you facing?
People are always looking for something new, and we stay abreast of the latest trends, continuously upgrading our products to cater to consumer demands. Snacking has become one of the major foods and beverage industry trends globally, and so has being health-conscious. At the heart of Al Douri Group is its advocacy of a healthy lifestyle. From innovative and healthy nuts to homemade and 100% natural products, the company provides a wide variety of healthy products. The tech-savvy world prefers everything on the go, and food is no exception. Ordering food and grocery through mobile apps that provide interactive menus and fresh food has become an integral part of modern urban life. Al Douri Group believes in innovation and the importance of adapting to consumer needs, and has taken a series of initiatives to have a strong presence in the e-commerce world.
Do you have any expansion plans for your retail shops?
We do have an expansion plan for our retail business in the UAE. In 2018, we launched a new model called shop-in-shop, which is designed to provide the experience of traditional market shopping inside hypermarkets. In 2018 alone, we expanded to around 14 units in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, and Ras Al Khaimah, with plans to expand further in the UAE. Another aspect we are working on is Al Douri Gourmet, a specialty shop where 60% of the products will be made in front of the customers. We have witnessed an increase in demand for such shops from Europe, the US, Australia, and Canada because people around the world are always looking for something new and authentic.
Does the company have any plans regarding AI and digitalization?
In early 2018, we implemented a new system in partnership with Microsoft; it improves the performance of our sales, procurement, distribution, and warehouse departments. Our new fully automated coffee factory is considered state of the art, and it only requires two people to operate. We always explore new cutting-edge technologies to increase productivity and improve customer service.
What are your goals and priorities for the year ahead?
Expansion, offering new products to customers, increasing our product reach, and maintaining world-class service standards have always been our priorities. As part of our expansions plans, we are going soon to launch our new franchise system. Also, we plan to open offices in Africa, the Levant, Europe, and North America. Recently the group announced its new visual identity, which goes hand in hand with its ambitious expansion plans.