‘Dubai: Chocolate Capital of the Middle East’

Main Photo  Fifth Paragraph Ever since the ancient tribes of Mexico and Central America first made chocolate almost 4000 years ago it has held a special place in people’s hearts, with just one small mouthful having the ability to soothe anything from a bad day to a broken heart. So it’s no surprise to discover that the heavenly taste of chocolate is today one of Dubai’s favourite treats!

Second ParagraphIndeed, chocoholics across the Middle East are set to drive global sales of chocolate in the next five years, outpacing growth in other parts of the world, with sales in the MENA region slated to reach AED 21.3 billion in 2016 – that’s a rise of 61% from today. The UAE market alone is estimated to be worth about AED 546 million and growing at a rate of 27% in terms of value of sales and 14% in terms of volume, with Dubai unquestionably contributing quite a bit to those figures!

Third Paragraph1Helping to propel this growth are both local and international chocolate manufacturers, cafes and retail outlets; it’s surprising how many different forms it comes in and how many places you can find it. There is Patchi, the initiator of the chocolate gifting concept and a trendsetter in the field of chocolate retail; La Cure Gourmande, creator of such delights as ‘Orangettes – thin strips of candied orange coated in dark chocolate and crushed almonds; the Vintage Chocolate Lounge, where you can even find chocolate sushi; Chocomelt, a sweet-toothed indulgence at Ibn Battuta Mall; and Cocosia, a home-grown artisan chocolate boutique.

And all five of these premier chocolate brands have one very important thing in common; they are all valued customers of Al Halabi, the region’s leading designer, manufacturer, supplier and installer of commercial kitchen equipment … including some of the finest and most cost-effective solutions for Dubai’s leading chocolatiers.

Fifth Paragraph1“We offer a broad selection of machinery and equipment to the chocolate industry,” explains Business Development Manager Bilal Al Halabi, “from refrigerated conveyor lines through to storage rooms and onto the actual machines that mix the chocolate.” Al Halabi also manufactures and supply special chocolate display units, one of the most difficult types of display to make: the humidity system has to be extremely fine-tuned, with the temperature consistently between 12 and 15 degrees.

Last ParagraphFifth ParagraphFifth ParagraphChocolate with dates, chocolate with Arabic coffee, even a chocolate sandwich – they can all be found in Dubai. And whilst money can’t buy happiness, it can buy chocolate, which is pretty much the same thing!

By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com

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