First fully plant-based meat factory opens in Dubai

28 March 2023

The meat-free market is gaining a foothold in the UAE with the launch of the region’s first fully plant-based meat factory in Dubai. 

The IFFCO Group – one of the biggest food manufacturers in the UAE – has opened a new facility called Thryve in Dubai’s Industrial City business park. 

The factory will produce only 100% plant-based ingredients to be used in Middle Eastern flavoured food products, which the company claims will be both nutritious and sustainable. 

Climate change and environment minister Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said the factory represents “a significant contribution to sustainability in the food supply chain and supports the UAE’s food security strategy and our mandate to mitigate the impact of climate change”. 

She added: “The opening of this innovative new facility also supports our efforts to protect the country’s ecosystems, enhance its food and water security and diversify our food sources. 

“By fostering such robust research and development focused on producing innovative food products, we seek to raise the UAE’s ability to move up the global food industry value chain and achieve first place on the global food security index by 2051.”

Hadi Badri, CEO of the Dubai economy and tourism department’s Economic Development Corporation, said the factory is “testament to the pivotal role Dubai is playing” in promoting the growth of practices to alleviate the effects of climate change. 

He said: “By providing opportunities for private companies to invest in sustainable technologies, Dubai is accelerating the creation of a robust and resilient green economy."

Thryve factory falls under the UAE’s Vision 2051 initiative to increase food security through diversity and innovation. It is also aligned with UN sustainable development goals (SGDs) for health, responsible consumption and addressing climate change though the food supply chain. 

It will cater to 30% of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s population, and stimulate the market for plant-based foods for vegetarians and greater uptake of flexitarian diets.

The global plant-based meat market was estimated to be worth $7.9bn in 2022 and is forecast to reach $15.7bn by 2027, according to

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