Emirates Flight Catering, a division of the Emirates Group which also owns Emirates Airline, is to open a dedicated Kosher food production facility at its factory on the edge of Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the United Arab Emirates. The announcement comes just days after Israel and the UAE signed formal treaties to normalize diplomatic relations at a ceremony held at the White House in Washington D.C.
Amongst many other things, the historic deal will open up regularly scheduled flights between the two countries for the first time. Dubai is already being touted as the next big vacation destination for Israeli holidaymakers, as well as entrepreneurs looking to do business in the emirates.
UAE-based airlines are widely expected to benefit the most from the new freedoms because their hubs and large route networks allow for easy onward travel around the world. While Emirates has offered Kosher meals for many years these have always needed to be sourced from an overseas supplier.
The partnership between Emirates Flight Catering and CCL Holdings will be known as Kosher Arabia with the facility set to be ready by as soon as January 2021. Food will be certified by the Kosher Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union in partnership with the South African Union of Orthodox Synagogues.
“We’ve been watching the global trends for kosher food, and with recent developments, we expect that demand for kosher food in the UAE and region will grow quickly,” explained Saeed Mohammed, chief executive of Emirates flight catering.
Along with supplying all the onboard food for Emirates’ flights from Dubai, the company also supplies more than 100 airlines.
Emirates hopes Kosher Arabia will also supply restaurants across the UAE with Kosher certified food and drink as well as for the delayed World Expo which has been rescheduled to take place in 2021.
In a statement, Emirates explained that the UAE was already “home to people from nearly 200 nations and all walks of life, including a thriving Jewish community”.
Etihad Airways, which was the first commercial airline to operate a direct flight between the UAE and Israel earlier this year, has confirmed it would look to start direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv once a bilateral air services agreement between the two countries has been established.
Emirates has also said it would explore opportunities to enter the Israeli market once permissions have been negotiated.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.