Universal Islamic Meat, a leading, halal-certified food manufacturing and distribution company has been producing the finest quality meat and poultry products for over 28 years. With 500 varieties of meats in delectable flavours, the company takes pride in its ‘healthy’ Sharia-compliant products, food-grade packaging and its relentless focus on customer satisfaction. Ayoob Khan, Managing Director talks to The Zone about the halal food market, the company’s USPs and future plans.
Can you tell us about the Halal food market, your products and what makes them appealing to customers?
We have been in this region since 1994. As a halal-certified company, we only work with suppliers who follow Sharia when it comes to raising livestock for meat. Halal food is not only preferred because of religious reasons, but also due to its health benefits such as hygiene and quality, as well as superior taste.
This is why we have a loyal customer base. Our products are also Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) approved and audited every year. This is another reason why our business is flourishing throughout the region.
What enabled the company’s expansion outside the UAE and in countries such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia?
As one of the first halal-certified brands within the region, we produce everything from cold cuts to fully cooked items.
A few years into the business, we developed brands such as Bibi, LoLo Family and Prime that catered the Saudi Arabia and Kuwait markets. Over the years, these brands have become familiar among our customers because of our halal assurance, high-quality products and exceptional taste.
Can you shed light on financing benefits received through Jafza’s partner banks?
We only collaborate with Islamic banks to ensure a complete cycle of halal compliance. We are taking advantage of being a Jafza company to gain the trust of banks and financing institutions. This is one of the key benefits of being based in Jafza. Currently, we work with Shariah-compliant banks such as Emirates Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and the National Bank of Fujairah Islamic.
“Halal food is not only preferred because of religious reasons, but also due to its health benefits such as hygiene and quality, as well as superior taste.”
How does Jafza support your business operations and expansion plans?
We are importing a majority of raw materials from Brazil, Australia and many European countries. In this regard, we are benefiting a lot from the Jebel Ali Port as most of our products arrive through the port and a percentage of them also reach our Jafza facilities by air. Every month, we store around 60-70 containers of meat products in Jafza’s cutting-edge temperature-controlled warehouses. They hold the bulk of our raw materials that are kept fresh for further processes, as meat and food products are sensitive to even the most minute change in temperature.
We also use the Jebel Ali Port to export our products to Iraq. For GCC countries, we supply a majority of our products by land. We are getting great support from the authorities at Jafza and service providers in the free zone.