According to the Dubai government’s media office, the Cacao Centre, located in the Jebel Ali free zone, will initially incubate a select range of cacao services starting this summer.
“DMCC is in contact with a range of cacao industry players, including Blue Stripes Urban Cacao and stakeholders across West Africa and South America, in order to better understand the needs of the market and how Dubai can play a central role in supporting its sustainable growth,” it said in a statement.
Demand for the ‘superfood cocoa’ – shell, fruit and beans – is rising and considered one of nature’s highest sources of magnesium and iron, as well as antioxidants and natural cacao butter.
Latest figures from 2019 suggests the global cocoa trade and chocolate industry is reportedly worth $137bn.
“The DMCC Cacao Centre represents the next phase of our growth strategy and will see us transform Dubai into a global hub for the cacao trade,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DMCC.
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre is currently home to more than 18,000 businesses from a wide range of industries and sectors, as diverse as agro, energy and financial services to diamonds, gold and base metals. As well as cocoa, it also deals in coffee and tea.