September 17 2020  |  Catering

EKFC and partner to open Kosher Arabia in January

By Rick Lundstrom

Left to right: Ross Kriel, Founder, CCL Holdings and Saeed Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Flight Catering

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with CCL Holdings to set up a dedicated production facility for kosher food at EKFC's premises in the UAE. The new partnership will be called Kosher Arabia, and production is expected to begin by January 2021.

Kosher Arabia is certified by the Kashrut Division of the Orthodox Union (OU) which will work in partnership with the South African Union of Orthodox Synagogues (UOS) to provide kosher certification to Kosher Arabia.

The culinary team at EKFC will handle all food production, while CCL Holdings will provide certification and production supervision including support for menu development and foodstuff procurement.

"We are delighted to enter into an agreement with CCL to provide Kosher food,” said Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, in today’s announcement. “For many years, EKFC has been offering kosher meals primarily to our airline customers, via an outsourced supplier overseas. 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. Our partnership will cover all food channels and we will also explore opening restaurants across Dubai and the GCC.

"By setting up our own capability at EKFC to produce kosher food, we are confident that we can better serve our customers not only in the aviation sector, but also in the hospitality, F&B, and events sector including the upcoming Expo 2020. Making freshly prepared meals here in the UAE gives us better control over meal design and quality assurance."

Ross Kriel, founder of CCL Holdings, and President of the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) added: "Kosher Arabia was set up to supply kosher food to meet the growing demand in the UAE, not only from the Jewish community here but also from other consumers looking for healthy and halal-compliant options.

"We're honored to have received so much support from the UAE and broader global community, including from Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the OU's Kosher Division, Rabbi Yissachar Krawowski, Rabbinic Coordinator for OU Kosher in Israel, South Africa's Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and Rabbi Dovi Goldstein, Head of Kashrut in South Africa, and Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Chief Rabbi of the UAE. With their guidance and endorsement, Kosher Arabia was launched and today is signing an MOU with Emirates Flight Catering to set up the UAE's first kosher food production facility."

The UAE is home to people from nearly 200 nations and all walks of life, including a thriving Jewish community. In September 2019, the UAE announced the construction of an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi, which will house a Jewish synagogue, Christian church and Islamic mosque.

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