International Finance

Dilmah spreads its wings to the Middle East

Dilmah, tea brand, GCC, t-Lounge, Middle East, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, tea lounges, supermarkets, airlines, five-star hotels
Srilankan luxury tea brand Dilmah is set to explore the GCC markets with its elite t-Lounge concept

Sri Lanka’s premium tea brand, Dilmah is planning to expand its operations into the GCC region, according to a company official.

Dilmah recently launched t-Lounge in Dubai Ibn Battuta Mall, and plans to open the second t-Lounge in Abu Dhabi this year. The company hopes to set-up t-Lounges in other GCC markets, and hold tie-ups with five star hotels or other regional airlines to strengthen sales in the Middle East by end of 2018.

Dilhan C Fernando, CEO of Dilmah, explained in the company Press Release: “We are delighted to have met several distributors who could be our potential partners in the other Middle Eastern market. Gulfood is an ideal platform to expand to other markets.”

Annually, the company produces more than six million cups of tea per day. Nearly 200,000 are employed to cover 50,000 acres of tea plantation. One-third of the plantation is owned by Dilmah and the remaining plantations are co-owned.

Mr Fernando expressed his views on Dilmah and its product offerings to the Middle East region.

“The Middle East region has a long history with tea and is home to a very large tea drinking population that also includes a large expatriate contingent of tea enthusiasts.”

Dilmah is focused on sales growth of 15% to 20% from seven to eight percent in the region. Founder of Dilmah Tea, Merrill Fernando, said: “The company markets its high-priced tea in GCC countries, where Saudi is its biggest market by sales value. We expect to be in majority of the upcoming and the existing five-star hotels in the GCC this year. The premium tea brand, which is present in some five-star hotels and upper scale supermarkets, is working on increasing its visibility in the region.”

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