Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, inaugurated its new regional hub today at Dubai Science Park in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of Dubai Holding.
The newest Creation & Development Center further expands the company’s science and innovation capabilities. Using cutting-edge technologies, it will service customers in more than 60 countries across the Middle East and Africa region. The Center also comprises a state-of-the-art research and science facility.
Speaking on the occasion, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “Dubai continues to reinforce its status as a global hub for advanced technology and innovation in various sectors. Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the emirate has created a highly growth-friendly environment that has attracted leading global, regional and local companies as well as promising entrepreneurs to create an ecosystem that drives sustainable development.”
His Highness added: “Dubai provides a supportive platform for global companies to establish their businesses and expand across the region and the world. Over the last few decades, Dubai’s economic diversification strategy has opened new growth horizons, fostering dynamic industry clusters in vital sectors such as science, research and development, which have both broadened and deepened Dubai’s economic and industrial base and transformed it into a centre for innovation.”
The official opening today was presided over by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, Minister of Finance of Switzerland; His Excellency Massimo Baggi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE and Bahrain; His Excellency Malek Al Malek, Director General of the Dubai Development Authority and Group CEO of TECOM Group; Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer of TECOM Group; Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich; Arnaud Bachellier, General Manager of Firmenich in the region; and Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park.
Dubai Science Park is the first business district in the region specialising in health, life sciences and sustainability. Since its inception, it has supported major global corporations as well as regional companies and startups that attract and nurture thousands of specialists and skilled talent in various fields of science.
Firmenich’s advanced creation and sampling laboratory will allow the company to deliver high-quality and innovative ingredients for fine fragrances and consumer fragrances (used in body care and home care products) as well as a variety of F&B flavours designed to delight consumers in the region. The company aims to accelerate innovation and global expansion with enhanced access to key markets and evolving trends, while reducing the time to market for new products.
A first of its kind in the region, Firmenich’s facility is built upon the company’s Lab 4.0 vision of a future-proof laboratory, which aims to optimise the end-to-end flow of samples using industry best practices and is powered by artificial intelligence (AI). It includes a fully automated warehouse that can stock up to 40,000 products as well as a compounding robot connected to more than 240 ingredients that can create a fragrance sample in less than a minute. The new facility has been fully designed to accommodate Firmenich’s future expansion plans.
On this occasion, His Excellency Ambassador Massimo Baggi said: “Switzerland and the UAE’s long-standing bilateral relationship has been of significant economic and cultural value to both countries. We strive to enrich this partnership and continue the advancement of several sectors with the fruitful exchange of knowledge, technological resources and talent. Firmenich’s expansion in Dubai contributes to this objective and we are proud to be able to inaugurate this plant in the presence of our Finance Minister, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer. The new regional headquarters will introduce even more technologies developed in Switzerland to nurture innovation and make a greater impact by leveraging investment and scientific research.”
His Excellency Malek Al Malek said: “Our leadership has been keen on developing a flourishing science sector within the region through strategic plans and a focused vision to develop an enabling business ecosystem suited to international companies and skilled talent in various fields of science and research and development.”
He added, “Since its inception, the Group’s Dubai Science Park has contributed to laying the foundation of a globally competitive sector and attracted leading names and the brightest minds to enhance the landscape for research and development, while boosting the country’s exports from such vital and specialised sectors. The launch of Firmenich’s new regional hub in Dubai Science Park and their success over the past decade is yet another achievement for the emirate and marks a new milestone in cementing an integrated science and R&D environment for the UAE as a whole.”
Gilbert Ghostine, CEO at Firmenich, commented: “Creative excellence is at the core of Firmenich’s operations, while at heart we are committed to science and innovation guided by sustainability. These key ingredients have earned us our leading position within the industry, and we are confident they will continue to fuel our growth in new avenues. The Middle East & Africa region represents a strategic expansion opportunity for our company due to its diverse markets and wealth of opportunities. Our success stems from cultivating deep insights into our consumers and their preferences, and we can think of no better location to tap into the region’s rich audiences than Dubai Science Park. The business district’s world-class infrastructure and comprehensive, science-focused community bring us closer than ever to our audiences and will empower our ambitions to curate authentic experiences suited to regional tastes.”
Established in 1895, the company manages an industry-leading portfolio of natural flavours, fragrances and ingredients developed using cutting-edge innovation and technology. Firmenich has developed an extensive portfolio of natural and organic compliant flavours and extracts to meet regional and local regulatory needs, and uses technology, green synthesis and natural ingredients as part of its commitment to sustainability.