Dubai is starting its own tea brand, Shay Dubai, to learn what consumers prefer from the beverage.
"This is not to compete with Lipton," Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of state-owned Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, said in an interview at the Global Dubai Tea Forum. "We are trying to understand what the consumer wants."
Shay Dubai will be DMCC’s "very own signature high-end tea brand," according to a press release distributed at the tea forum. DMCC has no plans to market other commodities traded at the free zone, Bin Sulayem said.
"We’re excited to share a first look at this new product here," Bin Sulayem said in a statement. "We look forward to revealing more later this year."
The DMCC is home to trading in gold to diamonds, and has more than 10,000 registered companies under licence, according to its website. The DMCC Tea Centre handled 41 million kilogrammes (90 million pounds) last year, little changed from 2014 and up from 13 million kilos in 2013, said Sanjeev Dutta, tea-centre director. Tea futures are being considered as a new product, he said.
Shay Dubai tea will be marketed under flavours Khaliji Blend, Dubai Spirit and Arabic Breakfast, according to an advertising panel at the tea forum.
Global tea production last year was about 5.2 million metric tonnes, exceeding demand of about 4.99 million tonnes, said Manuja Peiris, chief executive/statistician of the London-based International Tea Committee. Prices averaged $2.40 a kilo last year, little changed from 2014 and down from $2.50-$2.60 a kilo in 2013, he said.