Mai Dubai exports desert processed water to 18 countries

Published: Saturday, October 14, 2017

Swisslog tapped to build $21 million storage facility as company expands
-By Gemma Q. Casas

DUBAI:Water is something you would least expect to be exported from a desert but one company in Dubai is doing just that—supplying water to 18 countries with prospects for more clients across the world.

Mai Dubai,the Dubai-based bottled drinking water company,had just signed a $21 million contract with Swisslog to create a new automated storage and distribution center expected to be completed in the summer of 2018, as demand for the brand grows,Jay Andres,Mai Dubai CEO, told Air Cargo Update.

Andres said consumer demand for Mai Dubai bottled water products had exceeded expectations such that new storage facilities for raw materials and finished products must be created.

“The business was launched based on a feasibility study and within a year, we ran out of capacity because consumers had topped our expectations. Business is good,” said Andres,the company’s first employee. Its workforce had since grown to 800 within just four years.

Mai Dubai currently produces approximately more than 24 million liters of bottled water every month using different filtration process like desalination, reverse osmosis, among others, as well as enriching the water with calcium and magnesium.

These bottled waters are then locally distributed by 200 trucks on roads across the UAE and GCC. The same are also shipped to Kenya,Pakistan,Somalia,Iraq,Jordan and soon to Asia, Japan in particular.

Up in the sky, Mai Dubai is also consumed among passengers of Emirates flights, among other airlines.

Andres said Swisslog was awarded the contract to build the multimillion storage facility because of its good reputation, ability to execute projects on time and good relations with customers.

“One of the things that we needed was a warehouse solution. Our big bottleneck now is our storage capacity. It’s a big expense to have outside storage. Building our own automated solution will save us in terms of labor capacity and costs and provide scalable solutions that we can grow on,” said Andres in an interview at Materials Handling Middle East Exhibition where Swisslog participated.

Each customer is unique

Alain Kaddoum, Swisslog Middle East general manager, said Mai Dubai’s project will go live in the summer of 2018.

The storage facility will have separate areas for raw materials and finished bottled water products for easy access and mobility.

Additionally,it will be connected to the main production line to speed up the process of transporting both materials and products.

“We are connecting it with the production area with a hanging monorail system,” said Kaddoum. “The main point is we are flexible in our designs in order to fulfill the needs of each customer. For us, each customer is unique.”

With automation taking over traditional production and manufacturing systems,Swisslog highlighted at the exhibition its ability to create storage solutions using intralogistics technologies.The company also unveiled its latest creation Auto PiQ,arobotics application for picking single items.

“Our mission at the Materials Handling Middle East Exhibition was to enlighten our visitors and potential clients about the concept of gradual growth. We believe in growth which is undertaken intelligently, flexibly, and if business so demands, rapidly. The Middle East region is known for its willingness to adapt new developments and solutions, hence our aim every year would be to raise a level above and showcase our achievements,” said Kaddoum.