Tea producers all over the world produce at least two and a half million metric tons of tea on an annual basis. Tea is usually traded directly, passed on through value-added resellers or bought through auctions organised by sellers in the open market. China and India are ranked as the top countries that consume tea based on total leaf used (TLU) and are also considered the largest tea producers as well.
 
Dubai, considered to be one of the fastest developing areas in the world, recorded a total of 148.6 million kg in tea imports in 2008. This figure reflects a marginal increase in the total tea trade compared to the 144.6 million kg recorded in 2007. Of the 10,435 tons of tea and coffee sold in the UAE last year, tea accounted for more than 4,227 tons, which was up more than 47 per cent in five years.
This positive outlook has lead to the special launch of the Specialty Coffee & Tea Convention, a first of its kind event that will gather over 100 companies on November 10, 2009 at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. Participants, which will be coming from all parts of the globe, will be exhibiting their latest products, equipment and trends in the gourmet coffee and tea industry.
A major part of the event will be the National UAE Barista Championship where six of the country’s best baristas will compete for the chance to represent the country in the coming 2010 World Barista Championship in London.
Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, International Conferences & Exhibitions (IC&E), organisers said, “Things are looking very bright for the tea industry in the Middle East. Recent studies have actually shown that at the rate of the growing demand for tea-based products, global output is predicted to reach an overwhelming four billion kg in 2010 and will roughly translate to USD400 Million in the region. The Middle East in particular is home to some of the largest tea drinking countries and the growing popularity of this revitalizing drink continues to take in more drinkers each year. Moreover, events like this aim to strengthen the relationship between the Middle East and the different tea exporters and producers from all over the world.”
The Dubai Tea Trading Center (DTTC) reported that in 2008, a total of 148.6 million kg of tea passed through Dubai, reflecting an increase from the 144.6 million posted in 2007.
The Middle East currently accounts for a quarter of global tea imports, placing Dubai as the new center for tea trading. DTTC, which recently opened a new warehouse storage facility, can accommodate up to 5,000 tons of bulk tea and can blend up to 2,400 tons a month.

Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

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