Himalaya doubles down on Dubai R&D centre to drive Ayurveda advances

By Richard Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Indian ayurvedic cosmetics, personal care and drugs manufacturer Himalaya will launch a global research center in Dubai in 2021. ©Himalaya
Indian ayurvedic cosmetics, personal care and drugs manufacturer Himalaya will launch a global research center in Dubai in 2021. ©Himalaya
Indian ayurvedic cosmetics, personal care and drugs manufacturer Himalaya will launch a global research center in Dubai in 2021.

The company has chosen Dubai Science Park, one of the city’s free zones that allow foreign direct investment without the need for a local partner, for the site. When it opens, it will support Himalaya’s operations across the Gulf.

The company markets over 300 cosmetics, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines and pharmaceutical-grade ayurvedic products in more than 90 countries. 

Science-based positioning

Himalaya’s core business centers on research and manufacturing of pharmaceutical and personal care products for health-conscious consumers. It has already operated a lab complex in Dubai since 2013 for product development, quality control and standardisation. These will also serve priority areas for the new facility.

We aim to establish Himalaya as a science-based, problem-solving, head-to-heel brand, not only within Dubai but within the wider Gulf region and surrounding international markets​,” said Meraj Manal, chairman of Himalaya Global Holdings.

"Himalaya invests in markets with an in-depth and long-term approach, maintaining high ethical standards at each step of the way. The UAE is a perfect place for us to initiate this expansion.​”

According to Euromonitor, the beauty and personal care was worth almost US$36bn last year in the Middle East and Africa, and will continue to grow at an annual average of nearly 10% over the next four years.

Consumers in the UAE spent US$247 per capita on cosmetics and personal care, more than any other country in the Middle East, and the ninth worldwide. This is forecasted to grow further, to US$294 in 2020.

Supporting the local talent pool

Beyond its market, the country also offers a skilled workforce. “Dubai’s capacity to attract skilled and talented people will enable the new R&D complex to evolve into a global think tank​,” added Neil Cabral, the company’s executive director.

The Himalaya move will result in the creation of over 100 specialised jobs, to align with the UAE’s ongoing diversification into the competitive knowledge economy.

To this end, Dubai has been ramping up activity to encourage foreign companies to expand in the UAE. The emirate has also been improving the amount of professional talent in it by attracting large numbers of professionals across a range of fields.

The emirate’s talent pool will support Himalaya as it vies to develop pioneering herbal research, said Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, managing director of Dubai Science Park.

We are pleased to support the expansion of Himalaya, in line with our ambition to consolidate Dubai’s position as a prime destination for scientific, R&D and manufacturing activities​,” said Janahi.

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