Middle East Booze Sales Booming
on 05/01/11 at 1:02 pmBooze News
From Saudi Arabia’s zero tolerance to Beirut’s buzzing nightlife, the Middle East poses challenges and opportunities for alcohol producers. And as the region realigns itself after the global financial crisis, the trends in drinks consumption also paint a picture of a region in flux.
Dubai may still be the party capital of the Arabian Peninsula, as witnessed by the string of events over the new year period, but it is only just starting to reverse a steep drop in alcohol consumption that saw the recession of 2009 shave off up to 30 per cent of sales for Diageo, the world’s biggest producer of spirits.
“The UAE was growing at 26 per cent a year between the boom years of 2006-08; it was hard just to keep up with the demand,” says Hugo Mills, Diageo’s regional general manager.
Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital, is leading the federation out of recession, with Diageo sales there growing at 28 per cent a year.