Page 41 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine III

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A history
Caviar refers to the salted eggs (roe) of the fish species,
sturgeon and derives from the Persian word ‘Khaviar’
meaning “bearing eggs”. Dating back 250 million years
to prehistoric times, the sturgeon has been a part of the
Middle Eastern and Eastern Europe diet for the majority
of man’s history. Caviar has four types. The first – the
Golden or Royal caviar – is the most exclusive, the most
expensive, the rarest and the most difficult to obtain.
Caviar was once reserved strictly for royalty and in former
times it was specially saved for consummation by the
Russian czars, Manchurian imperators and the Vatican
only. Yet, in America during the early nineteenth century,
caviar was routinely served during free lunches in saloons.
The salty flavour stimulated thirst and enhanced the test
of beer. As a result of the US caviar boom of the early
1900’s, sturgeon was over-fished nearly to the point of
This sudden shortage caused a huge increase in the price
of caviar, so consequently, most caviar labelled as Russian
truly was imported from Russia. By the 1960’s, the prices
were so exorbitant that new sources of domestic caviar
were sought. Even though nowadays you can buy black
or red caviar in most shops – they are nowhere near a
match to the real thing. There are more than 400 species
of sturgeon in the world but the most prized caviar comes
from the beluga, osetra, and sevruga varieties of sturgeon.
Bin SalemHoldings’ caviar dreams
Developed by family owned Abu Dhabi holding group
Bin Salem Holding, the Middle East’s first and largest
caviar farm of its kind has this month unveiled exciting
future plans and a new brand identity for The Royal
Caviar Company.
With global ambition, Bin Salem Holding, a private,
Emirati-owned group of diversified companies has shown
steadfast commitment to a strategy of growth through
diversification since it was first consolidated in 1995.
Consisting of 20 well-established companies operating
across vital industries including technology, automotive,
construction, engineering, healthcare, education,
hospitality, defence, industrial agriculture and real estate¸
the company’s headquarters are based in Abu Dhabi and
they are proud of their culturally diverse workforce.
Since its launch, Bin Salem Holding has built a well-
earned reputation as one of the most progressive groups
in the region and by developing strategic partnerships
with esteemed international companies, they have helped
to drive growth and boost entrepreneurial determination
amongst the local community. Bin SalemHolding, in
co-operation with United Food Technologies AG have
developed The Royal Caviar Company factory which
currently contains approximately 18 tonnes of sturgeon
with a further 124 tonnes scheduled for delivery this
year. The first production of caviar and sturgeon fillets
is scheduled for late in 2011, with caviar commercially
available in the UAE in the second half of 2012.
We can’t wait and will certainly be first in line to see if
it lives up to high expectations. In the spirit of such
forward-thinking global aspirations, the factory will
become the world’s largest and most technologically
advanced producer of high quality sustainably sourced
caviar, playing a key role in addressing the world’s growing
demand for top quality caviar. As the A&J diaries
strongly reflect, we are more than partial to a little luxury
in life so we will watch developments with interest!
Meeting global demand
Based in Abu Dhabi, The Royal Caviar Company operates
out of a factory sized at 50,000m2 and is capable of
producing up to 35 tonnes per annum of high quality
caviar of Ossetra standard. Building of the factory,
previously known as Aqua Orbis, began in 2008 and fish
began arriving in early 2011. The factory currently holds
approximately 18 tonnes of fish with 124 further tonnes
of fish to arrive this year; ranging from newborns to adult
female Siberian sturgeon that will ultimately produce
high quality caviar of Ossetra standard. The first stock of
fish for the factory is being brought in from Frankfurt; by
air with Etihad Crystal Cargo, and by boat with UFT/
AquaLife and Maersk Line.
In future, using progressive technologies, the factory not
only intends to help meet the growing global demand
for caviar by breeding its own fish, but also minimise
the pressure on wild endangered sturgeon and provide
quality of life for the fish, reflecting their environmental
principles. Sturgeon are considered endangered by
the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES). Consequently, The Royal Caviar
Company has an essential role to play in ensuring the
regular availability of high quality caviar. To ensure
cutting edge innovation and the highest safety standards,
TRCC, Bin Salem Holding have sought advice from
experts in caviar production, German company United
Food Technologies AG. Specialists from UFT AG have
helped to set up the factory itself, and all staff working
in the factory have been trained in Germany or onsite in
Abu Dhabi. Using world leading water purification and
caviar production technology patented by UFT AG, the
new factory will ensure a high quality of life for fish, and a
high quality finished product.
So much more than simply ‘food’, far from needing a special occasion for caviar, many view this
delicacy as a special occasion in itself. With its subtle and delicate taste, caviar was once reserved
strictly for royalty and, to this day, remains typically associated with the rich and affluent. It would
appear that the best place to find caviar at the moment is Abu Dhabi. The fastest growing markets
for caviar include China and the Middle East, making Abu Dhabi the ideal location for an exciting
new era in caviar production. With a love of fine dining and gourmet treats, we are more than a little
excited by the recent news that The Royal Caviar Company has opened to meet the UAE’s insatiable
demand for caviar – a colossal 14 tons per year – and look forward to sampling the factory’s offerings.