DOHA: Saudi multinational dairy company Almarai, which once dominated the Qatar market and whose disappearance from supermarket shelves after the launch of blockade against Qatar on 5 June, 2017 had created heartburn, is planning to relaunch in the country, market sources have said.
The company has released an advertisement inviting applications for a number positions for its Qatar operations, widely circulated on social media.
“We are hiring for Qatar, Apply Now!” says the ad, listing 11 job positions for which applications have been sought, from van salesman, salesman assistant, shelf stacker and merchandiser to lady promoter and facility supervisor.
“Candidates must be able to get NOC approval,” the ad says.
Interestingly, although all imports due to the blockade to Qatar had stopped after the closure of the Abu Samra border on 5 June, 2017, the pullout of Almarai had touched an emotional chord among Qatari citizens and residents as the brand had enjoyed a monopoly in the local market and dairy products are essential items.
Also, the blockade was imposed in the holy month of Ramadan, which made residents sorely miss the brand.
The launch of local dairy farm Baladna since then had attracted international headlines as cows were airlifted to Qatar from Germany and other countries.
Baladna is now known as a symbol of Qatar’s bid for self-sufficiency in food production and its stupendous success. The country has achieved 100 per cent self-sufficiency in dairy products and Baladna has started exports.
The relaunch of Almarai is expected to trigger an intense competition in the local dairy market and even a price war, sources say.
“It’s interesting to know that Almarai is planning a comeback. But it will be a tough fight for market space as most customers have shifted to local brands. Also, the government is actively promoting local products which are very visible on shelves,” the manager at a prominent supermarket chain told The Doha Globe.
It is not clear when the company will launch its products in Qatar. An email to the company did not elicit a response.