How Ice Cream came to Dubai 1962

Lyons Maid Ice CreamIce Cream was commercially available in Dubai long before fresh eggs and meat appeared on Dubai's Grocery Store Shelves. Galadari Brothers established Galadari Ice Cream Co. L.L.C in 1962 and began importing ice cream in commercial quantities. Their major brands included Nestle, Galaxy and Lyons Maid. Products were probably shipped from Europe as refrigerated cargo on ships for unloading offshore at Dubai (Dubai had no deep water sea port in 1962 ).
Kwality Ice Cream

First Ice Cream in Trucial States

Pure Ice Cream Company of Sharjah were the first Ice Cream Producers in Trucial States. They formed a joint venture with the Kwality Group of India to to produce Kwality Ice Creams on a commercial scale. Although not clear when production started, their Kwality Ice Cream was widely available in early 1970s. But Dubai wanted it own ice cream!

Dubai's Ice Cream


By the mid 1970s it became clear Dubai needed its own supply of dairy products to meet the demands of a growing population. New Zealand Dairy Board had been active in the region for several years exporting their milk powder products. An approach to Sheikh Rashid secured his approval to establish a local company producing dairy products using milk products supplied from New Zealand. United Kaipara Dairies>Co. (P.S.C.) came into being in 1977. More commonly known as Unikai, Kaipara referred to Kaipara Co-operative Dairy Company of New Zealand which was then a partner in Unikai. Kaipara Co-operative Dairy Company established in 1911 amongst the rolling green pastures of Hellensville in New Zealand's Northland.

Opening of Unikai
Robert Muldoon, (then) Prime Minister of New Zealand, opens Unikai's Al Quoz Factory in 1977 watched by the Late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, (then) Ruler of Dubai.

Irony in the Ice Cream Business

Kaipara Dairies New Zealand

Derelict Kaipara Dairy Factory in NZ

Photo by Lisa Truttman 2008

Today Unikai continues to expand as Dubai grows while Kaipara Co-operative Dairies that helped establish Unikai went out of business in 1987 after 1980s financial crisis.
Today New Zealand Kaipara Co-operative Dairy Company's factory lies derelict.

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