The foods manufacturing and service industry in Dubai is currently witnessing an exponential growth, with five to 10 per cent increased rate of growth in the year 2012, indicates an expert. Although a positive outlook for the UAE economy has been predicted, the current subsidies offered in some parts of the UAE provide an enormous challenge to the manufacturers, said Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman of Al Ghurair Foods and Al Ghurair Resources and Vice-Chairman of Al Ghurair Group. “With the UAE being highlighted as a free market economy, the current price regulations create an unequal platform for buying and selling,” he pointed out. “The Government’s role in offering subsidies to all manufacturers could be a major boost into creating a level playing field,” added Essa while speaking on the sidelines of the Gulfood 2012 exhibition. Essa elaborated on the future expansion plans of the region’s food manufacturing giant, “The future plans include acquisition of farmlands, in close collaboration with GCC partners, by venturing out into the downward and upward integration of agriculture in the pipeline.” “With over 100,000 hectares of farmlands in the process of being acquired from Sudan, the UAE can look forward to a new joint venture in the coming month,” he indicated.