The first commercial batch of caviar to come from a Middle East fish farm will be delivered in 2012, Abu Dhabi's Bin Salem Holding said on Tuesday.

Under the Royal Caviar Company brand, the region's first caviar factory will become the world's largest and most technologically advanced producer of high quality sustainably sourced caviar, the company said in a statement.

Developed by Bin Salem Holding, in co-operation with United Food Technologies, The Royal Caviar Company factory currently contains about 18 tonnes of sturgeon with a further 124 tonnes scheduled for delivery this year.

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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.

The Royal Caviar Company also announced the impending delivery of around 120,000 sturgeon eggs, which will be the UAE's first homegrown sturgeon, and the gift of 20 rare albino sturgeons to the factory by United Food Technologies.

Ahmad Al Dhaheri, CEO and vice chairman of Bin Salem, said: "Bin Salem has been planning and developing this business for several years, and it is a tribute to every stakeholder and partner that we can announce our plans now that the factory is complete.

"Abu Dhabi is ideally placed to become one of the world's most successful producers of caviar, as we are convenient to the fastest growing markets in the Middle East and Asia, and I look forward to The Royal Caviar Company being the caviar of choice across the globe."

Caviar has been considered a delicacy for centuries, with demand for high quality caviar increasing year after year.

With the factory in Abu Dhabi reaching full capacity within the next four years, The Royal Caviar Company says it will satisfy about 10 percent of the global supply/demand imbalance.

In addition to high quality caviar, The Royal Caviar Company will be a high volume producer of sturgeon fillets which are also a delicacy in many countries.

Robert Harper, group commercial director, Bin Salem, added: "Abu Dhabi is an ideal location for distribution to the world's growing markets for high quality caviar and sturgeon fillets. In fact in the UAE alone, demand is around 14 tonnes per year.

"Our sturgeon will produce an extremely high quality of caviar and fillets for the local and international markets for many years to come."

He added that the company will soon develop a consumer and retail brand identity, which will be announced later this year.
Sturgeon are considered endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).