The world's first camel-milk chocolate was launched in Dubai. The announcement of the chocolate, called Al Nassma - after the arabic word for a cool desert breeze - is a tremendous development for the UAE's camel milk industry as demand from the chocolate manufacturers will create a need for more camel milk. Although a traditional staple for the Bedouin, camel milk is not produced on a large scale. There are currently two camel farms in the country and fresh camel milk is still very much a niche product. The Al Nassma chocolate is produced from camel milk powder made from Dubai-based Camelicious, the brand's sole camel milk provider.
At the moment, the UAE is not allowed to export dairy, meat and other animal products into the European Union because the country, like many others in the region, has not been declared free of foot-and-mouth disease. This may soon change as studies carried at Dubai's Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) have proven that one-humped camels, the variety native to the UAE, are resistant to the disease. Although camel milk is produced in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, only Dubai has a facility which enables chocolate makers to produce a quality product, said Martin van Almsick, general manager of Al Nassma and former manager of the famous Cologne Chocolate Museum.