Eat Just has entered a partnership to build a cultivated-meat facility in Qatar.

The San Francisco-based company has teamed up with Qatari investor Doha Venture Capital and the Qatar Free Zones Authority.

It claims the plant, located in the Umm Alhoul Free Zone, is “the first-ever cultivated meat facility in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region”. The site will produce Eat Just’s Good Meat brand, with future plans to add a protein processing factory for its Just Egg products.

Josh Tetrick, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Our team is grateful to take the next step in our global expansion in the Qatar Free Zones. Their commitment to accelerating our work in building a more sustainable food system was apparent from day one of our dialogue – and we’re expecting to look back decades from now on this partnership with them as key to how we made that vision a reality.”

Eat Just, which was set up in 2011 as Hampton Creek and then changed its name to Just before adopting its present designation, announced its entry into South Korea and South Africa last month through commercial deals to sell its plant-based egg products.

The company said the Qatar Free Zones Authority and the Ministry of Public Health have “indicated their intention to grant regulatory approval” for its Good Meat cultivated chicken “very soon” and have approved an export license. Eat Just added it is currently identifying potential restaurants in Qatar for the launch.

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Mohammed Al Abdulla, the CEO of Doha Venture Capital, said: “This partnership is a prime example of our commitment to supporting high-growth disruptors as they develop technologies that will change the world, while helping them take advantage of the many opportunities here in Qatar and across the region.”

The CEO of the Qatar Free Zones Authority, Lim Meng Hui, added: “Our free zones are characterised by innovation, technology, accelerated growth and environmental awareness, and Eat Just is a natural partner across all four of these areas.

“Our food, agri-tech and biomedical sectors continue to grow rapidly, supported by the world-leading cold chain storage capabilities of our airport and port, and we look forward to working with Eat Just as they establish and scale in the region and worldwide.”

The company’s Just Egg products are currently available in a mixture of retail and foodservice in the US and Canada, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea.

Late last year, Singapore approved the sale of Eat Just’s cell-cultured ‘chicken bites’ in an unnamed restaurant after the city-state gave the green light for the marketing of such products. The Good Meat brand only currently encompasses chicken.