Company History

GEFCO was established in the UAE in 1974 by Boutros M. Sayah, a Lebanese businessman, and his son-in-law Elias G. Bou Serhal. In 1978 Elias Haddad joined the company. The company started by importing sweets such as lollipops and biscuits from France and expanded to other food products. We grew rapidly by identifying the best quality products and became the first company to import Pepsi Cola in the UAE. In 1989, the next generation took over: Elias Sayah, Abdallah Sayah and Robert Haddad.

With the introduction of new brands and products to our import portfolio and expansion of our distribution network, GEFCO expanded to importing food and household products from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and USA. We are continually opening new markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

About Us


We represent brands that are leaders in their fields and are committed to high quality products. We aim to provide eco-friendly products.


We are committed to providing consistent and dependable service to our customers.


We pursue diversity in our work force and our product lines.

Our Vision

We are committed to increasing the availability of quality products at reasonable prices for consumers in the Middle East and North Africa.

Our Mission

We strive to provide high quality products at the best value to customers and to build long-standing relationships with suppliers.

Management Team

Our international team of sales and merchandising experts from the US, Middle East and Asia speak Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Tagalog.

Elias B. Sayah, President & CEO

Dr. Sayah serves as President & CEO of GEFCO-MENA and is responsible for the overall management of the company and expansion in the Middle East and North Africa. He opened GEFCO’s first office in the US in the 1984 and returned to the UAE to run the business in 1989. Dr. Sayah has 25+ years of international business experience. A US citizen, Dr. Sayah holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University, California, USA and a PhD from Pune University. He speaks English, Arabic and French.

Abdallah Sayah, Executive Vice President

Dr. Sayah serves as Executive Vice President of GEFCO-MENA and is responsible for managing the company’s operations in Dubai and the Northern Emirates of the UAE. He also oversees GEFCO’s office and warehouses in Sharjah. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Dr. Sayah has 20+ years of experience in the fields of science and international business. He speaks Arabic, English and French.

Robert E. Haddad, Vice President

Mr. Haddad serves as Vice President of GEFCO-MENA and is responsible for managing GEFCO’s operations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He has 20+ years of sales and marketing experience in the UAE and Middle East. Educated in the French system in Lebanon, Mr. Haddad holds a Diploma in Marketing. He speaks Arabic, French and English.

Samer Al Nimr, Sales and Marketing Director

Mr. Al Nimr serves as Sales and Marketing Director of GEFCO-MENA and is responsible for strategic and business planning, negotiating contracts with retailers and managing the sales force throughout the UAE. He has 17+ years of experience in brand management, marketing and sales in the Middle East. Mr. Al Nimr has worked for Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Boehringer-Ingelheim. He holds an MBA in Marketing from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in the UK and a BA in International Relations and Economics from Knox College in Illinois, USA. He speaks English and Arabic.

Tarek Hijazi, Senior Sales and Marketing Supervisor

Mr. Hijazi serves as Senior Sales and Marketing Supervisor of GEFCO-MENA and is responsible for supervising sales and merchandising staff in Dubai and Sharjah, UAE. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Applied Science University in Jordan. Mr. Hijazi has 15+ years of experience in sales and marketing in the UAE and Jordan, where he worked for Le Meridien Hotel. He speaks Arabic and English.

Abraham T. Philipose, Financial Manager

Mr. Philipose serves as Financial Manager of GEFCO-MENA and is responsible for managing the company’s accounting, monitoring and reporting systems. He has 10+ years of experience working for trading companies. Mr. Philipose holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Kerala University in India. He speaks English and Hindi.

A Leading Importer

GEFCO MENA - General Establishment for Commerce and Trading - is a leading importer and distributor of food and household products in the UAE.

We are a multi-channel wholesale and retail merchandising company with 40 years of experience in the Middle East.

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Abu Dhabi