Two Essex boys have brought an air of coolness to Dubai’s sweltering heat, by introducing the concept of ice cream vans.
Dan and Nathen Furlong, from Chelmsford, embarked on the venture after they travelled to Dubai to visit their expatriate parents. Dan was finding the Dubai weather to be overwhelming, and saw an opportunity to introduce the hot citizens of Dubai to the cool refreshment of mobile ice cream vendors.
Researching the idea, Dan discovered that there where no ice cream vans in the whole of Dubai, despite ice cream being a popular product for adults and children alike. He also surmised that the vans could be popular with Dubai’s massive community of western expats, as it would give them a tasty reminder of home.
With the idea fresh in his mind, Dan approached his brother Nathen and together they created Desert Chill, Dubai’s first ever ice cream van business, and so far it’s been a hit with both expats and Emiratis: “The expats always smile to see something that reminds them of home, but the Emiratis are undoubtedly our best customers, they just seem to find the idea of a van really appealing,” Dan told The Telegraph.
In fact, the business has been such a success they already have plans to drive into other parts of the UAE, namely Abu Dhabi where they have just obtained a special trading licence: “The expansion into Abu Dhabi, is great, because it’s really the most exiting emirate at the moment. On top of that, they’ve created a whole new trade bracket for us there, which means we can trade anywhere - beaches, parks, streets.” Dan explained.
The enterprising brothers also have an idea to produce their own ice cream, a move that would cut importing costs: “Any kind of import is pricey in the UAE, launching our own range will allow us to offer slightly better value for money. And we’re always working on improving our profit margins,” Dan said.
With temperatures of 113F (45C) the norm in the Emirates it’s no surprise that the roving ice creamers have proved popular, and as Dan succinctly summed up “At the end of the day, everyone likes ice cream, don’t they?”