Ahead of February 14, Gulf News visited Black Tulip Flowers, the region’s largest floral company, to gain an insight into how they deliver millions of Valentine’s Day roses in 35 countries worldwide.
“We are the third largest flower grower in the world and this is the peak time for our business so one can well imagine what’s it like here,” said the company’s owner and chairman M.M. Ehiya, an Indian expat who started from a small flower shop on Sharjah’s King Faisal Road in 1990.
In addition to 21 outlets in the UAE, today Black Tulip owns 11 flower farms in Kenya, five in Ethiopia and two in India. Around 8-10 tonnes of flowers are imported from these farms daily.
A staggering 1.5 million rose stems have been flown to the UAE alone in the last week. That’s almost twice as much as the company imports in an entire month.
Around 70 per cent of these roses are from Black Tulip’s farms in Kenya where decayed manure from 2,000 cows is used to help the flowers get their distinct crimson hue and myrrh scent.