Going the extra mile with planes, trains, automobiles…and camels

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At The Moodie Report we love the many industry stories about the extraordinary lengths people will go to in order to get themselves or their products around the world. Word reaches us, courtesy of Dubai-based Al Nassma, of another such tale, this one featuring that prince of Arabian animals…the camel.

Al Nassma is of course the purveyor of fine camel milk chocolate, taken from the government’s own 3,000-strong herd in the desert near Dubai, and which is making inroads in travel retail.

The brand’s presentation wooden box of camel milk chocolates (above) was listed as a signature gift item by Etihad Airways recently, as an expression of the UAE and a VIP gift for corporate partners. As the carrier has expanded, it has been offering guests at each of its route launch events samples of Al Nassma, meaning the brand has journeyed to new Etihad destinations as varied as Amsterdam, Belgrade, Washington DC and Hong Kong so far this year.

In late September Al Nassma received an order for the Vietnam launch, heralding Etihad’s new direct connection from Abu Dhabi to Ho Chi Minh City.

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The brand’s Sales Director Patrick Dorais takes up the story.

“Unfortunately, about three to four days before the Etihad event we found out that our logistics provider could not guarantee on-time delivery of the order. So, knowing that we had to satisfy our customer, we jumped into action.

“We [Patrick, above right, and Managing Director Martin van Almsick, pictured with the delivery] booked the first available flight (which had to be on Emirates as Etihad by definition had not yet opened their route). We did a last-minute visa run to the very helpful and understanding employees at Vietnamese Consulate in Abu Dhabi and then went from the Consulate directly to the airport.

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A relieved Martin van Almsick watches the 180kg delivery arrive on the carousel in Vietnam (top); and the Al Nassma team prepare to hump their chocolate through Customs (above)

“We packed 180 kg worth of chocolate into suitable cartons along with toothbrush, comb and change of clothes, and we flew to Vietnam to personally import, customs-clear and hand-deliver the order.

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Baggage restriction: Two taxis needed to transport the precious cargo to its final destination

“Then, after a quick but well-deserved and delicious Pho soup, back we went on an overnight flight, narrowly avoiding Typhoon Wutip. We made it back to Dubai just on time to welcome the delegates at FAB 2013 for the farm tour organised by our camel milk café brand The Majlis.”

The photos on this page tell the story beautifully – underlining the fact that there’s no destination out of reach for Al Nassma’s Camel Express service.

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Signed, sealed and delivered: Al Nassma’s epic journey ends – just in time for the team to make their return flight


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