Gulfood, the region's leading food and beverage trade show, opened on Sunday at Dubai World Trade Centre with a display of a wide spectrum of new concepts and products from manufacturers and suppliers from across the world who have set their sights on UAE's booming F&B market which is on track to grow to $13.2 billion by 2018.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, inaugurated the 22nd edition of the show that will run for five days and is expected to draw up to 90,000 food professionals from 150 countries.
Sheikh Hamdan was given a snapshot of the global innovation now impacting an industry striving to meet major shifts in consumer dietary preferences.
"Buyer demand for healthy and Halal products, as well as trusted resource provenance, has turned Gulfood 2017 into a window to global food sector reinvention. The show is already underlining its international reputation as a hotbed for unique business opportunities," said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.
Some 5,000 exhibitors from 120 countries are showcasing their products and services as they eye a share of the multi-billion dollar Mena F&B market. More than 2,000 participants are making their debut at the exhibition, which also hosts the world's biggest annual Halal food sourcing trade show-in-show in Halal World Food. The geographic influence of Gulfood is demonstrated via 120 national pavilions with four countries - Azerbaijan, Finland, Malta and Somalia - represented for the first time. China, India, Italy, Spain and the USA have their pavilions, with Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon and Morocco showcasing regional capabilities. The Association of Italian P.D.O (Protected Designation of Origin) Cheeses (Afidop) has announced that the Italian cheese industry is expected to witness a boom in the UAE. "As the UAE's F& B industry continues to boom, we are expecting the demand for Italian cheeses to grow simultaneously," said Nicola Baldrighi, President of Afidop. The food show features eight individual food commodity trading markets covering beverages, fairy; fats & oils; Health, wellness & free-from; pulses, grains & cereals; meat & poultry; power brands and world food. Back for the fourth year in a row, Halal World Food boasts more than 1,000 international specialist Halal food brands and companies.
The show also hosts the annual Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire - the world's largest single-entry chefs' competition. The 2017 Salon Culinaire will see more than 1,000 of the region's top professional chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers compete for honours accredited by an expert panel mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies. The show, a strict trade-only event, is open to business and trade visitors from 11am to 7pm from 26 February 26 to March 1 and 11am-5pm on March 2.
By Isaac John
Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.