Middle East, Asian And African Food Markets Reaching Historic High For Exporters In 2007

Published January 18th, 2007 - 08:55 GMT

Leading food and hospitality companies from around the world are to gather in Dubai in February for Gulfood 2007, hoping to capitalise upon the phenomenal sales momentum currently witnessed across a range of produce areas.

According to the most recent report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, estimated global expenditures on imported foodstuffs reached a historic high of US$374 billion in 2006, over 2% more than the level of 2005.

The UAE is a major food market, importing over $3 billion in food imports annually with its foodservice market growing at over 10% in 2006.

Dubai-based Gulfood, one of the world’s most significant food and hospitality exhibitions, is growing in tandem with this ongoing market upsurge. The event is achieving a 40% increase in exhibition space and record participation in 2007, with a high number of new countries also looking to make new connections and extend existing relationships.

“Given Dubai’s central position at the heart of the global food export market, and Gulfood’s prestigious record in delivering real business opportunities, it is natural for international companies to make Gulfood their business choice. We are very pleased to present them with an even bigger platform this year to develop and grow their business in the region,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood.

This year’s event will host more than 2,000 companies from over 70 countries, making it the most important food and hospitality event for the Middle East, Africa and Indian subcontinent region. Exhibitors from countries including Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Georgia and Latvia will be taking part in Gulfood for the first time, and national groups from Brazil, Chile, Ireland, Latvia, Montenegro and Syria will also be making their debut.

Gulfood offers industry players from around the world an ideal stage to realise major opportunities in the region, where ongoing growth is being driven by a rising population, changing dietary patterns and increased consumer spending.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the largest producers and importers of food and feed grains in the world, with Egypt being the biggest wheat importer in the world, and Turkey, among the top countries for wheat production.

Dubai plays a key role in the distribution of food in the region, with over 70% of total UAE food imports re-exported to more than 160 countries including the Gulf, the Indian subcontinent, North and East Africa, and, increasingly, the Central Asian Republics. Within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains the largest market for food imports, representing approximately 60% of the total food market.

Some countries are reliant on imports to meet their food needs, which – given the rising population – is creating markets with major potential. Kuwait, for example, imports 100% of its food, and food imports made up 30% of average total imports for Egypt in 2006.

“Egypt is an important country within the food industry, both as a major producer of food and a rapidly-developing market. Such is the demand and interest from Egyptian companies in forging new links with companies from around the world that we are hosting our largest-ever national pavilion participation at Gulfood 2007,” said Dalia Kabeel - Egyptian Exporters Association (EEA).

As a result of such strong global growth, leading up to its 12th edition, Gulfood has grown to become one of the world’s biggest trade hubs for the foodservice and hospitality sector, with an estimated reach of two billion consumers.

Gulfood 2007 - The 12th Gulf Food, Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire, organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 19 – 22 February 2007. The opening hours are 11.00 to 19.00 on the 19 – 21 February, and 11.00 to 17.00 on the 22 February.

Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open for business and trade visitors only, proof of which must be provided at registration. General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be allowed into the exhibition.

About Gulfood www.gulfood.com
Organised since 1987, Gulfood is the region's largest and most important industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade.
In 2006, Gulfood brought together 2,173* companies from 70 countries and featured 46 national pavilions. The exhibition attracted 32,022* trade visitors from 146 countries including buying delegations not only from the Middle East but as far as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Brunei, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, UK and USA.
*Gulfood 2006 was audited and monitored by KPMG.

About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) www.dwtc.com
As the organiser of Gulfood 2007, Dubai World Trade Centre offers over 25 years’ experience of delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises 12 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region.

Our commitment to ongoing innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors. DWTC works the region’s leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all conferences deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.



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