Giant food expo opens in Dubai
Dubai, February 19, 2012
More than 3,800 companies will be showcasing their food and beverage products and services at the 'Gulfood 2012, ' the largest annual trade show for the food and hospitality industry, which opens in Dubai today (February 19).
Running until February 22 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the show has been sold out since October as exhibitors from around the world look to do business in the fast-growing Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, said the event organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Covering over 1 million sq ft of dedicated exhibition space, Gulfood 2012 represents all corners of the globe with four new pavilions Algeria, Hungary, Kenya and Peru joining the regulars including Argentina, Australia, China, Chile, France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, the US and Vietnam.
DWTC is forecasting a record event this year as representatives from over 88 countries represented from 110 international pavilions are set to take part, said a senior official.
'The participation this year from so many international leading companies in the global food and beverage industry is a clear indication of the important position that Gulfood holds on a global level,' remarked Helal Saeed Almarri, the chief executive officer of DWTC.
'With many developed markets delivering minimal growth, the Middle East region represents huge potential for companies and Gulfood is a key facilitator for entry into these highly lucrative markets,' he noted.
'We are looking forward to record sales and business opportunities for exhibitors and visitors this year,' he added.
With Restaurant & Café Middle East and Ingredients Middle East running co-located at Gulfood, the event covers the full spectrum of the industry, from ingredients through to food processing, packaging, retail, hospitality and distribution.
Gulfood also plays a key role in highlighting the latest industry advances, trends and innovations through the Gulfood Conference which this year is being opened with a keynote speech by Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade.
Recognition and reward of excellence within the region’s food and beverage industry comes through Gulfood’s much anticipated Gulfood Awards, said Almarri.
A record number of entries has been received this year, with 20 categories that have been be judged by an international panel of independent industry experts, he revealed.
Culinary skills will also be showcased at the prestigious Emirates International Salon Culinaire which, in association with the Emirates Culinary Guild, hosts 1,300 chefs in heated competition before a panel of 25 international judges.
The Baking & Pastry Guild Competition enjoys its third year of success at Gulfood, with specialist focus on innovation and creativity in baking, he added.
Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only.
Industry business professionals will be able to buy a four-day pass for Dh200 ($54.4) at the show. Gulfood is open from 11am – 7pm (February 19 to 21) and 11am – 5pm on February 22.-TradeArabia News Service