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UAE food expo nets $544m deals

Dubai, December 5, 2013

The fourth edition of SIAL Middle East, the region’s fastest growing professional business platform for the food, drink and hospitality industries, which concluded last month, resulted in business deals worth $544 million.

The event also brought to the region for the first time a host of new and innovative food products from around the world, said the event organisers.

More than 17,000 trade visitors visited the exhibition held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from November 24 to 26.

Following the 2013 show's success, about 80 per cent of the expo is rebooked onsite for the next year, said the organisers, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.

"The expo attracted more than 1,000 food and equipment manufacturers from around the globe besides 21 international pavilions from five continents, thus exceeding all expectations," remarked Rashed Mohamed Al Shariqi, the director general of ADFCA.

"SIAL Middle East is of vital strategic importance for Abu Dhabi and the UAE in light of the ever increasing need for food products in the country and the region on the one hand and the demographic diversity here on the other," he stated.

"The fact that we import much of our food requirements is another crucial factor that turns shows such as these into watershed events. The massive success of SIAL Middle East since inception is also a testimony to the prominence of Abu Dhabi as a preeminent hub for food businesses for the entire Mena region,” he added.

The booming food and beverage sector in the GCC region is expected to attract $106 billion of consumer spending in the next five years, reaching an average per capita consumption of 983kg annually, said Al Shariqi, citing official data.

The growth in population across the GCC region, increasing per capita income and a dynamic tourism sector are factors that contribute to higher food consumption.

According to him, the UAE has now become the largest food processing and re-exporting centre in the Gulf region.

“The fact that 65 per cent of the products showcased this year is new to the region is indicative of the importance businesses attach to SIAL Middle East. ADFCA is committed to facilitate this growth in food businesses without compromising on food safety, our primary responsibility towards the general public,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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