Yum! Yum!! But it is also Vroom ...Vroom!!! For food, the fuel that keeps us going, day in and day out, is all set to grab space and spur growth in the region with Gulfood 2005, the largest, most comprehensive and representative show for the food, hotel and hospitality industry in the Middle East and North Africa, ...

By Sushil Kutty

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 26 May 2004, 2:18 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:57 AM

to take place in Dubai from February 20 to February 23, 2005. And if that's something to munch on post all the eating, then this should come as an appetiser: Those who would be part of Gulfood 2005, and these are legion from all corners of the world, can more than hope to capitalise on the advantage of being at the hub of a high-spending and rapidly expanding target market.

Officials of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the organisers of the event, say participants can set their sights firmly on accelerated growth by building on its acknowledged track record as the premier regional platform for the food industry. This 10th edition of the biennial event, to be held at the DWTC Complex, will offer an opportunity to food and hospitality industries to display latest developments and technologies as well as network with fellow professionals located in a region which has recorded a spectacular growth in tourism and hospitality infrastructure and which as a result has become one of the key growth areas for both these sectors.

Some 1,304 participants from 44 countries including 25 country pavilions took part in Gulfood 2003, the last edition. "Middle East's high disposable income, appetite and vision make it an increasingly important food and drinks consumer. The region is also heavily dependant on large-scale imports of food and food-related products, with more than 90 per cent of its needs being met from overseas. This makes food and food related products in the Gulf a massively important sector for any international manufacturer, importer or trader," said a DWTC official.

Gulfood facilitates the development of trade, tastes and trends by attracting key industry buyers from over 75 countries and its position is consolidated by Dubai's key role as the region's business and re-exporting hub, being located on the crossroads of three continents and the centre of a potential market of more than 2 billion people. The event will feature all essential ingredients required to make it an all-encompassing exhibition. These "ingredients" are: Food and beverage; hotel, refrigeration and food service equipment; hotel supplies and services; food processing machinery; bakery and confectionary products and equipment, coding and measuring equipment, disposable items and hospitality information systems.

"Going by early responses, all indications point to a considerably larger show in 2005. Projected figures indicate a 30 per cent surge in participation over 2003, which reinforces the fact that Gulfood is the only exhibition of its kind that provides access to fast-growing markets in the Middle East, North and East Africa, the GCC, the former CIS and the booming Indian subcontinent," said the same DWTC official.

Gulfood 2005 will welcome new country pavilions from Argentina, Armenia, Belgium's Walloon region, India, Iran, Malaysia and South Africa. These countries have already signed up even as several others were planning to enter the market for the first time.

As before, Gulfood will once again be supported by Emirates Culinary Guild, which will host the Emirates International Salon Culinaire 2005, a four-day extravaganza of seminars, competitions and demonstrations.

Another significant development is the move of the Third Middle East Food Marketing Forum from its usual January slot to run alongside Gulfood 2005, which will offer senior managers a specially developed programme to provide guidance, advice and debate on the latest issues shaping food product development, said the DWTC official who insisted on anonymity.

The exhibitor profile for Gulfood 2005 has been developed to include the food processing, packaging and ingredients segments as well as the firmly established food, drinks, bakery, foodservice and hospitality equipment areas. The food processing and packing business in the Middle East is significant and growing, with much of the technology being imported. It is a natural and obvious progression, which will bring synergy to Gulfood.

Gulfood 2003 received 12,000 high quality trade visitors from 71 countries.

Those interested in food and all that's related to food, can find more information if they log on to

More news from