Appetite for Dubai’s food sector continues to grow

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Appetite for Dubai’s food sector continues to grow

Gulfood opens today; new features, record participants slated

By Staff Report

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Published: Sun 23 Feb 2014, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:15 PM

Over 80,000 international trade visitors are expected to attend Gulfood 2014. — KT file photo

Dubai is a key trading hub for the global food industry and that’s the reason country leaders, government ministers and top-level delegations are scheduled to attend the 19th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and hospitality industry trade show.

The event, which opens today and runs until February 27 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, or DWTC, Gulfood 2014 will host a record 4,500 exhibitors from 120 countries and welcome 10 new country pavilions. A key barometer for trade, trends and top-line market growth, Gulfood will introduce a number of innovative new features this year, including specialist B2B programmes, a dedicated halal food platform and a pioneering, high-ranking ministerial summit.

With more than 80,000 international trade visitors from over 150 countries expected to attend this year’s five-day show, Gulfood remains an important enabler in servicing the region’s fast-growing hospitality and tourism industries.

In addition to project spending and services, trade and tourism are key growth drivers for the UAE economy in 2014. Beyond its position as the trade show with one of the highest-volume trading platforms in the global food industry, Gulfood is a major contributor to Dubai’s growing reputation as a global events destination and a key pillar of Dubai’s 2020 tourism vision, which is set to double its annual visitors numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020.

Helal Saeed Almarri, chief executive officer of the DWTC and director-general of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The value that Gulfood provides to the food and beverage industry is undisputed and the show is now recognised as a world-class investment platform and business facilitator on a truly global scale.”

This year’s show sees the launch of a dedicated halal food platform, Halal World Food, as well as the inaugural World Food Security Summit, where government ministries, top-level officials and international industry leaders will come together to discuss challenges in securing the region’s future food supplies. This innovative new content will further harness Gulfood’s capacity to drive Dubai’s leading role in steering the global food agenda, Almarri added.

Organised with the official support of the Ministry of Water and Environment, the World Food Security Summit will be opened by Dr Rashid Ahmed Mohammed bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Water and Environment, who will deliver a keynote address on the state of food security in the UAE and the Middle East.

Representing the Australian state of Victoria at the summit, Peter Walsh, the Australian Minister for Agriculture and Food Security and Minister for Water for the State of Victoria, said: “The Middle East supports a rapidly growing population without the luxury of ample water and agricultural land, making food security for this region vital.”

— abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com


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