Gulfood in Dubai

 GulfoodThe annual trade exhibition for the food and hospitality industry will take place in Dubai, from February 25-28

Gulfood, the annual trade exhibition for the food and hospitality industry, is set to expand by 13% – more than 12,500sqm – next year to offer 113,398sqm in exhibition space. The expansion includes an additional temporary hall, Zabeel Pavilion, dedicated to food and drink companies due to overwhelming demand both regionally and globally. Gulfood organisers have reported a sold out show a full six months before the event kicks off from February 25-28, 2013 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Under the theme “International Flavours, World Class Business”, Gulfood 2013 is on track to provide exporters, buyers, exhibitors and visitors benefit an even broader trade and sourcing platform as well as knowledge exchange, training, competitions and live events. The latest edition of Gulfood, held in February this year, attracted 68,681 trade visitors from 152 countries – an 11% increase from the previous year – with a 61% international visitor presence. In addition, the 2012 show drew 3,816 exhibitors and offered 110 international pavilions. The additional exhibition space will allow many of the hundreds of exhibitors queuing for a presence at Gulfood to finally showcase their products in this fast-growth market including new country pavilions from Ecuador, Lithuania and Oman.

The additional exhibition space at Gulfood 2013 will accommodate the huge demand for participation, enable more processing and packaging equipment space, and allow exhibitors to demonstrate their larger machinery and equipment ranges. Increased space has also been provided to Ingredients, which supports the region’s increasing drive to manufacture and move up the value chain. The largest exhibition space increase has been provided to finished food – especially exhibitors focused on retail and foodservice markets – where demand far exceeds capacity with over 900 companies requesting space. An important bi-product of the expansion is the many new products, new exhibitors and new equipment that can be shown, which in turn delivers more value and interest to visitors.

Launched more than 25 years ago, the inaugural Gulfood in 1987 offered 850sqm of exhibition space to the region’s burgeoning food and hospitality industry. Today, Gulfood provides 113,398sqm, a staggering growth metric which underpins its position as the world’s biggest annual trade exhibition for the sector with unrivalled expertise, in-depth market knowledge and spectacular return on investment.

With Dubai a central trading point between east and west, food imports to the GCC are projected to rise to USD53.1 billion (AED195 billion) in 2020 from USD25.8 billion (AED94.7 billion) in 2010 according to Economist Intelligence Unit figures. In the UAE, imports are set to grow from USD3 billion (AED11 billion) in 2011 to USD8.4 billion (AED30.8 billion) in 2020.

According to Dubai Municipality, food imports to Dubai rose 18% in 2011 at 6.7 million tonnes compared to 5.6 million tonnes in 2010 from 151 countries. Reflecting the global profile and importance to exporters, many agricultural and export ministers are also expected to attend Gulfood to support their countries participation. To facilitate this high level ministerial support, Gulfood is proud to host the Ministers Meet, which is a programme of events where ministers with a portfolio encompassing global trade, export and agriculture will need to collaborate and broker future trade agreements, export initiatives and food security policy. Providing context and direction to global trade strategy is also on the agenda at the strong conference line-up next year. Captains of industry and world-renowned experts will share their research and market analysis at the Food Leaders Summit where food and hospitality business leaders will debate and explore the commercial strategies that will shape the future of food trade both at home and abroad. Also capitalising upon the region’s fast-growing manufacturing base and business start-ups are dedicated programmes for Food Processing and Packaging and Entrepreneur or Foodpreneur? where the hottest trends for 2013 will be unveiled. Completing the line-up is the Franchise Workshop, an essential guide to food franchising to help industry professionals make the right decisions to acquire and manage a successful network.

The Gulfood Awards, now in its fourth year, will celebrate the people and companies behind the region’s exceptional food and drink industry. The Gulfood Awards has firmly established itself as the region’s leading and most sought after accolade providing winners with an independent and prestigious endorsement of their achievements. By rewarding and celebrating excellence in 23 hotly contested categories, the awards aim to recognise and champion innovation, the highest levels of service, the very best standards as well as enhancing the region’s international reputation for excellent food and beverage products and services.

Adding to the competition and excellence, the hugely successful and popular Emirates Culinary Guild Salon Culinaire returns to Gulfood next year. Now one of the largest competitions in the world, 1,300 young chefs will compete to become the culinary stars of the future. The event highlights include practical and display-based culinary competitions from practical cooking competitions to buffet and banqueting show pieces – a perennial favourite being the ice-carving stage where talented entrants turn half-tonne blocks of ice into extraordinary sculptures that amaze and delight audiences. The competitions are organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild and endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies.

The third Baking & Pastry Guild Middle East Competition will also be held at Gulfood 2013. This competition is designed to honour the highly specialised skills of professional bakers and pastry chefs. The competition will showcase new trends, classical skills, innovative techniques, and most of all the exceptional talent, dedication, and competitive spirit of these professionals in the UAE and Middle East. New categories include Retail and Bakery Breads, Retail Bakery Rolls, Retails Bakery Speciality Breads and Retail Bakery Confectionary and Pastry.

A range of industry sectors will be showcased and this demonstrates Gulfood’s 360 degree perspective in terms of its exhibition offerings. Ingredients Middle East is the only event in the region to address the growing food manufacturing and processing sector – excellent sales prospects are available for those who cultivate, extract, process or supply raw materials and ingredients to manufacturers of finished food, beverages and health food. Also among the sector line-up are: Beverage & Beverage Equipment, Food & Drink, Food Service & Hospitality, Ingredients Middle East, Processing & Packaging and Restaurant & Cafe.

The value of networking is also harnessed at Gulfood, through The Gulfood Majlis, a commercial forum that provides a discreet but focused environment for senior industry professionals to network and develop new business opportunities. Further enhancing next year’s Gulfood and new to the show are: an enhanced VIP buyer programme, a spotlight on Africa, easier on-site navigation tools and workshops dedicated to entrepreneurship, processing, packaging and industry regulations.

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