With an unbroken record of growth since its inception 27 years ago, Gulfood, the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality industry trade show, will feature a host of innovative new features, national pavilions, specialist conferences, high-ranking ministerial summits and pioneering B2B programmes in an evolved segmented format designed to ensure the 2014 edition covers the entire ‘foodservice sector’.
In an historic first, the sold-out show’s 19th outing – which runs 23-27 February 2014 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) - will be expanded to five days under a directive issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Meteoric growth in the show’s specialist ingredients, processing, packaging equipment and food logistics sectors will see these elements take centre-stage at the inaugural Gulfood Manufacturing show, running 9-11 November 2014 at DWTC.
Gulfood now boasts an additional 27,000m² of freed-up floor-space for 4,500 local, regional and international exhibitors to focus on the foodservice, retail and hospitality trade, and explore international networking opportunities with more than 80,000 global visitors.
“The waiting list for exhibition space at Gulfood grows longer every year, as does our priority to extend the remarkable Gulfood experience to as many companies as possible and deliver as much choice for our visitors,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “The innovative changes to the show’s make-up will deliver a tighter, more focused platform for the finished food and beverage industry with strategic and exciting new opportunities for exhibitors and trade visitors.”
The additional floor-space has enabled 10 new country pavilions to be introduced to Gulfood’s 2014 line-up including: Bahrain, the Basque region, Colombia, Czech Republic, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Romania, Serbia and Vietnam. A total of 121 national pavilions are confirmed for February.
Gulfood’s new ‘finished food market’ emphasis reflects the significant regional business potential for global food and beverage related businesses. GCC food imports are forecast to reach US $ 53.1 billion by 2020 according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the hospitality and tourism sector remains a bright spot across the GCC - whether its luxury and leisure tourism in the UAE, religious tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or sport-related tourism in Qatar.
Dubai’s strategic position as a recognised gateway between East and West and the re-export hub into the other regional countries, Africa, the Far East and the Sub-Continent, adds to Gulfood’s appeal. At present, more than 50% of food imported by the UAE is re-exported.
As the successful host city for the World Expo 2020, which is forecast to attract more than 25 million visitors to the city and the region, Dubai’s well-developed infrastructure and strong trading roots will further amplify exceptional business opportunities emirate-wide, particularly in non-oil sectors such as trade – both wholesale and retail - hospitality, tourism and aviation, and logistics.
Beyond its position as one of the highest volume trading platforms of any international food industry trade show, Gulfood remains the centre of knowledge exchange for many food-related sectors. At the highest level, Gulfood 2014 will host the World Food Security Summit, the first international conference in the region focused on world food security. Attended by ministers, government officials, policy makers, thought leaders and regional and international corporate visionaries, the summit will address the universal challenge of securing a stable, cost-effective and safe supply of food for the world’s growing population.
Gulfood 2014 will also play host to the International Halal Conference - a topic of increasing importance for the global food and beverage industry and one driving considerable growth opportunities. With Muslim populations expected to account for 30% of the global population by 2025, halal food products already account for more than 12% of the global food market and generate an estimated USD640 billion per annum.
Gulfood 2014 also marks the fifth edition of the Gulfood Awards, the definitive platform for recognising excellence and innovation in the food and drink industry. Judged by an international panel of independent industry experts, the Awards will reward people and companies in eight key categories and 22 sub-categories this year. In addition to the theatre and dynamism generated by more than 2,000 chefs competing at Salon Culinaire, the prestigious event - organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild and judged by 25 distinguished international judges - will highlight and reward the culinary talents and expertise of the region’s top professionals.
Gulfood 2014 is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. The show is open 11am-7pm from February 23-26 and 11am-5pm on February 27. The online entry fee is AED150 (US $ 40) and onsite entry fee is AED250 (US $ 66.65). For more information, please visit www.gulfood.com.