Gulfood, labeled as the world’s largest annual food and hospitality show, opened in Dubai on Sunday with many participants from Saudi Arabia. The show, which was inaugurated on Sunday by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance and industry, has attracted a huge number of trade visitors on opening day.
Over 4,400 companies from 120 countries have been participating in the five-day event. More than 65 firms from Saudi Arabia have been exhibiting their products.
Leading local, regional and international companies and brands participating at Gulfood include Almarai, Nestle, PreGel, Sunbullah, Nadiya, Transmead, RAK Porcelain, Del Monte, Manitowic, Iffco, HSA, Agthia, Truebell, Chef Middle East, Choitrams and EMKE Group etc.
Madinah Dates Company (Tomoor), Al Rai Food Industries, Al-Hasa Automatic Bakery Company, Al-Rabie Saudi Food Company Ltd., Al-Watania Poultry, Al Samaani Factory For Handling & Storage Solution, Babatin Factory for Sweets & Chocolates, Batook Chewing Gum Ind. Ltd., Batterjee Ice-Cream & Juice Factory, Factory Al Salam International Company Ltd. Kingdom Dates, Nadec, National Biscuit and Confectionery, National Plant for Healthy Water & Juice (HANA), Raqtan Foods Service Company are among the other exhibitors.
Riyadh Food Industries Company, Saudi Export Development Authority — SEDA, Saudi Pan Gulf Company Ltd., United Flowers for Vegetables Oils Company, United Food Industries Corporation Ltd., Zamil Group of Company are some of the companies that also participate from Saudi Arabia.
“This year’s record participation at Gulfood comes as Dubai’s position as the regional hub for hospitality, trade and tourism is accelerated by the emirate’s confirmed hosting of the World Expo in 2020,” claimed Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, DWTC, organizer of Gulfood.
On the opening day, Singapore Pavilion attracted a number of visitors. Over 47 Singapore companies are exhibiting at the Singapore Pavilion this year, with more than half the participants launching new products.
“The increasing popularity of Asian cuisine among consumers and recent implementation of the GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement are developments that are set to provide a further boost to Singapore’s F&B industry in this region. Our strengthened presence here reinforces the growth potential Singapore companies recognize in the GCC,” said Lester Lu, regional director in Dubai for International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the government agency promoting the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade.
More than 54 new products will be launched at the Singapore Pavilion this year, reflecting the focus by Singapore F&B manufacturers to develop Asian food products targeted at time-pressed, health-conscious GCC consumers.
A number of leading Japanese food companies also are showcasing their products, the Japan Pavilion at Gulfood aims to drive attention to the variety of high quality and healthy food items that the country in bringing to the Middle East.
“We consider Middle East as the perfect platform for a global showcase and Gulfood provides us with the best opportunity to introduce our products to not only local buyers but also global buyers. We bring authentic traditional food items which are not easily available here but essential for Japanese cuisine,” says Tomohiro Tsuchiya, deputy director of Jetro, attending the exhibition in the UAE.
The event also welcomed hundreds of the world’s leading halal manufacturers, processors and distributors from over 50 countries convening at the first Halal World Food.
On the sidelines of the show, the inaugural World Food Security Summit — a Gulfood Leaders Event, will address the importance of securing a stable, cost-effective and safe supply of food for the world’s growing population.