(Dubai) – H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, opened Gulfood 2018, the 23rd edition of the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Spread across one million square feet of exhibition space, Gulfood is the world’s first major food and beverage trade event of the year and is expected to draw over 90,000 food industry professionals and 120 exhibiting county pavilions. The show will welcome international heads of state, ministers, government officials and national trade associations.
Touring the mega show, which runs for five days at DWTC, Sheikh Hamdan reviewed the latest innovations and technologies that are redefining the food sector landscape as key sector players look to meet the evolving demand of a rising, younger, increasingly urbanised population.
Featuring more than 5,000 regional and international exhibitors across eight segments, including beverages; dairy; fats and oils; health, wellness; pulses, grains and cereals; and meat and poultry, are eager to get their slice of a growing global food market, which is one of largest manufacturing sectors, contributing USD77.5 trillion to the world economy in 2017 according to the Gulfood Industry Outlook Report, and is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.9 per cent from 2017-2030. This is driven in part by rising populations in emerging markets within Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions and a shift towards packaged and convenience foods. The UAE F&B market meanwhile, is forecast to reach USD13.2 billion by 2018, according to a KPMG report.
“The F&B industry in the UAE and wider region is thriving, which provides a diverse range of business opportunities for local, regional and international companies alike,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “Gulfood continues to serve as the industry benchmark and is the ideal platform for industry professionals looking to network and explore new business avenues.”
Gulfood also features Halal World Food, the world’s largest annual Halal food sourcing trade show; the annual Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire, the world’s largest single-entry chef competition; the World Coffee Events’ 2018 Cezve/Ibrik Championship and the Gulfood Innovation Awards.