The landmark 20th edition of Gulfood – the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality trade show returns to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 8-12 February, 2015; reflecting its position as one of the most important international platforms for the global food trade. Continuing its pivotal role in connecting nations and suppliers, Gulfood paves the way for the opening of distribution channels, highlighting Dubai as a key trading hub for the global food industry.
Expected to attract more than 4,800 international companies from 120 countries and more than 80,000 visitors from over 170 countries, Gulfood 2015 will span 127,000m² of exhibition space – including a 23,000m², purpose-built temporary structure, the largest-of-its-type regionally. The expansion is in view of the 2014 edition breaking its own participation records and generated show-floor and year-round legacy sales that numbered in the billions of US dollars.
“A landmark celebration such as the 20th anniversary of Gulfood is an opportunity to reflect on the show’s growth in both scale and stature over the past two decades, and to reiterate the role it continues to play in brokering significant partnerships and business deals between companies, corporations and countries around the world”, said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC.
With tens of thousands of participating brands showcasing innovative new products and hosting hundreds of global launches, the unbeatable prices and unrivalled trading opportunities at Gulfood will draw HoReCa industry professionals and international buyers eager to source and secure first-to-market products in their domestic countries. Meanwhile, the show’s standing as a global business platform will ensure the presence of heads of state, ministers and government officials from around the world, as national trade associations ink bi-lateral trade agreements and debate food industry trends at industry-shaping conferences and summits.
Food service and hospitality equipment will also come under the microscope this year – a particularly pertinent sector considering the Arabian Gulf’s burgeoning tourism industry and the influx of global visitors expected for Dubai EXPO 2020. This vision is in line with Euromonitor’s recent report which projected the number of F&B outlets in the UAE to double in the next four years. “Gulfood is a significant driver for global food and beverage markets and is a key enabler in Dubai’s status as an international tourism and events destination, as well a vital global trading hub”, said Mark Napier, Show Director, Gulfood.
A unique trade and sourcing platform for finished food suppliers, bulk commodity wholesalers and exporters across the entire sphere of fresh, frozen, dry and processed food and beverage products, Gulfood 2015 will boast a renewed focus on commodities such as meat, cereals, grains, rice, coffee and tea. Resonating with Gulfood’s direction is the United States with its pavilion among the largest national pavilions at the show. It is Dubai’s third largest trading partner contributing 9% annually, behind India and Brazil at 12% and 10% respectively. Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Western Europe are the major importers of food products from Dubai with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and India some of its newest export markets. The high quality of produce, Halal standards and freshness is strengthening the regional market for commodities alongside significant shifts in consumption patterns; for example from carbohydrate-based foods to protein-rich diets. Events taking place at the 20th edition of the show include the sixth Gulfood Awards that recognises the best-in-class of both individuals and companies behind the region’s leadership and innovation in the food and drink industry where 1,000 leading industry decision-makers, celebrity chefs, key exhibitors, customers, media and national groups would be present. Another top draw is the annual Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire – a showcase of the regions’ best culinary talent and expertise with more than 1,300 professional chefs ready to unveil their creations to a panel of judges mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS).
Key industry professionals will welcome Gulfood’s tighter, more focused format in expanding their distribution networks via the staging of knowledge-exchange conferences and events that address key topics relevant to the food industry. The Major Buyers Lounge will
provide industry’s senior business professionals with an exclusive VIP networking facility to ensure maximum networking opportunities.
Open to trade visitors only, Gulfood 2015 is open 11am-7pm from February 8-11 and 11am-5pm on February 12. Visitors can pre-register at www.gulfood.com to save AED100 (US$ 27) on the on-site entry fee of AED250 (US$ 66.65).