Gulfood opens with record participation of 3,800 companies from over 100 countries



Gulfood 2011 was inaugurated this morning (Sunday) by HH. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Minister of Finance and Dubai Deputy Ruler, with the global food industry expecting unprecedented business opportunities at the world’s largest annual food, drink, and hospitality exhibition.

DWCTens of thousands of international trade visitors thronged the halls on its first day at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), where a record 3,800 companies from more than 100 countries are participating.

“We thank HH. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his support of Gulfood 2011, one of the most influential trade shows in the world for the food and beverage industry,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the exhibition. “The phenomenal response we have received from both exhibitors and visitors confirms the importance of Gulfood in delivering exceptional business opportunities across the board.”

Running until 2 March 2011, this year’s edition is the biggest event in the show’s history, occupying more than one million square feet of exhibition space. More than 84 national pavilions will host companies from their respective countries, all of which consider the event an essential platform.

“Egypt is one of the three largest pavilions at Gulfood 2011 and it is very much ‘business as usual’ for the Egyptian companies taking part,” said Abdulrahman Raouf, Minister Plenipotentiary, Commercial Office, Egyptian Embassy.

“The food and beverage industry is a huge part of our economy and Gulfood presents by far the best opportunities for those Egyptian companies on both a regional and global level. These businesses are extremely high calibre and we are expecting not only considerable interest, but considerable investment.”

New country pavilions include Armenia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Palestine and Sweden and of the the 100 countries represented at the show, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, Malta and Norway will participate for the first time.

More than 1,400 new exhibitors will take part in Gulfood this year, including the global food packaging and processing solutions giant, Tetra Pak, leading Saudi Arabian companies, Al Rabie, Nadec, Savola, European heavyweight DuPont and locally-based beverage and snack company Masafi to name a few. Visitors to the show can be assured of new products and services from both multinational organisations and smaller independent suppliers from every corner of the world. Many new launches will also be on show this year from companies including Del Monte, Khazan Foods, Nestle and Truebell.

Commenting on the importance of Gulfood, Jan Juul Larsen, Managing Director Tetra Pak Arabia, said “Gulfood provides an excellent opportunity for us to showcase an extensive range of our products and innovations to both our existing customers and to the many new partners we hope to meet. With a heritage of more than 45 years in the Middle East, it is no suprise that the region is now the second largest market for Tetra Pak.”

Some of the regional leaders participating at Gulfood 2011 include Al Ghurair Foods, Khazan Foods, Al Rabie, Al Islami Foods, Masafi, Nadec and Etihad Salehia.

Platinum sponsor and one of the region’s top producers of premium chilled and frozen meat products and quality food, Khazan Foods will launch a new product range that focuses on the fast growing health-conscious segment of local regional consumers.

Frank Andreu, General Manager of Khazan said: “Gulfood will be a major launching point for our new Vital range of products because the reach of this exhibition enables us to keep our customers updated on our product offerings, generate sales and increase our market share, all at the same time,” said Frank Andreu, General Manager of Khazan Foods.

With co-located specialist shows, Ingredients Middle East and Restaurant & Café Middle East, Gulfood is the only event that includes the entire industry value chain, from ingredient suppliers through to manufacturing, processing, packaging, equipment suppliers, business expertise, and every possible food product for the trade you can imagine.

Under the theme ‘Global Trends – Regional Opportunities”, the Gulfood Conference promises industry insights from international experts, panel discussions, workshops and speaker sessions covering the entire spectrum of industry strategy, marketing and business growth.

Gulfood also provides a unique networking opportunity for senior industry professionals through the Gulfood Majlis, a commercial forum that offers a discreet but focused environment for business decision makers to associate with other industry professionals, meet prospective clients and develop new business opportunities.

Excellence in all elements of the industry will be recognised during Gulfood 2011. The prestigious Emirates International Salon Culinaire, in association with the Emirates Culinary Guild, continues to attract more than 1,500 chefs to compete in front of a panel of distinguished international judges, while the annual Gulfood Awards will applaud the achievements and innovations of the region’s food and drink industry.

Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only.