The Speciality Food Festival has expanded this year in line with increased demand for gourmet, artisan, halal and organic products, according to organisers Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Taking place from 18-20 September 2017 at DWTC, the show is the original speciality food event for the MENA region and this year will run alongside five other sector-specific shows as part of the inaugural Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW).
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events management DWTC, commented: “The regional F&B sector is amongst the world’s most discerning, driving demand for speciality ingredients, new innovations and trend-spotting.
“This is the role that The Speciality Food Festival plays for chefs and speciality food retailers across the region, bringing the latest and best products to Dubai, in one convenient place.”
The three-day event will showcase a selection of fine foods, from artisanal olive oils, pickles and chutneys to speciality coffee and teas, charcuterie, bakery and dairy, as well as some of the rarest ingredients sought by professional chefs in the region.
The internationally-recognised trade show continues to attract exhibitors from across the world, including for the first time, Cameroon, Netherlands, Taiwan and Thailand. It has also witnessed a 30% increase in French exhibitors this year.
Incorporating the best of the region’s culinary masters, the ‘Chef’s Theater’ will see Michelin-starred and Dubai-based chefs host six masterclasses per day, including demonstrations of cooking techniques for fine food, seafood, organic, artisan cheese and gluten-free dishes.
The event also encompasses specialist pizza cooking, master coffee tasters and culinary competitions to find the best chefs in Dubai.
With hundreds of new launches at the show, F&B professionals will be able to source up to 2,800 ingredients and foods that have previously not been available in the region.
One such exhibitor, launching more than 80 new products at The Speciality Food Festival, is Bridgeport Trading FZE, which will also introduce its online shopping site, Dlizia.
Cristina Fernandez, manager of Bridgeport Trading FZE, said: “We chose The Speciality Food Festival platform to officially launch our products into the Middle East market, as it is the most expansive speciality show in the region.
“All of our products are from exclusive Spanish brands and made with authentic natural ingredients, with no additives, preservatives, added colours or flavours.”
Equally specialist in its offering and showcasing its sustainable coffee range, Italian coffee company Lavazza, is exhibiting at The Speciality Food Festival to reach key buyers in the region.
Karim Merhi, marketing manager at Lavazza, said: “The Speciality Food Festival gives us a platform to launch our expanding portfolio in the Middle East, and further demonstrates our continued commitment to the region.
“We are focused on bringing to market products designed to meet the evolving needs of customers. This year, we are launching a number of unique products, including ¡Tierra!, part of our sustainable coffee range, Kafa, an exclusive single origin blend of 100% Arabica coffee and, Prontissimo, a premium instant coffee with added microground beans, for a richer coffee experience.”
Showcasing the growth of the speciality coffee scene across the Middle East, is the inaugural National Barista & Latte Art Championship, a competition that will crown the UAE’s top baristas.
The winner of the National Barista & Latte Art Championship will represent the UAE at the World Barista & Latte Art Championships staged in Amsterdam in June 2018.
All baristas are welcome to register to compete in either competition. To enter the National Barista Championship or Latte Art Championship, entrants can register their interest by emailing email@example.com.
The 8th edition of The Speciality Food Festival, powered by Gulfood, is co-located with five other shows under the roof of Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW) – an initiative endorsed by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
The other five shows are DWTC’s new GulfHost 2017 (the first dedicated hospitality and food services expo in the Middle East); Yummex Middle East (jointly organised by DWTC and Kölnmesse) Seafex Middle East (organised by DWTC) and The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show (owned and organised by dmg events).
The Speciality Food Festival is open from 18-20 September 2017 and is for trade and business professionals only.
General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be permitted entry. One pass provides free access to all six trade shows across Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW).