The 2016 editions of Gulfood Manufacturing, the Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX and the newly-named Yummex Middle East took place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 7-9 November.
Collectively, the three shows reported 10% year-on-year growth with more than 700 local, regional and international food suppliers from over 60 countries showcasing thousands of specialist food products in front of an audience of 16,000 international buyers.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events management, DWTC said: “As a thriving food manufacturing capital and strategic re-export hub to the growing populations of the wider GCC region and beyond, Dubai has all the ingredients to lay sustainable foundations and create a long-term impact in the lucrative food manufacturing, packaging and processing spheres.
“Gulfood Manufacturing can serve as strategic entry-point for global firms to meet, network and partner with local companies as part of their efforts to monetise opportunities in both established and emerging markets on the emirate’s doorstep.”
Running for the third year, Gulfood Manufacturing attracted 1,600 exhibitors from 58 countries, with the 80,000m2 exhibition reporting 25% year-on-year growth in floor space and spanning 13 halls – two more than the 2015 event.
The show hosted 29 official national pavilions including production machinery specialists, Austria, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, in addition to first-time national pavilions representing Indonesia, Ireland, Russia and South Africa.
Gulfood Manufacturing 2016 was split into three specialist areas: Ingredients Middle East; ProPack Middle East, covering automation, processing equipment and packaging machinery; and Logistics Solutions Middle East, a platform for materials handling, transport and commercial vehicles.
DWTC also rolled out its most extensive Hosted Buyer Programme, sponsored by Tetra Pak, at this year’s show, with more than 2,000 of the region’s most prominent industrial buyers in attendance.
Alongside Gulfood Manufacturing 2016, DWTC also staged its annual trio of segmented food events: The Speciality Food Festival for gourmet, halal and organic products; Seafex, catering to the seafood industry; and Yummex Middle East, for the confectionery and snacks market.
The shows boasted new features, headlined by The Global Date Market sponsored by the Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA), where over 200 date varieties from more than 50 global producers across the GCC, Europe, Asia and America were on display.
DWTC also inked a partnership with the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), which saw several Italian food and drink producers participate at the events.
Khalid Al Fahim, director of business development, exhibitions and events management, DWTC commented: “The growth in each specialised food show reflects local, regional and global confidence in Dubai’s status as a major food industry hub.”
The Speciality Food Festival featured 200-plus exhibitors from over 40 countries, including new country pavilions and international and local buyers, suppliers, producers, importers and exporters of gourmet, halal and organic products.
SEAFEX 2016 featured more than 170 exhibitors from 20 countries and was spread across 4,500m2 – up 12.5% on last year – with new exhibitors from the UK, Norway, the USA, the UAE and Vietnam.
The 10th edition of Yummex Middle East, formerly known as Sweets & Snacks Middle East and held in partnership with Koelnmesse GmbH, hosted over 350 companies from 47 countries and spanned 10,000m2, marking an 18% increase on last year.
Joining the four specialist food events was the new Future Food Live, Dubai’s first international conference on applied nutrition run by DWTC in partnership with the Dubai Municipality.
Trade visitors focused on the wellbeing segment discovered organic, free-from, halal and other healthy food products and ingredients.
Launched in 2014, Gulfood Manufacturing is a sector-specific trade exhibition for ingredients, processing, packaging and food logistics providers who service the food and beverage production industries in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Sub-Continent.
The event provides food manufacturers with the ingredients, equipment and business improvement tools that enable more efficient production and distribution.