The ninth edition of SIAL Middle East, the food, beverage, and hospitality event and the fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition concluded yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, facilitating 135 trade deals valued over AED5 billion during its three-day run.
The event drew the participation of 1,089 exhibitors, 34 country and specialised pavilions, and 28,073 industry experts from over 45 countries.
On the final day of the event, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) honoured several food establishments for their commitment to implementing Abu Dhabi’s food safety requirements as well as the organisers of Weqaya programme by the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi.
Thamer Al Qasimi, chairman of the SIAL Middle East 2018 Organising Committee, said: “The exceptional success of SIAL Middle East 2018 and the unprecedented visitor turnout demonstrates the continued regional and global interest in the mega event that serves as an ideal platform to explore the latest F&B products and services, and to discuss promising investment opportunities with leading specialists, top buyers and decision-makers.”
“It is a top priority for SIAL Middle East to support the regional F&B sector in keeping pace with the latest industry trends, strategies and innovations to ensure the continued development of national food industries and enhance food security for the sake of current and future generations.”
The total food sales in the UAE in 2016 rose to AED121 billion, with the country’s food consumption expected to increase from 48.1 million tonnes in 2016 to 59.2 million tonnes by 2025. Food exports to Abu Dhabi reached AED516 million in the first half of 2018, while its food imports stood at AED3.3 billion. The total investment in food industry is set to increase from AED5.2 billion to AED10.4 billion over the next three years, representing a 40% growth. After three years, the investment is expected to increase by AED1 billion, registering a 10% growth.
The event also witnessed the announcement of Al Rawabi Diary Company, Munkyeong Omija Valley Co. Ltd, and Philippines Department of Agriculture as the winners of SIAL Innovation contest. The winning products included Al Rawabi Diary Company’s Nutree Boost in gold category, Munkyeong Omija Valley’s OMI Everyday Concentrate & Extract Series in silver category and Philippines Department of Agriculture’s Instayum Mushroom Chips in bronze category.
Another major highlight of the event on its final day was the UAE National Coffee Championships, a competition certified by World Coffee Events (WCE) and sanctioned by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). The contest drew the participation of 24 specialised national companies in hospitality sector.
SIAL Middle East 2018 featured a series of interactive sessions, seminars and workshops that drew the participation of leading local, regional and global experts. The attendees discussed the latest F&B trends as well as key issues related to food production and innovation to meet the region’s surging food needs, triggered by rapid economic and population growth.