GulfHost 2017 launches Restaurant Development Conference

Posted under Catering News ME, F&B, News.
by Crystal Chesters | Published 3 years ago

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GulfHost 2017 will launch the Restaurant Development Conference in partnership with ICCA and Middle East Food Forum.

Restaurant Development Conference

Taking place in Dubai from 18-20 September at GulfHost 2017, the forum promises to address the challenges and provide practical insight into starting, running and scaling an F&B business in the region. More than 200 delegates are expected to attend.

Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions & events management Dubai World Trade Centre and organiser of GulfHost 2017, commented: “The Restaurant Development Conference adds an invaluable dimension to GulfHost, providing practical, immediate and impactful measures for F&B owners and operators to implement in their business.

“As the only dedicated hospitality and food services expo in the Middle East, GulfHost is the definitive platform to support the industry in our region, and partnering with ICCA and Middle East Food Forum for the Restaurant Development Conference enables us to add global intelligence to the mix of products and services being showcased.”

The event will bring together more than 75 global, regional and local industry speakers, owners, operators and franchisee/franchisors and will focus on critical operational, financial and marketing elements required for success in a competitive market.

Delegates will gain new knowledge and practical steps to help start, grow and differentiate their business. Of equal value is the networking opportunity for delegates who will be able to meet and mingle with top local and regional F&B leaders.

Six core themes will be covered during the conference:

  • Operations, training and outsourcing
  • Innovation, disruption and sustainability
  • Franchising
  • Financing and feasibility
  • Design and branding
  • Marketing and growth in digital

The conference includes a series of keynote addresses, moderated discussions and masterclasses.

In addition, an investor pitch session will offer F&B entrepreneurs the chance to present their business ideas to a panel of potential investors in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition.

Key speakers will take part from across various hospitality sectors. Speakers include:

  • Naji Al Mahdi, Chief of Qualifications & Awards in Dubai (QAD), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Member VETAC & NQA
  • Saleh Lootah, Chairman F&B Manufacturing Group, Dubai Chamber, MD Al Islami Foods
  • Tony Degazon, Regional Manager – MENA, City & Guilds, London and ILM, UK
  • Sunjeh Raja, CEO, International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai
  • Tony Hindhaugh, Executive Director, TTAT UK
  • Shagufta Patel, People Development Specialist, International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai
  • Vishal Pandey, Director, Glasgow Consulting Group & Middle East Food Forum
  • Sergio Lopez, Co-Owner of Tom & Serg and Bull & Roo Hospitality


Sunjeh Raja, CEO ICCA said: “It is important to remember that realising potential in any industry requires robust planning, practical processes and a willingness to harness new ideas and innovations. This is certainly the case for the F&B industry where competition increases daily, whether for global franchises, family owned cafés, or fine dining establishments.

“This is why we are presenting the Restaurant Development Conference; the agenda will appeal to owners and operators at every stage of their business lifecycle, and delegates will leave with a recipe for restaurant success.”

ICCA will also deliver valuable education and training sessions for chefs during GulfHost, focused on the ‘The Technology of Tomorrow’.

The certified workshops include Cook & Chill Techniques, Sousvide Cooking, Chemistry Smoking Food, Food Cost & Waste Management, and Versatility in the Kitchen.

It will be presented by Electrolux and World Association of Chefs Societies (WorldChefs) with support from over 40 student chefs of the ICCA. The participating delegates here will also gain full CPD accreditation for attendance at the conference workshops.

ICCA will also contribute to the GulfHost Innovation Awards, an initiative that will recognise the innovators and disruptors championing new techniques, products and technologies within the hospitality industry.

With categories for both industry and vendors, nominations will be judged by an ICCA-curated panel of restaurant consultants and experts.

Free registration for the Restaurant Development Conference and Technology of Tomorrow workshops will be open online soon. Free Tickets for three full days of events running at Dubai International Hospitality Week are available at



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