Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) answers all of our questions about the upcoming GulfHost – one of six co-located trade shows taking part at DWTC from 18 – 20 September as part of the first ever Dubai International Hospitality Week
What is GulfHost and why is it being launched?
GulfHost is the Gulfood hospitality equipment and food service expo owned and organised by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). GulfHost is the first dedicated hospitality event of its kind in the Middle East and will take place on 18-20 September 2017 in Dubai. The show comes at a time when the industry is experiencing unprecedented growth across the region. GulfHost forms the cornerstone of Dubai International Hospitality Week, an initiative endorsed by Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) that comprises six co-located shows to enable the full spectrum of sourcing for every sector of the hospitality industry. These include DWTC’s established trio of niche food events – The Speciality Food Festival, Seafex Middle East and Yummex Middle East – and The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, owned and organised by DMG Events.
What is the connection between Gulfood, GulfHost and Gulfood Manufacturing?
Now in its third decade, the Gulfood brand continues to support every link in the F&B supply chain thanks to its global connections, geographical advantages and unrivalled aptitude for increasing imports and exports. In line with an evolving marketplace, Gulfood has cultivated a cluster of distinct, complementary food events hosted at key intervals throughout the year. As the flagship event, Gulfood takes place during a critical phase in the annual world harvest cycle and now trades under eight of the largest F&B commodity markets showcased in dedicated halls. Gulfood Manufacturing responds to the industry’s production, capacity and automation challenges by staging the latest ingredients, processing, packaging and logistical F&B solutions relevant to every line of business. As the need to create unique and memorable guest experiences intensifies, GulfHost is where hospitality trend insight and purchasing will come into its own through the region’s largest ever showcase of restaurant, bar and café solutions in one place.
Who should visit GulfHost and what can they expect to find?
GulfHost delivers full spectrum solutions for the food services buying community – whether for global hotel chains, caterers, fine dining restaurants, quick service outlets or independent coffee shops, and whether you are the developer, specifier, in procurement, or an owner. It’s a show that provides access to the latest in innovations, products, services and trends to help improve efficiency and maximize profits, whatever the size of the business. GulfHost is an exceptional platform for connecting with industry-leading suppliers from around the world, and visitors are able to pre-schedule on-site meetings through the convenient online meetings programme. This is an excellent means of securing special deals on new products ahead of your competition.
What are some of the features being showcased at GulfHost?
There are a number of show features that provide additional and exceptional value for the industry. Thanks to our strategic partnership with the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai, these key events will take place during the show:
- Restaurant Development Conference: Powered by ICCA and the Middle East Food Forum (MEFF), the Restaurant Development Conference provides knowledge from over 75 global, regional and local industry speakers on six key topics. These are: innovation, disruption and sustainability; financing; franchising and feasibility; design and branding; operations, training and outsourcing; marketing and growth in digital.
- Chef Education: This valuable education and training feature will focus on the “Technology of Tomorrow” and will include certified workshop sessions on cook and chill techniques; sous vide cooking; chemistry smoking food; food cost and waste management; and versatility in the kitchen. The application-focused workshops for chefs will be powered by ICCA – Electrolux Worldchefs Team and supported by over 40 student chefs of the ICCA.
- GulfHost Innovation Awards: The GulfHost Innovation Awards will recognise the innovators and disruptors championing new techniques, products and technologies within the hospitality industry, and will be judged by an ICCA-curated panel of restaurant consultants and experts.
- World Cuisine Summit Chef’s Corner: This culinary arts platform enables accomplished chefs to showcase their gastronomic and artistic skills, and will provide experiential inspiration for professionals.
What are the key areas of focus and who are the exhibitors at GulfHost?
There are three key areas of focus at the show – back of house, front of house and bar and counter. Back of house exhibitors will be showcasing commercial kitchen equipment, systems and solutions – from ovens to fryers, extraction hoods, smokers, refrigerators, cold-rooms, dishwashers and appliances. Exhibitors include international leaders such Ali Group, Alto Shaam, Manitowoc, Middleby Corporation, and Rio International and TSSC. Front of house encompasses layout, design, finishes, lighting and tableware among other factors, with exhibitors to include RAK Porcelain, A. Ronai, Hatco Corporation and Venus Hotelware. The Bar and Counter area will include coffee machines and accessories and fit-out solutions for cafés and counters. Exhibitors addressing these elements at GulfHost include: Ascaso, Cimbali, Infrico and La Marquise, among others.
How does GulfHost mesh with Seafex Middle East, The Speciality Food Festival and Yummex Middle East, all happening under one roof at the same time?
The shows complement each other well, offering visitors the convenience of sourcing almost every product or service they could need to run their food services business – the scale and scope of the offering under the DIHW umbrella is unprecedented for the region. With seafood such an integral and universal ingredient on restaurant menus whatever the cuisine, the demand for all aspects of seafood continues to grow. It is also increasingly chosen as a healthy meat alternative and rich protein source. SEAFEX Middle East serves as a gateway between east and west for sourcing both the most popular and new varieties of seafood in the world. As gourmet fine foods, halal products and organic continue to grow in appeal, so too does interest in The Speciality Food Festival. Meanwhile, Yummex Middle East, organised in partnership with Kölnmesse GmbH, showcases the latest in snacks and confectionery, a sector of the hospitality industry that continues to broaden in scope and scale, as palates, lifestyles and trends continue to evolve.