Dubai Tourism’s senior communications manager Aida Al Busaidy launched The Big F&B Forum with a keynote address on the value of the F&B industry as part of the wider tourism conversation in the emirate.
The second edition of the event, hosted by Catering News Middle East, is taking place on 20 September at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, with more than 200 F&B professionals in attendance.
During her keynote presentation, Al Busaidy highlighted the importance of Dubai becoming a foodie hub with an extensively diversified culinary offering.
She commented: “Dubai has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and in having such a cosmopolitan city, we are able to offer a wide variety of cuisines and culinary delights back to the world.”
Expanding on Dubai’s fast paced F&B industry, she added: “At the start of 2016 Dubai reported around 12,000 restaurants and cafes in the emirate and 500 different types of restaurants were reported to have opened in Dubai in the first five months of 2016, proving that the region is a key contender as a culinary capital on the global scale.”
As a proud Emirati herself, Al Busaidy emphasised the significance of encouraging Emirati concepts and chefs within the industry. “It is essential for the growth of the F&B industry that we encourage young Emirati chefs, in May 2013, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum approved Dubai’s 2020 tourism vision for 20 million visitors by 2020, the culinary scene is one of the major pillars of this vision and Emirati cuisine is most definitely going to be a factor in visitors wanting to try our local cuisine.”
Supporting The Big F&B Forum are some of the industry’s most influential suppliers: Al Rawdah, Official Breakfast Sponsor; Coffee Planet, Exclusive Coffee Sponsor; Banvit, Official Lunch Sponsor; Soft Drinks Sponsor, Waterfalls Brands, Support Sponsor African + Eastern and exhibitors, TSSC, Rational, Ronai, Pulsar Foodstuff Trading, Hotelity, American Garden and Quooker.