UAE food sales are projected to grow by an annual average of 7.3% between 2015 and 2020, according to a new BMI report commissioned by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
The report, released in tandem with the opening of DWTC’s annual trio of specialist foods shows – The Speciality Food Festival, Yummex Middle East and SEAFEX– underlines the UAE as the GCC’s second largest food market.
More than 700 food suppliers from over 60 countries will showcase specialist food products in front of an anticipated audience of 15,000 international buyers at this week’s specialist food events, running from 7-9 November.
The report cites growing domestic demand for speciality gourmet, seafood and confectionery foods as the primary drivers of sustained long-term growth.
Rising domestic demand for niche food products is reflected in 10% growth across the three shows, according to Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and events management, DWTC.
She commented: “Our well-established finished food platforms have yielded double-digit year-on-year growth in terms of floor space and total exhibitor participation this year. This growth highlights the strategic significance that global food suppliers place on the UAE as both a lucrative sales market and re-export hub to the wider region.”
Owing to high income levels and rising affluence among UAE consumers, the report suggests ‘premiumisation’ will spur the domestic food industry’s growth until the end of the decade.
The Speciality Food Festival will feature 200-plus exhibitors from over 50 countries, including new country pavilions and international and local buyers, suppliers, producers, importers and exporters of gourmet, halal and organic products.
The UAE’s seafood demand is also set for rapid growth over the next four years, with an 8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in fish and fish product sales in the UAE alone leading up to 2020.
SEAFEX 2016 will be spread across 4,500m2 – up 12.5% on last year – with than 145 exhibitors from 25-plus countries, including new exhibitors from the UK, Norway, the USA, the UAE and Vietnam.
The UAE’s confectionary sector is also anticipated to grow with total chocolate and sweets sales rising by 6.2% CAGR by 2020 and per capita sales rising by an annual average of 4.7% over the same period.
The 10th edition of Yummex Middle East – spanning 10,000 m2, 18% up on last year – formerly known as Sweets & Snacks Middle East and held in partnership with Koelnmesse GmbH, will host over 350 companies from 46 countries this year.
This year’s events will also debut the Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA)-sponsored Global Date Market, a specialist sourcing platform for date products, displaying more than 200 date varieties from 50 global producers.
DWTC’s niche food events will welcome representatives from Carrefour UAE, Jumeirah Group, Spinneys, Waitrose, Dubai Duty Free, Rotana Hotel Group, Emirates Flight Catering, Manuel Supermarket and Dubai Mall, among others.
Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has also signed a partnership with the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) to promote Italian products in the region.
DWTC’s niche food events are open daily from 10am-5pm from 7-9 November 2016 and are for trade and business professionals only.
General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be permitted entry. Registration is available at the show upon proof of trade status.