SIAL Middle East witnesses solid growth
Abu Dhabi, November 19, 2012
SIAL Middle East, the region’s fastest growing professional trade exhibition for the food, drink and hospitality industry, said its pre-registered visitor numbers grew 85 per cent for this year's event which will be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition centre (Adnec) from November 26 to 28.
Held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the three-day exhibition will occupy all eight halls at the Adnec venue, and feature three co-located exhibitions, with total floor space accommodating in excess of 1,000 food exhibitors from 52 countries.
Announcing this on Monday, Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, the chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for SIAL Middle East and ADFCA official spokesperson said a total of 6,000 visitors, across all industry sectors, have signed up for next week’s event.
“The massive interest shown by all sectors of the food industry in SIAL Middle East was reflective of the growing strategic importance of the food sector as a whole and of the importance of Abu Dhabi as a regional business hub to reach out to vast and expanding markets across the Mena region, said Al Reyaysa.
The three-day event includes an action-packed conference programme focusing on Private Label opportunities, a Food & Beverage Business Forum and Food Retail Forum, featuring high profile panel discussions as well as a series of interactive workshop sessions.
“SIAL Middle East 2012 is taking place at a critical time for the food industry in the region as import and price issues dominate discussion. Bringing retailers, operators and thought leaders together under the SIAL umbrella, offers a unique platform from which to look at the impact of global trends, discuss regional initiatives and fast track business negotiations,” Al Reyaysa added.
A contingent of 478 top hosted food buyers from the GCC, Africa and Indian subcontinent will come to SIAL Middle East to specifically source new contacts and do business, he added.
Commenting on US participation, Jude Akhidenor, the regional agricultural attache, Office of Agricultural Affairs, at the Embassy of the US, this year’s country of honour said: “There are 17 US exhibitors, participating at SIAL this year. I am proud to announce that US food exports to the GCC reached an unprecedented level of $2.8 billion, in 2011, compared to about $800 million a decade ago. The UAE now accounts for $1 billion of that total.”
Chris Fountain, the managing director of Turret Media, the event organisers, said: "We have seen a dramatic rise in demand for space at this year’s event, with 65 per cent of participants exhibiting for the first time in the region and eight new international pavilions."
"Visitors to the event are expected to hit the 12,000 mark across all four exhibitions, which - for the first time – include the relocated Rice & Grains showcase, Emirates International Date Palm Festival, and the new global event from the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA)," he added.-TradeArabia News Service