Gulfood to draw record Saudi visitors
Dubai, February 14, 2013
Gulfood 2013, the world’s largest annual trade show for the food and hospitality industry, is expected to welcome a record number of F&B buyers and trade professionals from Saudi Arabia, when the show opens in Dubai later this month.
The event will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 25 – 28.
With Saudi Arabia importing approximately 60 per cent of the Middle East’s total food and beverage imports, the country is a key target market for regional and international food manufacturers and suppliers.
Saudi Arabia’s rising population, together with dynamic growth in its travel, tourism and hospitality sectors are key drivers in the kingdom’s burgeoning food and beverage industry.
According to a report by Business Monitor International (BMI), tourist arrivals in Saudi Arabia are forecast to increase by 7 per cent to 17.3 million in 2013 and by an average of 8.5 per cent each year until 2017.
The Saudi hospitality market is growing in tandem with tourist arrivals. Valued at $13 billion in 2011 by Alpen Capital, the kingdom's hospitality market is expected to reach $18.1 billion by 2016. Currently the fastest-growing in the GCC, the Saudi hospitality market is seeing an upward trend in luxury hotels having attracted investments from global players such as Marriott and IHG, said the statement.
While rising food imports are already indicating strong market potential for F&B, such robust growth in the tourism and hospitality sectors is expected to fuel the need for international food products, services and technology even further, it said.
Trade visitors from the kingdom are increasingly sourcing European and American products and technology, and attend the show to access more than 4,000 international food producers from around the world, said the statement.
Changing consumer trends and demographics also play a key role in expanding Saudi Arabia's appetite for international flavours – a large youth population, high disposable incomes and increasing popularity of ‘eating out’ being some of the associated factors.
Trixee Loh, senior vice president of DWTC, organiser of Gulfood, said: “As one of the biggest food importers in the Middle East, Saudi Arabian representation at Gulfood is always strong. This year, more than ever, food buyers and key decision makers within the Saudi food & beverage industry will be making the trip to Dubai to meet with the largest number of suppliers and producers that Gulfood has ever hosted.
There is no doubt that the show is critical for meeting the growing demand in the kingdom and throughout the region.”
Major brands participating at this year’s Gulfood include Al Rabie, Al Watania, Cadbury, Colman, Del Monte, Green Giant, Hershey’s, Knorr, Lipton, Masafi, Red Bul and SunBulah, among others.
Gulfood is a trade-only event. The online entry fee is Dh125 and onsite entry fee is Dh250. For more information, visit www.gulfood.com. - TradeArabia News Service