Thousands attend Gulfood opening in Dubai
Dubai, February 25, 2013
The 18th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade event, welcomed tens of thousands of trade visitors on its opening today at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Gulfood 2013, with record exhibition space of 113,398 sq m hosting 4,200 companies from 110 countries, was inaugurated by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, in the presence of Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade.
“We thank Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE ministers and foreign dignitaries for their support of Gulfood 2013, an event that has grown consistently over the last 26 years to become a significant driver of food and beverage trade for global markets,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organiser of Gulfood.
“The presence of government ministers and top level trade delegations from around the world is also testament to this fact, as is the continued interest from both large and small F&B companies to participate in the show. It is clear that Gulfood delivers substantial business contracts and facilitates unrivalled trade opportunities for both regional and international businesses.”
Following the inauguration of the show, government ministers and heads of international trade delegations from over 14 countries conducted bilateral talks at the Ministers Meet.
Running until February 28, Gulfood 2013 welcomes more than 1,400 new exhibitors this year ensuring an unparalleled range of new products and technology solutions available to buyers from each sector of the food and hospitality spectrum.
Commenting on the presence of the first Ecuador pavilion at Gulfood, Hussam Hassan, head of the Ecuadorian Commercial Office in Dubai said, “The UAE and the wider GCC are both important import and export markets for Ecuador. While imports from the UAE increased by an average of 188 per cent from 2009 to 2011, Ecuador’s exports to the UAE increased by approximately 87 per cent during the same period.
“Our role is to help Ecuadorian food companies expand into lucrative markets such as the UAE as well as to help UAE companies do business in Ecuador, and when it comes to the food and beverage sector, there is no better platform to do so than Gulfood.”
Leading companies and brands participating at Gulfood include Al Rawabi, Choithrams, Barry Callebaut, Bon Café, Delmonte, Dilmah, Electrolux, General Mills, Hershey’s, IPS, Knorr, Lipton, Masafi, RAK Porcelain, Tetrapak, Sadia, Unilever and Valrhona.
The Gulfood Conferences, a series of four key summits, commenced today with H.E. Sheikha Lubna addressing senior executives of global F&B companies, dignitaries and trade professionals at the Global Food Leaders’ Summit. Other forums in the conference line-up – including the Food Packaging & Processing Forum; Food Inspection Conference and a Franchising Workshop – will take place on the remaining three days of the show.
Dedicated to improving the show’s offering each year, organisers of Gulfood have introduced a set of online interactive tools to help visitors navigate the extensive show floor for brands and products with enhanced ease and efficiency.
While the Gulfood Mobile App helps visitors stay updated on all show happenings and manages pre-scheduled appointments, the Gulfood Interactive Floor plan enables easier navigation of the expansive exhibition floor by providing visual guidance to the exact location of every exhibitor, brand and product.
Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. – TradeArabia News Service