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Dubai set for largest Gulfood edition; attracts 5,500 top firms

DUBAI, February 18, 2024

 
The largest ever edition of Gulfood, the benchmark event for the global food and beverage (F&B) community kicks off tomorrow (19 February), at Dubai World Trade Centre, opening its doors to 150,000 attendees from 190 countries. 
 
With an estimated $12 billion in international trade deals on the table, an exhibition floor spanning 24 event halls packed with displays of cutting-edge products, solutions by a record 5,500+ exhibitors, and interactive features including Top Table and Dubai World Cuisine which will convene over 100 renowned international chefs with 25 Michelin stars between them, expectations are very high for this year’s edition of the world’s largest annual food and beverage sourcing event, which looks set to have a lasting influence on the F&B industry, said the organisers.
 
Attendees will also hear insights from senior policymakers and global industry experts at the Inspire conference, including Dr Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, who will give the opening keynote address on the first day of the conference. 
 
She will give her perspectives and vision for the UAE at a time when climate change, geopolitics, and emerging technology are all converging to disrupt global food systems and economies.
 
"At a pivotal moment, the world’s largest F&B event will be the only place to get out ahead of how the global food community, from industry leaders and policy makers to innovators and chefs, are responding. We look forward to welcoming the F&B world as we inspire the future food economy," remarked Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice-President, Dubai World Trade Centre.
 
As Gulfood approaches its milestone 30th anniversary in 2025, the global F&B industry is looking more than ever to a multifaceted future, characterised by greater digitalisation and technological innovation to drive efficiency and cut costs, more circular food systems to reduce food loss and waste, and an ever-greater focus on safety, security and transparency down the supply chain, stated LohMirmand.
 
Bhushant Ghandi, COO of Truebell, said: "As Truebell embraces 40 years of excellence, Gulfood stands as our premier stage for global networking, connecting with our partners across 80 countries. We anticipate a robust upswing, positioning Truebell at the forefront of meeting heightened demand for premium produce in the years ahead."
 
At this year’s Gulfood Inspire Conference, over 200 influential figures from the global F&B industry, including food futurists, policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and culinary experts will lead a series of dynamic and engaging keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chats, showcases and workshops. 
 
A highlight of this year’s Gulfood Inspire Conference, for the first time over 60 leading global food futurists will convene to give invaluable insights into the trends in technology (e.g. personal AI), culture, demographics, lifestyle and flavours that are shaping the future of food. 
 
Food futurists slated to speak include: Daniel Levine, Director – Avant Guide Institute; Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist; Tony Hunter, Founder - Food Futurist: Future of Food Consulting; and Dr. Morgaine Gaye, Food Futurologist. 
 
According to organisers, the future of food systems is a theme that will carry through the Inspire conference, including: how the industry is adapting to emerging consumer trends and lifestyles, evolving science including how generative AI and blockchain can improve food security and the development of novel foods, the benefits of digitisation in R&D, food testing and formulation, new genomic techniques and bio-solutions, implementing sustainable practices in farming; building regenerative/circular food systems; new business models and collaboration opportunities, including public-private and farm-to-table partnerships; how innovative tech such as Big Data can be leveraged by the food industry and regulators, enabling real-time monitoring and better traceability; building resilience and sustainability in the supply chain to mitigate the impact of climate change, economic inequality and conflict; preventing food waste and increasing food packaging recycling and the latest innovative products and ingredients.
 
Dubai World Cuisine back
 
Following last year’s successful debut, the Dubai World Cuisine movement is back, with a series of city-wide dinner and masterclass collaborations between Dubai-based chefs and renowned names from Europe, shaping the cultural identity of Dubai and helping establish it on the world’s culinary map.
 
The initiative will see a series of 4- and 6-hands Michelin star dinners linked to the Top Table masterclasses, which will be cooked by a Dubai World Cuisine chef and an international Michelin-starred chef. The dinners will see the following pairings:
 
Vladimir Mukhin, of Krasota from the White Rabbit Family in Dubai, with Joan Roca, Founder and Head Chef of El Celler de Can Roca, awarded three Michelin stars, well known for incorporating cutting-edge techniques to create highly stylised dishes.
 
Wagyu beef master Hisao Ueda & sushi master Takashi Namekata from Dubai’s Michelin guide listed restaurant Takahisa, with Christian Le Squer a French three-star Michelin chef at restaurant Le Cinq in France.
 
Ali Shaddique of Lowe, the only restaurant in the UAE to win a Michelin Green Star, and Peeter Pihel, Green Michelin-starred chef at Estonia-based Fotografiska Tallinn, known for eco-conscious cooking.
Giovanni Papi from one-Michelin star restaurant Armani Ristorante with Enrico Cerea of three-Michelin starred restaurant Da Vittorio, Italy, renowned for seasonal menus.
 
Bojan Cirjanic, Executive Chef, at Folly with Mark Donald, of the Glenturret Lalique Restaurant in Scotland, which was awarded its second star in the 2024 Michelin Guide.
 
Michelin starred chef Akira Back and Pepe Solla, chef and owner at one-Michelin star Casa Solla restaurant.
 
Chef Kelvin Cheung of Jun’s, Dubai, with Begona Rodrigo of La Salita in the Valencian capital, a Michelin star recipient and acclaimed vegetable chef.
 
Chef Mohamad Orfali, one of the three brothers behind the Bib Gourmand-rated Orfali Bros in Dubai work alongside Alain Passard, chef and owner of the three-Michelin star restaurant L'Arpège in Paris. Renowned for his innovative approach, Alain Passard is a maestro of colours, perfumes, and flavours in the vegetable kingdom. 
 
According to the organisers, the visitors will get to meet the star-studded line up of chefs up close and personal in engaging masterclasses at Top Table, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from February 19 to 23. 
 
Witness more than 100 chefs with 25 Michelin stars in action through 90+ masterclasses, as they create exceptional new dishes from every cuisine. Top Table will feature live demonstrations and tasting sessions, workshops, knowledge-sharing, and a chance to discover the latest and greatest flavours, trends, and masterpieces set to take the global culinary world by storm. 
 
The 29th edition of Gulfood will also feature Chef Talks, offering insights from global chefs, food editors and influencers from around the culinary world.-TradeArabia News Service



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