World’s largest annual food and hospitality show opened in Dubai welcoming a record numbers of exhibitors, trade officials and industry leaders from 120 countries.
Gulfood 2014 was inaugurated this morning (Sunday) by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry, in the presence of Helal AlMarri, the CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), country ministers, ambassadors and dignitaries from around the world, highlighting the importance and stature of the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality industry trade show.
Gulfood welcomed tens of thousands of trade visitors from around the world on its opening day at the DWTC. With a record 113,398 cu m in exhibition space and 4,500 companies from 120 countries participating, Gulfood 2014 is the largest and most international edition in the event’s history, said the organisers.
“This year’s record participation at Gulfood comes as Dubai’s position as the regional hub for hospitality, trade and tourism is accelerated by the emirate’s confirmed hosting of the World Expo in 2020, which is fuelling further market growth opportunities for the global food services industry,” stated Trixie LohMirmand, the senior VP at DWTC.
“Gulfood has grown consistently over the last 27 years to become a significant driver for global food and beverage markets and is a key enabler in Dubai’s status as an international events destination and trading hub,” he observed.
The inaugural World Food Security Summit – a Gulfood Leaders Event, welcomed over 300 high-ranking ministers, industry thought leaders, government representatives and sector-specific visionaries, to address the importance of securing a stable, cost-effective and safe supply of food for the world’s growing population.
Organised with the official support of the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Summit was opened by Saif Al-Shara, the assistant undersecretary, Agricultural Affairs and Animal Sector.
Al Shara delivered a keynote address on the state of food security in the UAE and the Middle East, as well as the challenges in securing the region’s future food supplies.
Addressing the gathering, he said: “We are proud to be hosting this global summit in the UAE, and hope our discussion will enrich the ongoing global dialogue to improve the world’s food security situation. There is no doubt that this is a global priority and the contribution and commitment from all parties participating in this significant summit will help feed the world’s population in the future.”
Highlighting Dubai’s position as a primary global trading hub for the international halal food industry, Gulfood 2014 welcomed hundreds of the world’s leading halal manufacturers, processors and distributors from over 50 countries convening at the first Halal World Food, an exhibition that instantly establishes a market-leading position as the world’s biggest annual halal food sourcing trade show.
A line-up of innovative features addressing the latest trends in the industry will take place during Gulfood including the fifth edition of the Gulfood Awards, the Innovation Gallery that showcases groundbreaking elements recognised by the Gulfood Awards, the Gulfood Franchising Conference, the first Barista Bonanza and Coffee Council, and the inaugural Tea House that celebrates Dubai’s position as the largest re-export hub for tea.
Leading local, regional and international companies and brands participating at Gulfood include Almarai, Nestle, PreGel, Sunbullah, Nadiya, Transmead, RAK Porcelain, Del Monte, Manitowic, Iffco, HSA, Agthia, Truebell, Chef Middle East, Choitrams and Emke Group.