Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
Sheikh Ahmed tours the exhibition halls after opening the event in Dubai on Sunday.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), on Sunday opened the 27th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest food and beverage sourcing event, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Sheikh Ahmed toured the show accompanied by Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.
Running from Feb13-17, the global F&B industry will showcase innovative solutions to meet emerging trends and rapidly evolving consumer habits, examine sector challenges, drive agenda to action and strike trade deals to change the future for the better.
Over 4,000 companies from 120 countries, a line-up of industry leading speakers, and the world’s best chefs will chart the way forward for an industry in the midst of rapid transformation. Visitors to the event will be able to meet buyers looking to take orders for the latest and industry-defining products while exhibitors seek to draw customers looking to fill their order books, at the year’s first global F&B gathering.
Sustainability, the rising role of e-commerce in F&B, disruptive technology and impactful innovation will be explored and analysed during the next five days.
Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment opened the all-new, action oriented Gulfood Inspire session, which featured a diverse range of speakers, including F&B executives, ministers, policymakers, retail executives, technologists, agriculturists, analysts, and futurists, all of whom provided invaluable insights, industry knowledge, and industry pathways.
Gulfood 2022 has opened with its most expansive exhibitor line-up yet including new pavilions from the Norwegian seafood industry, Uruguay, Panama, and Uzbekistan who will be joined by newcomers from Australia, Colombia, South Africa, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.
Participants, whether new or long-term exhibitors, are eager to unpack the raft of opportunities Gulfood will present this week.
JAFZA’S Dhs13.5B FOOD VALLEY: Jebel Ali Free Zone’s (Jafza) F&B cluster plays an integral role in the UAE’s aspirations to achieve global competitiveness. Generating an estimated 20 per cent of Dubai’s total F&B trade, Jafza’s F&B cluster offers a plethora of lucrative incentives, such as customs, no corporate tax and VAT exemptions, all of which drive its continued growth plans.
The Jafza’s Dhs13.5 billion food valley will all set to attract companies at the Gulfood.
By deploying and embracing the latest trends in food manufacturing and distribution, the free zone drives local food production in the country, contributing to realising the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 targets.
Ahmad Al Haddad, Chief Operating Officer, Parks and Zones, DP World UAE said, “The F&B industry is rapidly evolving as a result of new industry trends and technological advancements. As a global food logistics and manufacturing hub, the UAE’s role is consequential. Hence, to ensure its diversification and increase investments and trade figures, identifying attractive opportunities in the F&B market is essential. To accomplish this, we rely on Jafza, the leading trade and logistics hub. The free zone’s ability to cater to diverse F&B industries and support farm-to-shelf supply chain activities is unmatched. The common user facilities can be used for trade and processing of a variety of products and ready-to-consume food items. Moreover, keeping in mind the evolving market, we are constantly upgrading our facilities that have helped us forge valuable global and regional partnerships.”
Jafza’s integrated F&B cluster caters to a diverse array of segments in food manufacturing and distribution and is home to some of the world’s leading brands, including Unilever, Nestle, Heinz, McCain, Hunter Foods, Alokozay Group of Companies, Al Khaleej Sugar, Bayara, to name a few.
The free zone’s infrastructure is equipped to meet the ever-changing demands of F&B brands; from processing, manufacturing and blending, to seafood farming, packaging, trading, distribution, warehousing and office spaces.
The F&B markets account for an annual increase of 3.8 per cent, and the Middle East and Africa region are positioned as global gateways for Halal industries. Jafza’s Halal F&B Trade Incubation Centre in Jafza One offers premium benefits, lowering operational costs of halal foods businesses, thereby catering to the growing ‘halal foods’ sector, which is projected to reach $739.59b by 2025 as per predictions by Grand View Research Inc. At the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, Jebel Ali connects businesses to a growing consumer base and serves as an ideal hub to this import-dependent market.