Gulfood to expand to become Middle East’s largest trade exhibition in 2009

DWTC are the organisers of the Middle East’s largest exhibitions:
Gulfood as the largest trade event and GITEX as the largest trade and
consumer event.

The ambitious plans were unveiled today at the successful inaugural
edition of Ingredients Middle East, which closes today. Occupying the
entire available space within Dubai International Convention and
Exhibition Centre (DICEC), Gulfood 2009 will also expand into the Dubai
Airport Expo, creating a mega-exhibition.

The additional space at Airport Expo has generated huge interest and is already 70% sold out.

Organiser DWTC stated that the expansion of Gulfood will provide the
space necessary to accommodate the hundreds of international companies
who are currently on the waiting list and meet the demands for the
Middle East’s foodservice market, which is estimated to be worth more
than $31bn annually. Of this, the
GCC accounts for almost $9.5bn.

With this expansion, comes the co-location of Ingredients Middle East,
which showcases raw materials and ingredients. In bringing together the
food and hospitality industry including Restaurant & Café Middle
East with the more industrial components such as ingredients,
packaging, processing and labelling, the events will form the
definitive trade platform and deliver a unique global offering.

‘The region’s food, beverage and hospitality industries
are diversifying and developing at such an impressive pace that we
believe it is essential to create an event of comparable size and
comprehensive scope. By expanding across the twin venues and
co-locating Ingredients Middle East, Gulfood will form the Middle
East’s largest trade event for any industry, and develop one of the
world’s top trade platforms for the food, hospitality and beverage
sectors right here in Dubai,’

said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre.

This year’s Gulfood attracted more than 2,900 companies and over 39,000
trade visitors, while the inaugural Ingredients Middle East event has
successfully brought raw material providers from Europe, Asia and
Africa to the Middle East.

The expansion also positions Gulfood to enjoy ongoing growth for
its planned transition to Dubai Exhibition World, the major exhibition
facility currently under construction that will offer 120,000 sq.
metres of exhibition space in its first phase.

Exhibitors at the ongoing Ingredients Middle East exhibition praised the decision as ‘visionary.’

‘Dubai is really surprising the whole industry with the
ambition and strategic reach of the events it is organising for the
food and beverage sectors. The combined events will provide an
invaluable platform to bring suppliers and buyers from around the world
to forge new relationships and drive the growth of the industry,’

said Matthias Schneider, Key Account Manager, Mainfrucht GmbH, a
German-based supplier, which is taking the opportunity to introduce its
group of companies at Ingredients Middle East this week.

The Middle East’s first trade exhibition dedicated to raw materials
and ingredients has generated a strong response from the region’s
fast-evolving manufacturing and processing industry, with particular
interest from groups specialising in Halal food.

Companies already booked for the 2009 edition of Ingredients Middle
East running alongside Gulfood include Griffith Laboratories and
country pavilions from South African and Thailand.

‘Extra space will be necessary for the next Gulfood
exhibition because a lot of smaller countries like South Africa have a
lot to offer to the Middle East market but have difficulty showcasing
all its products due to the limited space at DICEC. The Airport Expo
will help us all to give more companies exposure. It will be the third
time we are exhibiting and the first time the South African government
is subsidising a national pavilion. Next year we have bigger space and
look to bring a lot more variety like spices, coffee, fruit products
and ingredients,’

said Annalize van Zyl, R&A Coordinators of Promotions and Exhibitions, South Africa.

The 14th Gulfood Exhibition will be held at the Dubai International
Convention and Exhibition Centre and Airport Expo from 23-26 February
2009.Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and
trade visitors from within the industry only.

Ingredients Middle East 2008 – the only International Ingredients
Exhibition for Food, Beverage and Health Food for the Middle East,
Africa and Indian Subcontinent will take place from 10:00am – 5:00pm on
15-16 June and 10:00am – 4:00pm on 17 June 2008 at the Dubai
International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE. Ingredients
Middle East will be held alongside Gulfood in 2009.