The 20th edition of Gulfood, claimed to be the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show, was inaugurated Sunday by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and minister of finance and industry, in the presence of Helal Saeed Al-Marri, director general, Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and a host of local, regional and international ministers, ambassadors and dignitaries.
Taking place till Feb. 12, at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Gulfood 2015 is the biggest edition in the show’s history, with more than 4,800 companies from 120 countries participating across 120,000 sqm of exhibition space.
“For almost three decades, Gulfood has provided a strategic investment platform for food traders and suppliers from around the world to meet in Dubai,” said Trixie Loh Mirmand, SVP, DWTC, organizer of Gulfood.
As a strategic enabler in Dubai’s vision to become the global Islamic economy capital, Gulfood 2015 will also bring together more than 1,000 international specialist Halal food brands and companies at the second annual Halal World Food – the world’s biggest sourcing event for Halal food products.
As part of the Gulfood Leaders Events, Gulfood 2015 will host a number of international heads of state, ministers, government officials and C-Level executives from the private sector during a series of industry-shaping conferences and summits covering various food-related sectors.
At the highest level, the World Food Security Summit — one of the world’s most important platforms for addressing global food security action plans and policies — will take place on Monday. Khadim Abdullah Al-Darei, co-founder and MD, Al Dahra Agriculture, will deliver the summit’s opening keynote address.
On Tuesday, the Halal Investment Conference will focus on a sector of increasing financial importance for the global food and beverage industry, with key Halal industry players and senior government decision-makers due to discuss commercial and business opportunities presented by the $ 1.1 trillion global Halal food market. With Nabil Molla, CEO of the GCC Standardisation Organisation (GSO) among the speakers, the UAE’s leading role in Halal standardization and certification will be top of the agenda.
On Wednesday, an effective network of entrepreneurs, franchisers, franchisees and investors will gather for the Food Franchising Forum to share insights, trends and opportunities for food franchising — one of the growth drivers of the regional hospitality market.
With thousands of food and beverage products and services introduced every year at Gulfood, the Gulfood Awards – in its sixth edition this year – present an opportunity to recognize and reward best-in-class excellence and innovation across the region’s food and drink industry. Comprising six categories and 10 different awards, the highly-prestigious accolades are judged by an international panel of independent industry experts.
Taking place on Tuesday at the five-star Conrad Hotel in Dubai, the awards evening will also play host to a unique and memorable celebration of the show’s achievements over the past 20 editions.
On the main show floor, the Emirates International Salon Culinaire in association with the Emirates Culinary Guild will showcase the culinary skills of 1,300 professional chefs. This year’s salon will be evaluated by a panel of 25 renowned experts, mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) to judge culinary events across the globe.
Part of the Dubai Food Festival, a city-wide culinary celebration running throughout February, the second annual Halal World Food and Gulfood 2015 are strict trade-only events open to business and trade visitors.