“Dubai is well positioned to be the manufacturing hub for the F&B sector for the Mena region, leading the way
to be the Islamic economy hub and a frontrunner for the global halal industry.”
Dubai is a growing hub for food manufacturers and we are seeing a spurt in investments in this region, said Saleh Abdullah Lootah, president, Food and Beverage Manufacturing-Business, or FBMB group, on the sidelines of the Gulfood Manufacturing Conferences on Tuesday.
The FBMB, a non-profit industry organisation under the patronage of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a conference titled ‘Next Generation Manufacturing’, highlighted the food manufacturing ecosystem in Mena, sustainable growth through innovation, and stakeholder alignment to boost production.
At the Gulfood Manufacturing Conferences, more than 300 food and beverage industry leaders learned how innovation in research and state-of-the-art technology will help their businesses stay competitive, improve margins and increase speed to market. Now, more than ever, technology is changing the way we produce, manufacture, and distribute food. Innovation is at the root of this change, providing solutions which improve nutrition and social prosperity, helping us live healthier and longer.
Lootah said: “Dubai is well positioned to be the manufacturing hub for the F&B sector for the Mena region, leading the way to be the Islamic economy hub and a frontrunner for the global halal industry. This will surely take companies that have invested in this market to grow exponentially as the industry matures. A platform like Gulfood becomes a strong enabler to boost investment in this sector, and to take the sector growth at another level.”
Expo 2020, Lootah said, shall drive the local demand for hospitality and F&B products and services. Therefore, Dubai will be an ideal place to invest into. The industry needs to create and act on effective governance system on standards, logistics, easy access to the market, financing, policy making, manpower and competition to contribute the GDP of UAE. The food and beverage group is fully involved with the relevant ministries and authorities to address and solve the issues faced by the food and beverage companies operating in Dubai.
Tarek El Sakka, vice-president of the group and CEO of Dubai Refreshments, said: “The food and beverage group has put forth several such initiatives to facilitate its members to grow and contribute to push forward the food sector. The group has signed several local and international industry linkages to give macroeconomic push to the local food and beverage industry, that is, opening new economic avenues for local and regional companies. The event is held now twice a year and that itself speaks about how popular the platform has turned into for the show participants.”
The panel discussion participants included: Tery Denton, director, Mondelez International Biscuit-Bahrain Plant; Yusuf Tambawala, senior manager, Product Development, Jafza; Dr Frederic Aymes, head of quality management, Nestle Middle East. The discussion revolved around the next generation food and beverage production facilities, improving traceability to satisfy demands for sustainability and health, measuring the social impact of automation in food manufacturing.