Leading global food events point to booming future for food industry

Opening day of Gulfood Manufacturing and four co-located events sees global industry leaders gather to define the future of the F&B sector
Gulfood Manufacturing exhibitors
Gulfood Manufacturing exhibitorsPhoto - DWTC

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group, opened the much-anticipated leading global F&B event Gulfood Manufacturing at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). He was received at the event by H.E. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) and Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

Reaffirming Dubai’s position as a global industrial hub and its crucial contribution to the F&B, manufacturing and hospitality sectors, Gulfood Manufacturing, along with four co-located events – GulfHost, The Speciality Food Festival, ISM Middle East (previously Yummex ME) and Private Label Licensing ME – will run until 10th November 2022.

The first morning of Gulfood Manufacturing saw insightful discussions from global industry leaders at the Food Tech Summit, that underscored the UAE’s position as a competitive international manufacturing hub, in line with the government’s Operation 300bn and Make it in the Emirates initiatives. In a keynote address, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, chief executive officer of Emirates Development Bank, touched on the importance of strengthening food security in order to foster a healthy, reliant and sustainable economy in the UAE. For him, UAE industrial strategy and food security strategy go hand in hand.

Ahmad Sultan Al Haddad, chief operating officer - Parks and Zones, DP World touched on the attraction of Dubai from a logistics point of view. Thanks to a technologically advanced, connected and efficient port, Dubai Ports has already developed a food and beverage cluster of 1,000 companies, spread over 1 million square feet, and is well positioned to capture further growth.

On the show floor at Gulfood Manufacturing, new launches included Ishida’s 11th generation of multihead weigher, the CCW-AS, which has been specifically designed to offer the highest weighing performance to further increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), while at the same time delivering significant energy reduction benefits.

IFFCO Out of Home launched its Frying Solutions portfolio. “Gulfood Manufacturing is the most dynamic platform for engagement with the food and beverage manufacturing industry. We aspire to explore potential challenges faced by our partners and customers in order to provide opportunities and solutions that will drive the industry forward.

“At IFFCO Out of Home, innovation is the third key core value, in addition to excellence and entrepreneurship. By participating in Gulfood Manufacturing 2022, we look forward to inspiring and empowering the F&B manufacturing industry with our cutting-edge solutions that will redefine the future of food. We constantly go beyond the industry trends and evolve to deliver simply better solutions and we’re excited to be launching the latest additions to IFFCO Out of Home’s Frying Solutions portfolio for the first time at Gulfood Manufacturing 2022,” said Arzu Alibaz, chief executive officer at IFFCO Out of Home.

Jens Thamdrup, an area sales manager visiting the show from Denmark, said, “This is only the second time I’ve visited the show. I have meetings planned and it’s also somewhat of an internal event because there are 75 staff here from my company.

“Dubai World Trade Centre is a great venue because it’s a crowd pleaser and a lot of people are coming to Gulfood Manufacturing with a professional mindset to do business, but also to be social.”


Meanwhile at GulfHost, foodservice pioneers gathered at the Foodservice Excellence Summit to get insights into the latest trends shaping the foodservice industry and bringing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s F&B sector into focus. Prince Waleed bin Nasser Al Saud, founder and chief executive officer of Mukatafa, opened the summit, announcing that there will soon be a new vision for Saudi Arabia. The vision will be built around three primary themes: vibrant society, thriving economy and ambitious nation, which will provide huge investment opportunities in the Kingdom.

“Riyadh Vision 2030 will soon be announced. Today, Riyadh makes up around 50% of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economy with a population of around 7 million. The target is to increase this to 17 million residents and 5 million jobs, so huge investment is needed, including in the F&B industry,” commented Prince Waleed.

Deem Albassam, co-founder and managing director of Independent Food, Sabine El Najjar, managing director of Kitopi Saudi Arabia and Ahmad Alzaini, co-founder and CEO of Foodics, joined the panel discussion ‘Future of F&B in KSA’, which was moderated by Sadeem Safar Alsofyani, senior business development manager at Mukatafa. The discussion focused on the development of the sector over the past five years, looking at how cultural changes and new technologies and innovation have led the industry to adapt and grow. They also highlighted how the F&B sector is seen as more of an entertainment sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, providing incredible opportunities for foreign investors.

Speciality Food Festival, ISM ME and Private Labelling & Licensing ME

The 11th edition of the Speciality Food Festival turned DWTC into a bustling marketplace and experiential ground for everything artisanal, speciality food and exotic ingredients. This event’s agenda included a range of exclusive workshops in the ‘FOODVERSE’, showcasing what chefs, kitchens, culinary schools, restaurants, and hotels can do in metaverse.

Throughout day one, over 2,500 exhibitors showcased their latest product innovations and solutions across the five events. From mouth-watering confectionary and snacks from global brands including Roshen Confectionery Corporation, Trolli Gmbh and Crispo S.R.L at ISM Middle East, to private label branding, packaging and supply chain solutions from some of the biggest names worldwide such as Amazon, Carrefour, Unilever, Walt Disney, Aldi, Nazih Group and Doubletree by Hilton at Private Label Licensing ME, visitors were able to network and leverage opportunities to grow their businesses.

On the Private Label & Licensing ME show floor, Al Bayader announced a new partnership with German sustainability leader Reifenhäuser to develop R-Cycle pilot projects in the GCC that will contribute to a stronger circular economy. It also launched its all-new Gaïa Straws, building on its partnership with Finnish major Sulapac.

Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president, Dubai World Trade Centre commented, “As the UAE Government continues its ambitious growth strategy with initiatives such as Operation 300bn, Gulfood Manufacturing along with the four other co-located events will play a vital role in supporting this vision. With this year’s events set to be our best yet – and day one already a huge success – we are pleased to be working with some of the top decision-makers and brands across a huge variety of industries. These events offer a platform for them to come together to shape the future of the food industry and transform food systems across the UAE and beyond.”

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