The World’s largest annual food event, Gulfood 2017 was officially inaugurated by the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoums at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on 26 February 2017. The five-day exhibition, which will continue till 2 March, 2017, is expected to witness participation from over 90,000 food professionals from 150 countries across the world.
Following a depressed 2016, the event begins amidst a resurgence in the price of foodstuffs, bucking the wider decline in the commodities market. Traders at the event have cited uncertain supplies, particularly of sugar, palm oil, and grains from emerging economies, as the cause behind the increase in price.
Producers in Abu Dhabi are currently being squeezed by January 2017’s utilies rate hike, increasing operating costs.
Running until March 2, the 1,000,000 square foot exhibition is expected to receive around 90,000 food professionals from 150 countries.
“Buyer demand for healthy and halal products, as well as trusted resource provenance, has turned Gulfood 2017 into a window to global food sector reinvention. The show is already underlining its international reputation as a hotbed for unique business opportunities,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.
Health and wellness, alongside free-from products, including wheat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, feature prominently at this year’s Gulfood. Oganic foods are set to hit $1.5 billion in sales by 2018, driven by demand from key supermarkets, according to a Frost and Sullivan report.
The exhibition also plays host to the world’s largest annual Halal food sourcing trade show. A key issue on this year’s agenda is the standardisation of Halal certifications. The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology is driving a push for the unification of Halal accreditation and harmonised Halal standards.