By Abraham Jonah, Middle East Contributing Editor
TUE, NOVEMBER 22 2016-Dubai does not take last in set out projects in the UAE and across the gulf region in a bid to make impact in international developments on our time and has touched on various operations, developments and food manufacturing and safely in recent times.
The third edition of Gulfood Manufacturing, Middle East’s biggest food manufacturing, processing, packaging, logistics and materials handling exhibition, returned to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). It held from November, 7 – 9, 2016 with an impressive 20 per cent larger growth compared to its second event 12 months ago.
Having swelled to 13 halls from 11 last year – Gulfood Manufacturing 2016 divided into three specialist areas across more than 80,000 square metres of exhibition space: Ingredients Middle East – featuring fine and functional ingredients and the latest bulk and commodity ingredients, innovations, tastes and flavours; ProPack Middle East – covering automation, processing equipment and packaging machinery to solve production challenges and increase volume, flexibility, efficiency, quality and cost control; and Logistics Solutions Middle East – for firms involved in materials handling, transport and commercial vehicles, IT and technology solutions, warehousing operators, facilitators & service providers.
Gulfood Manufacturing 2016 hosted 1600 international food manufacturers, suppliers and industry service providers, an increase of 60 per cent on the number of exhibitors that participated at the show’s 2014 launch.
The rapid growth of Gulfood Manufacturing comes just months after His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Industrial Strategy – a multi-faceted policy that aims to elevate Dubai into a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses.
The Dubai Industrial Strategy aims to help generate more than 27,000 jobs and an additional AED160 billion in the emirate’s economy by 2030.
Among the objectives in Phase One of the strategy are increasing total output and value-addition of the manufacturing sector; enhancing the depth of knowledge and innovation; making Dubai the preferred manufacturing platform for global businesses; promoting environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient manufacturing systems; and making Dubai the centre for the global Islamic products market.
In-line with Gulfood Manufacturing’s mandate to capitalize on unprecedented market demand for the region’s manufacturing, processing, packing and ingredients sectors, main focus areas at the exhibition align with the top 75 initiatives outlined in the Dubai Industrial Strategy.
“Gulfood Manufacturing ticks all the right boxes in terms of providing a tailored, sector-specific platform for global food producers and companies across the entire food production value chain to meet local and regional partners and accelerate regional development in the food manufacturing sector,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.
“As evidenced by the significant growth in participation at this year’s show, the world’s leading equipment, ingredients, logistics and cold chain suppliers view Gulfood Manufacturing as the preferred platform to leverage an operational foothold in a market where the ruler’s vision is to spur long-term growth across the food manufacturing sector.”
In terms of country participation, Gulfood Manufacturing 2016 showcased exhibitors from 58 countries including 29 official national pavilions. Every major machinery manufacturing nation was present including Austria, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. This year’s show also welcomed new pavilions including Indonesia, Ireland, Russia and South Africa.
A broad spectrum of heavyweight companies which participated at the show included IPS, Al Thika Packaging, Falcon Pack, Ipack Spa, IPS, Ishida, Multivac, Rieckermann and all the leading ingredients players including Cargill, Doehler, Symrise, Transveritas and Wild Flavours.
To ensure that participated companies meet the right partners, traders and investors, Gulfood Manufacturing rolled-out its biggest-ever Hosted Buyer Programme sponsored by Tetra Pak. More than 2,000 of the region’s biggest and most important industrial buyers were invited to the event and offered complimentary flights, accommodation and transport to-and-from the venue.
“We have listened to our exhibitors’ feedback and it’s abundantly evident the Hosted Buyer Programme has yielded tremendous results in terms of on-show business and year-round legacy sales. The volume of sales underpins the show’s business proposition that Dubai is strategically positioned to serve as the manufacturing and logistics gateway between East and West,” added LohMirmand.
Gulfood Manufacturing also hosted a series of specialist conferences including the Food Logistics Forum – the region’s only food and beverage-specific logistics event. The Forum brought together the region’s leading production, foodservice, retail, logistics and transportation players for two days’ of intensive education sessions, as well as dedicated time to build new business relationships and explore best practices.
The Forum addressed critical issues shaping the future profitability and sustainability of the entire food value chain, including achieving consistent cold chain integrity; building seamlessly integrated supply chain system; improving airport-airline cargo handling; strategies for locking down supply chain management efficiencies; safety and security measures; cutting-edge warehousing, and technical innovations in material handling.
The show was only open to trade professionals and visitor attendance was free of charge.