Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business Group (FBMG), anon-profit industry body for F&B manufacturers based in the Emirate, has praised the inaugural Gulfood Manufacturing –running 9-11 November at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – for its ‘unique business potential’.
With more than 1,000 global food manufacturers, suppliers and service providers due to attend the region’s biggest-ever trade show launch, the FBMG has revealed it is committed to championing homegrown manufacturers’ credentials to positively impact the UAE’s food supply challenges at the dedicated F&B processing exhibition.
“The UAE currently imports 90% of its total food requirements andopportunities are rife for the world’s biggest food manufacturers to make considerable, region-wide investment inroads at Gulfood Manufacturing,” said Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman of the FBMG and Managing Director of Al Islami Foods, one of Middle East’s biggest halal food producerswhich has supply operations in Brazil and Australia, and which exports its products throughout the Middle East, the CIS and Europe.
“Gulfood Manufacturing is also a watershed moment for the FBMG and our members. It is a unique platform for local F&B producers to source the latest ingredients, processing machinery, packaging equipment and logistics, warehousing and cold chain solutions to enable faster, cheaper and cost-effective production of safer and more reliable products. These are key enablers for domestic F&B producers to save costs and increase revenues in the increasingly competitive global food trade industry.
“Sourcing and assimilating these technologies will enable Dubai companies to produce an even higher standard of world-class food products which, if leveraged effectively and efficiently, could make the UAE and wider GCC region far less reliant on imports – an important asset in easing regional food security concerns. The business potential for local and regional companies is significant.”Established under the auspices of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the innovation-driven FBMG works to resolve industry-related challenges and spur domestic food and beverage production. As an all-encompassing F&B processing industry showcase. Mr Saleh Lootah believes Gulfood Manufacturing ticks both boxes for FBMG members including Al Ghurair Foods, Emirates Macaroni, United Foods, Nestle, Unilever, MARS, and Dubai Refreshments Company (DRC) amongst others.
“International F&B producers will rightly view Gulfood Manufacturing as a strategic gateway to tailor their products to suit regional tastes and foster new, lucrative inroads into markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia,” said Mr. Mohamed Al Owais, Vice Chairman and Executive Director, United Foods. “Furthermore, UAE and GCC-based food manufacturers will discover the latest in cutting-edge business improvement solutions to drive innovation, improve cost-efficient manufacturing and enhance operational quality.”
According to data compiled by Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai’s total foreign trade in food products from January to September 2013 rose to Dh46 billion – a seven per cent rise on the Dh43 billion accrued in the same period a year earlier. While food import increased by three per cent from Dh31 billion to Dh32 billion over the nine-month comparative period, exports and re-exports rose by 17 per cent from Dh12 billion to Dh14 million.
FBMG members are principal players in Dubai’s annual food trading industry and several have already invested in expansive new production facilities in Dubai Investment Park, including DRC’s new $136 million (AED500 million) bottling plant and Al Islami Foods’soon-to-open US$27.2 million (AED99 million) food processing facility.
Moving forward,Gulfood Manufacturing represents an opportunity for Dubai’s F&B producers - both large and small - to taut their products to a cache of food industry representatives and influential buyers attending the region’s largest-ever specialised Hosted Buyer Programme. Buyers from countries including Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Iran and Nigeria are already confirmed.
“The FBMGoffers a unique conduit for strategy, policy and regulation alignment with the Emirate’s government bodies and we welcome its generous endorsement of Gulfood Manufacturing,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC, the event organiser. “The FBMG has worked tirelessly to progress excellence in the domestic F&B industry with the aim of improving and building local production capabilities – these objectives align perfecting with Gulfood Manufacturing, which has been conceived to accelerate the growth and efficiency of local businesses by empowering them with industry-leading technology transfer.”
To apply for the Gulfood Manufacturing Hosted Buyer Programme, visit www.gulfoodmanufacturing.com. The application period is open until 15 October, 2015.Gulfood Manufacturing is open between 10am-6pm from 9-10 November and 10am-5pm on 11 November 2014 at DWTC. Visitor attendance is free of charge. For more information, visit the event website.