Gulfood 2012 conferences highlight key trends for growing Middle East F&B industry
Source: BI-ME , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon January 23, 2012 1:59 pm

UAE. As global trends present new opportunities for the food, beverage and hospitality sectors in the Middle East, the need to stay updated has never been more critical for industry professionals in the region. 

To address this, highlight key issues and help foster continued growth for the region’s industry, the Gulfood 2012 conferences bring to Dubai more than 25 of the world’s experts, food entrepreneurs and business leaders to share the latest knowledge and business advice.

Running from 19 – 22 February 2012 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, alongside Gulfood, the world’s biggest annual trade exhibition for the food and beverage industry, the Gulfood Conferences will this year incorporate four key summits:  Food Leaders Summit; Foodpreneur Forum; Food Packaging & Processing Forum; and the Gulfood Workshop on Franchising.

Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President for Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of Gulfood said:  “Given the stature and importance of Gulfood as a key sales platform for the industry both regionally and globally, it is equally important for us to support knowledge exchange for this fast-paced industry. Gulfood conferences showcase the very latest trends and innovations across all sectors, and include invaluable interactive business workshops for companies wanting to start operations, expand into new markets or even develop global leadership.”

Bringing together some of the most dynamic principals and captains of the food and beverage industry, the Food Leaders Summit on 19 February will address the many challenges and trends shaping the competitive landscape. 

Keynote presentations delivered by the leaders of global players including Yousuff Ali M.A, Managing Director, Emke Group, Sanjeev Chadha, President MEA, PepsiCo and Eelco Camminga, VP, South Africa, Middle East & Pakistan, Unilever discuss best practice, innovation, ideas and strategy whilst providing some valuable insights into what it takes to reach and remain at the top.

With the growth of SME businesses in the Middle East at an all-time high – approximately 200,000 SMEs operate in the UAE alone - the Foodpreneur Forum on 20 February will prove exceptionally valuable for entrepreneurs and business owners in the industry.  This highly interactive event brings together international food-biz veterans, including celebrity chefs, global brand leaders and retail gurus to guide start-ups, fledgling businesses wanting to expand, and those looking to compete regionally and globally.

Keynote speaker at the Foodpreneur Forum, Yousif Abdulghani, Managing Director of McDonald’s Middle East Development Company, will illustrate how an internationally recognised brand like McDonald’s can adapt itself to local markets with great success. He said:  “McDonald’s Corporation plays an important role working with individual locally owned Development Licensees to build each business, incorporating locally relevant foods into the menus for the region and ensuring brand relevance in advertising that works well beyond just showing local people in ads.”

Food processing, manufacturing and packaging are some of the fastest evolving elements in the food industry supply chain, with increasing pressure on distribution processes, bottom line costs, and implementation of packaging regulations around the world.

This year’s Food Processing and Packaging Forum, running on 21 February 2012 will outline the very latest trends across the sector, with keynote presentations on a broad range of highly relevant topics. 

These include Factories of the Future; Sustainable Packaging and the Carbon Effect; The Quality Chain – From Farm to Fork; Tackling The Cost of Quality Assurance and Process Control; and Packaging and Labelling, mandatory vs. self-regulated.

One of the world’s leading providers of business intelligence and strategic market analysis, Gulfood’s knowledge partner Euromonitor International will provide delegates with comprehensive insights on the latest global and regional trends impacting how consumers eat, both at home and away, and how this impacts the Middle East and its consumers specifically. This includes the global packaged food market, global food service and strategies for adapting brands, products or concepts globally. 

With franchising continuing to present excellent growth opportunities across the Middle East, Africa and Asia regions as more and more international restaurant brands and food manufacturers look to these markets for the most promising expansion, the Gulfood workshop, facilitated by Kit Brinkley, Director of World Franchising Association, will focus on this topical subject. 

The interactive session, which takes place on 22 February 2012, will offer participants invaluable practical advice on evaluating brands, recognising legal and financial issues, maximising the franchiser-franchisee relationship and differentiating between local and international markets for business success.

“The calibre of speakers and depth of content that the Gulfood conferences offer this year is unsurpassed, and continues to ensure global leadership for this key trade exhibition at all levels,” added Loh.

Gulfood is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. Complimentary registration is available in advance online. Industry business professionals on the day of the show will be able to buy a Four Day Pass for AED 200. Gulfood is open from 11am – 7pm Sunday 19 February to Tuesday 21 February and 11am – 5pm on Wednesday 22 February 2012.

For more information, please visit

About Gulfood
Organised since 1987, Gulfood is the region's largest and most important industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade.
The trade-only show reported record visitor attendance in 2010 with a total of 55,379 trade professionals from 152 countries attending the exhibition.

For more information, please visit

About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

As the organiser of Gulfood 2011, Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 30 years experience delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge. Our team organises 18 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region.

Our commitment to ongoing innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors.

DWTC works with the leading trade bodies and industry associations to ensure that all exhibitions deliver full value and are built upon the real needs of their specific sector.

For more information, please visit




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