In mid-February I was fortunate to be able to attend Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade exhibition, in Dubai. I was there to better understand some of the important new and emerging trends in the global food service industries and particularly to get a closer view of the middle eastern market.
It is not easy to convey in words the size and chaos of a global fair like this. Spread over more than a million square feet (that’s 9.3 hectares or about five MCGs) with over 5,000 exhibitors for specific commodities and products, as well as representation from 120 different nations, showcasing regional products and cuisine. The show boasted nearly 100,000 attendees from 193 countries this year, with an impressive attendee list– from famous chefs to political dignitaries.
Why does this show attract such a large volume of people? Mostly it is due to the centralised nature of Dubai as a nucleus for business and travel, many attendees and commodity traders use the show as central hub for networking and meetings.