360° of operation

Taking place in Dubai from 25 to 28 February, Gulfood 2013 promises to take global foodservice events to another level. Director Mark Napier offers a guide to the hottest show in foodservice this year


Gulfood is where everyone in the hospitality and catering industry goes to find the equipment and products that will help them maintain a competitive edge in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

Gulfood is the largest and most important foodservice industry event of the year and a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face.

It’s the only event that incorporates the entire industry value chain. No other annual show offers a 360° experience on the same scale – from ingredient suppliers, through to manufacturing, processing, packaging, equipment suppliers, business expertise and every food product imaginable.
If you’re in foodservice, a visit to Gulfood is an essential part of your procurement and industry knowledge programme. Because Gulfood is internationally recognised as one of the key trading platforms for the food hospitality industry, buyers can find products and suppliers from every corner of the globe. The exhibition showcases the broadest range of products, ingredients, services and technologies. Last year’s record-breaking show involved more than 3,800 exhibitors from 88 countries and 110 international pavilions.

“FCSI is very proud to be working with Gulfood, hosting a stand at this prestigious show and representing our members’ interests,’ says Jonathan Doughty, chairman FCSI EAME.

Gulfood is a transactional show delivering billions of dollars in deals for businesses across the world – from as far afield as South Africa, China, New Zealand and Argentina through to Poland, Tunisia and Iran.

There is no question the exhibition plays a pivotal role in facilitating substantial trade between suppliers and buyers from every corner of the globe and providing immediate and exclusive access to the highly lucrative markets of the UAE region. The event is so important for countries around the world that heads of government and ministries from participating countries often include a visit to Gulfood in their global business agendas. And as a key knowledge exchange platform, Gulfood conferences are now established as the region’s biggest industry education, networking and learning programme.

Bigger and better?

Every year Gulfood aims to deliver more value – from increased exhibition space and exhibitor participation to visitor footfall, size and value of business deals and product and service offerings. At this year’s event a record number of international exhibits will be showcasing products from around the world – an increase in space to 113,398 sq m.

The event will be the biggest Gulfood to date, its purpose-built exhibition hall providing 12% more display space. This means more exhibitors, more products, more brands and more space to show bigger and better equipment. You’ll see industry giants such as Manitowoc, Rational, Hobart, TSSC, AMF and Electrolux alongside thousands of niche and regional specialists.

Visitors to Gulfood can expect to learn about the latest products, services and innovations being developed in every sector of the industry – be it packaging, ingredients or technology. To help visitors navigate the growing show, improved product location tools and exhibitor mapping have been created, and a new mobile app, diary management and appointment services will be available online.

The increased exhibition space provides much more room for the big industry competitions. At this year’s show, the Gulfood Awards will recognise the excellence of both individuals and companies behind the region’s food and drink industry. The culinary competitions at Gulfood are a huge draw for visitors and contestants alike and with more than 2,000 chefs taking part in the Emirates Culinary Guild Salon Culinaire and the Baking & Pastry Guild Competition, the heat in the kitchen will be at an all-time high.

Recognised internationally as one of the key trading platforms for the food hospitality industry, Gulfood has a wide range of product launches on the agenda:

• Chef Middle East will introduce a full range of specialty sausages, cold cuts, and salami under its Essentials by Chef brand, with a focus on creating recipes based on client requirements. A major supplier of European, Australian and Japanese food products in the Middle East, Chef Middle East will also display fresh specialty fruit and vegetables from its new division, Chef Innovations.

• Leading Gulf packaging specialist Al Thika Packaging will showcase a wide range of packaging machinery and materials from every part of its line-up, from retail packs to pallets.

• Artisan and industrial bakeries will be able to test the wide range of IFFCO Ingredients, developed to suit their needs. Mixes for bread, sponge cake, doughnuts, dessert, sugar free cake and specialty bread as well as bread improvers and whipping cream will be on display at Gulfood 2013.

• Greenfield World Trade will exhibit new product lines under its major brands Excalibur, Omega, Blakeslee, and Zeroll. Excalibur will introduce a line of stainless steel dehydrator models; Omega will launch a full line of juicers and high-speed commercial grade blenders; Blakeslee will showcase complementary items to expand the existing line of warewashers and potato peelers; Zeroll will feature its Ussentials collection – 53 innovative kitchen tools in 13 colours.

• Tetra Pak returns with a substantial presence this year. As the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, it is committed to making food safe and available everywhere.

• Nadiya, the region’s luxury dates company, will launch several products at the show, including a range of gourmet chocolate dates and new flavours.

Getting the best out of Gulfood

There is no doubt Gulfood is a big show and, as its organisers, we have worked hard to make the show as easy as possible to navigate. The show is divided into five sectors: food and beverage; foodservice and hospitality; ingredients; processing and packaging; and restaurant and café.

Pre-registering for the event is strongly recommended, both to save time and to enjoy a 50% reduction on the admission fee. This can be done online at gulfood.com. The Gulfood newsletters are an excellent source of information in the run-up to the show, advising on all the new products being launched and updating visitors and exhibitors on the latest news. You can sign-up for this through the website.

While in Dubai…

The Gulfood exhibition takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, a conveniently and centrally located venue in Dubai, close to a wide selection of restaurants, shopping malls and other attractions.

Dubai has earned itself a reputation for being the gourmet capital of the UAE. An increasing number of Michelin-starred chefs are at the helm of eateries in the region and other Gulf Cooperation Council markets, including Gary Rhodes, Marco Pierre White, Nobu Matsuhisa, Yannick Alleno, Sanjeev Kapoor, Jamie Oliver and Pierre Gagnaire. That makes a trip to any of the city’s fine-dining establishments a must.

While the Novotel and the Ibis hotels are located at the venue of Gulfood itself, offering the ultimate in convenience, there are also a number of other hotels within close proximity to the show. And it is well worth remembering that there is a dedicated Dubai Metro station at the Dubai World Trade Centre, which makes the show easily accessible from almost every part of Dubai.




Alexander Schnaidt, regional director for Central Europe, Ambach Ali S.p.a.

Why is Gulfood 2013 the ‘go to’ event for the foodservice industry in the EAME region? Why is it so special?

The Gulf region is still of big interest for our industry. It is the most booming region in EAME. More than this, Gulfood also acts as a bridge to the Asian markets. It is a real international show.

What are the key defining principles/characteristics of Gulfood 2013?

The concept of the show is food and equipment presented by manufacturers, plus an interesting framework of conferences.

Why should this event be of particular importance to FCSI members?

Every FCSI has the chance to show presence in this important region.There are a lot of interesting projects waiting to be started, and most of them have more challenges than an average European project.