Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad Opens Key Hospitality Trade Shows as part of Dubai International Hospitality Week

Monday 18 September 2017
Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad Opens Key Hospitality Trade Shows as part of DIHW
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Today marked the official opening of the region’s leading hospitality trade shows by Dr. Rashid bin Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology – owned and organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).  These included the inaugural edition of GulfHost 2017, the Middle East’s first dedicated exhibition for the hospitality and food services industry, and niche food trade shows The Speciality Food FestivalSEAFEX Middle East and yummex ME, the latter of which is jointly organised with Köelnmesse GmbH.

The shows are presented during Dubai International Hospitality (DIHW), the Middle East’s largest hotel and foodservice event, and are co-located with two other complementary industry exhibitions, The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show, organized by dmg events.  The three-day trade-only events run until Wednesday 20th September at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

Welcoming tens of thousands of visitors across 80,000 square-metres of exhibition space, DIHW brings together over 2,000 international exhibitors, including industry leading brands from around the world.

“Dubai International Hospitality Week is a reflection of the rapid growth of the hospitality and food sector across the region. The platform provides opportunities for sourcing, buying and networking across six co-located trade shows at a critical time for the industry. We are honoured today to have Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad officially inaugurate the shows, as we bring the best in hospitality to the region,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.

Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, including C-suite decision makers and buyers from a broad spectrum of organizations within the hospitality industry, including Al Seer, Majd Al Futtaim Retail, Weetabix Food Co, Dubai Duty Free, Al Shaya Group, Jumeirah Group, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Habtoor Grand Resort, Fairmont Hotels, W by Westin, Costa Coffee and many more.

GulfHost and the niche food trade shows, The Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX Middle East and yummex ME have been brought under the umbrella of Dubai International Hospitality Week, an initiative endorsed by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “We are proud today to be opening the inaugural Dubai International Hospitality Week, an event that supports the growth of the hospitality and foodservice sector across the region. Dubai’s is infamous for its hospitality offerings, which is a key driver of the tourism industry, attracting investment from across the world. Today’s gathering of industry professionals will further cement Dubai’s place as the hub for hospitality, and for international business.”

GulfHost 2017

A first for the region, GulfHost 2017 gives trade visitors the opportunity to access the full range of hospitality supplies, from front of house, back of house and bar and counter. Innovation forms a key focus at GulfHost, with a dedicated Innovation Cornershowcasing the latest cutting-edge technology solutions being introduced to elevate commercial kitchen performance.  Also taking place during the show, the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai and the Middle East Food Forum (MEFF) present key industry experts at the Restaurant Development Conference, developed to gain insight into opportunities, challenges and innovations of the industry.

One of the largest global leaders for the hospitality industry, Ali Group, comments on the extensive opportunity of GulfHost 2017.David Morris, Regional Managing Director at Ali Group Middle East said: “This is a key show for us to expand our regional and global presence. As a provider of essential hotel and restaurant equipment, GulfHost gives us the ideal platform to showcase our extensive portfolio of innovative brands.”

Participating at GulfHost and representing the best of the region’s tableware manufacturing, Vinaya Shetty, Sales and Marketing Manager at RAK Porcelain, said: “RAK Porcelain is one of the leading manufacturers of porcelain tableware, having secured a well-established distribution network across 135 countries. We strive to be the preferred choice of tableware across the world, and what better way to further strengthen our presence in the hospitality market than participating in GulfHost 2017, putting us directly in contact with global buyers.”

Speciality Food Festival

This year marks the 8th edition of Speciality Food Festival (SFF), with continued expansion of the niche show demonstrating the growing appetite for gourmet, artisan, halal and organic products in the region. The trade show attracts exhibitors from around the world, including a 30% increase in exhibitor participation from France this year. The show provides an opportunity for buyers to source over 2,800 ingredients rare to this region.

An additional feature to the show, ‘Chef’s Theater’, will see Michelin-starred and Dubai-based chefs host six masterclasses per day, including demonstrations of the best cooking techniques for fine food; seafood, organic, artisan cheese and gluten free. The event also encompasses specialist pizza cooking, master coffee tasters and culinary competitions to find the best chefs in Dubai.

Exhibiting a range of specialist Italian brands, Gianpaolo Bruno, Italian Trade Commissioner at the Italian Trade Agency (ITA)commented: “Italian food is universally appealing, and most certainly in the MENA region, where the potential for Italian businesses is strong. The Speciality Food Festival is an essential event for us, as it provides a platform for Italian F&B players to meet with leaders of the hospitality industry, not only in the region, but across the world.”


In its 6th edition, the importance and scale of SEAFEX Middle East remains unrivaled as a vital platform for sourcing seafood from around the world, as the region’s demand for sustainable, alternative protein sources reaches new levels. According to the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO), countries such as the UAE consume an average of 33kg per capita a year, almost double the global average of 18kg.

SEAFEX has become a key platform for the sourcing of seafood from around the world, enabling suppliers in the region to meet a growing demand. According to Euromonitor International, the fish and seafood market is expected to reach a value of US$ 7.3 billion by 2021.

yummex Middle East

Jointly organised by Köelnmesse GmbH, yummex ME has seen a significant increase in scale and demand since its first edition, mirroring the industry growth of confectionery and snacks across the region. 

“We are excited about the 11th edition of yummex Middle East. In the new setup as part of Dubai's Hospitality Week, we will demonstrate its unparalleled position as the international trade fair for sweets and snacks in the MENA region," said Denis Steker, Vice President International of Koelnmesse GmbH. “This year, a remarkable number of 333 exhibitors from 43 countries are showcasing the latest and most innovative products of sweets, confectionery and snacks.”

This year’s yummex Middle East Innovation Awards 2017 will also recognise the international innovation of sweets, snacks and chocolates.

General Mills, a leader in the world’s most trusted food brands is exhibiting at this year’s yummex ME. Wissam Menkara, Regional Sales Manager at General Mills ME comments; “It is essential for us to expand our presence in the MENA region as its sweet and snack industry continues to grow ahead of global rates. yummex Middle East gives us the perfect platform to reach consumers and showcase our range of industry-leading snacks and treats.”

All shows are open between from 18-20 September 2017 and are for trade and business professionals only. General public and persons under the age of 21 will not be permitted entry. Registration will also be available at the show upon proof of trade status. One pass provides free access to all six trade shows across Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW).


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