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FOOD PROCESSING

Digitalise to debut at SIAL Middle-East’s 8th essay, starting on Dec 12
Saturday, 02 December, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Harcha Bhaskar, Mumbai
SIAL Middle-East 2017 - the eighth essay of the event, which will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) between December 12 and 14, and be dedicated to the food, beverage and hospitality sectors - will mark the debuts of such key initiatives as the Middle-East Food Forum and Digitalise on the exhibition floor. These initiatives will ensure that the SIAL Network’s agenda of knowledge transfer and discussion surrounding global food trends is fulfilled.

This year, there will be a special focus on the foodservice, hotel, restaurant and cafe (HoReCa) and travel catering sectors at the event. “The special focus on the will also be reflected in the panel discussions that will take place over the three days of the event,” said Joanne Cook, managing director, SIAL Middle-East.

It will feature the Arabia Feast Edible Buffet. This is a new culinary competition developed in line with the Emirates Culinary Guild’s constitution to ensure the enhancement of Emirati cuisine.

A team of two chefs will present a traditional Arabian wedding feast as it would be served at a five-star hotel in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 20 guests. This new feature is a part of La Cuisine, which is the region’s largest culinary competition. A thousand participants will vie for the four titles.

Cook said, “As the region’s fastest-growing event dedicated to the food, beverage, and hospitality sectors, SIAL Middle-East will bring together a series of innovative panels tailored to its core industry sectors.”

The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister, UAE, minister, presidential affairs, and chairman, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.

It will be organised in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). It is with their support that a dedicated VIP hosted buyer programme fully funds the visits of up to 500 top buyers from the Middle-East, the Indian subcontinent and the African region to attend the event.

Exhibitors and visitors
In 2016, the event attracted 952 exhibitors, over 30 national pavilions and 16,562 trade attendees.  

This year too, it will witness the presence of over 900 exhibitors, over 30 national pavilions and over 16,000 trade visitors and buyers, all in a business-friendly environment. In addition, there will be 500 fully-hosted VIP buyers.

Pavilions
The event will witness over 30 country pavilions, with participation from South America. Officially supported by the ministry of agriculture, 12 Brazilian companies will be showcasing the country’s diverse agro-industrial base.

For the first time, Kuwait will bring a national pavilion to a food, beverage and hospitality exhibition.

Also joining the event for the first time is the European Union (EU) pavilion, showcasing top-quality products from across the continent.

“The event will bring together a variety of new features for visitors. Amongst other features, SIAL Middle-East will bring the Healthy and Organic Pavilion for the first time ever,” revealed Cook.

Co-located event
Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition
The Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition is the world’s only dedicated business-to-business (B2B) event for the fruit of the date palm. Being co-located with SIAL Middle East also offers a perfect opportunity for date palm fruit producers and suppliers to meet thousands of food, beverage and hospitality buyers.

Highlights
Digitalise
A unique feature at SIAL Middle-East 2017 is Digitalise. This feature aims to offer social media and public relations (PR) advice to foodservice and HoReCa professionals.

Digitalise will have three distinct elements:
Social Media Hub: It will offer all attendees a free social media health check and provide guidance on how hotels, restaurants and cafes can improve their social media presence and drive benefits for their business.

Communications Hub: It will offer HoReCa companies a free PR and marketing template that they can utilise to promote themselves to the right audience.

Meet the Influencers: At this media and blogger meet-and-greet, visitors can learn from the industry reviewers and critics.

Hosted Buyer Programme
With the support of its strategic partner, ADFCA, a dedicated VIP hosted buyer programme will fully funds the visit of upto 500 top buyers from the Middle-East, the Indian subcontinent and the African region to attend SIAL Middle-East.

Each application goes through a stringent process to qualify the right buyers to come to the event. Aspects like items to source, company turnover and purchasing power are given due consideration before selecting hosted buyers.

In the 2016 edition, hosted buyers and exhibitors benefited from the Hosted Buyer Introduction Suite, a private dedicated space for Hosted Buyers to meet with a selected batch of exhibitors that match their sourcing requirements in nine structured Speed Networking Sessions.
 
The number of introductions and meetings that took place between exhibitors and hosted buyers was 9,046, and 97 per cent of the hosted buyers rated the quality of these meetings from good to excellent.
 
Hosted Buyer Introduction Suite
Launched in the year 2015, the Hosted Buyer Introduction Suite has been a roaring success with exhibitors and hosted buyers alike.

It is a private dedicated space for exhibitors to meet with batches of select Hosted Buyers in Speed Networking Sessions.

As a part of these sessions, exhibitors and hosted buyers have three minutes to exchange business cards, introduce products and schedule a detailed meeting if required.

In 2016, 5,231 introductions took place between exhibitors and hosted buyers.
 
La Cuisine
Organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild of Abu Dhabi, La Cuisine by SIAL is a favourite meeting point for foodservice professionals.

In 2016, the event in 2016 saw over 1,000 professional chefs compete across a variety of disciplines in three days of heated competition.
 
Roaming Chefs
Senior chefs from La Cuisine will take guided tours around the show based on their sourcing requirements.

At the 216 event, 765 introductions with exhibitors were held.

La Cuisine Airline Category
Launched in 2015, this La Cuisine category adds an additional dimension to the travel catering sector offering at the event.

This category is jointly organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild and Etihad Airways.

In this category, chefs need to prepare a lunch/dinner menu aimed at business class passengers.
 
La Cuisine VIP Evening
The event hosts over 150 senior chefs from the region and select exhibitors to network in an informal setting.
 
SIAL Innovation
This feature showcases the world’s most innovative products, guaranteeing an experience for attendees to learn about the upcoming trends in the food and beverage sector.

The previous edition of the event featured 44 innovative food and beverage products out of over 250 submissions. The competition is only open to exhibiting companies.
 
SIAL Innovation World Champions
SIAL Innovation winners from SIAL Paris, SIAL Canada, SIAL China, SIAL ASEAN Manila, and SIAL InterFOOD Jakarta will be present to showcase their innovative products to buyers and visitors.
 
SIAL Middle-East Party
The event organisers plan to host a reception for exhibitors and hosted buyers on the second evening of the event. The SIAL Innovation Award winners will also be announced at the event.
 
World Tour
World Tour offers a window in to the world of food commerce. At the 2016 event, 27 partner magazines and newspapers from all over the world mapped the agri-food market in their respective countries.
 
SIAL Conferences
Over three days, SIAL Conferences will highlight the opportunities, trends and challenges in airline catering and the general F&B sphere.

The Mercurys
The most prestigious award in the travel catering industry, it has been running for 35 years.

Judged by a panel of independent experts, the 2016 edition of the awards recognised the very best in on-board catering, with the five main award categories spanning airline meals, service, general on-board food and beverages and equipment.

The award ceremony, held at Shangri-La Abu Dhabi, was attended by over 150 travel catering professionals.

About this feature, Cook said, “The Mercurys are known as the world’s most prestigious travel catering awards. They have been running for over 35 years. It is also known as the Oscars of the airline catering industry.”

Abu Dhabi Food Security Roundtables
Food Security Center - Abu Dhabi (FSCAD) will bring together top government officials, chief executive officers (CEOs) and industry experts to discuss ways to ensure the availability of affordable, sustainable and nutritious food for the region.
 
Regional Coffee Championships
The Regional Coffee Championships (UAE) once again highlighted the skills and knowledge of the country’s best coffee makers. Over 20 competitors brewed up a storm at the 2016 essay of the competition.
 
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