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INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

F&B market of Saudi Arabia predicted to be worth $18.2 billion by 2020
Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Dubai
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) food and beverage (F&B) sector is expected to reach $18.2 billion by 2020, driven by a growing number of tourist arrivals, as the country’s strategic Vision 2030 blueprint diversifies its economy.

The scale of opportunity across its hospitality industry is significant and increased the importance and value of the Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW), the largest hotel and foodservice expo in the Middle-East.

The expo, which took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), brought together six influential hospitality sector shows under one roof to deliver a 360-degree offering for global hotel and restaurant groups, regional hospitality networks and independent F&B business owners from Saudi Arabia and beyond.

The six co-located events were GulfHost (owned and organised by DWTC); the Hotel Show and the Leisure Show (owned and organised by dmg events); the Specialty Food Festival (DWTC), SEAFEX Middle-East (DWTC) and yummex ME (jointly organised by DWTC and Köelnmesse).

Over 50,000 trade professionals visited the event, which witnessed the participation of about 2,000 international exhibitors.

“In order for Saudi Arabia’s hospitality industry to keep up with the demand, businesses need to be able to source the most relevant products and services – whether for front- or back-of-house,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, exhibitions and events management, DWTC.

“The six complementary trade shows at DIHW offer immediate access to the broadest and latest range of industry innovations, products, technology and services from around the world for hotels, restaurants and cafés,” she added.

“Business owners, procurement officers and hospitality chiefs will be able to fulfill all their sourcing needs under one roof, and with easy daily flights between the Kingdom and Dubai, a visit to DIHW could be the most efficient and productive event of the year for Saudi hospitality,” LohMirmand said.

Saudi Arabia is the most visited country in the Middle-East, with ambitious growth plans to transform a 200km stretch of Red Sea coastline into luxury resorts to attract tourists. The country’s tourism arrivals are expected to increase 12.8 per cent in 2017, reaching 22.6 million.

The Restaurant Development Conference held at GulfHost was an open-door educational platform drawing experience from big-name players to meet the resource demands of Saudi Arabia, and the region’s booming hospitality and food and beverage industries.

Powered by the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) and the Middle-East Food Forum, the free-to-attend conference included delegates from companies, including Hussain Nassar Factory, Altanous Group of Restaurants, Food Supplies LLC and Aldawar Almasry.

“Our rich regional experience, expertise and award-winning, application-focused initiatives will help Saudis build and extend exciting careers within the Kingdom’s hospitality industry,” commented Sunjeh Raja, director and chief executive officer, ICCA.

Hundreds of senior buyers from major global brands around the world were also formally hosted to promote essential collaboration and commerce in the run-up to Dubai World Expo 2020.

Senior buyers from Saudi Arabia included C-level representatives from Adil Ahmad Obeid Basaad and Al Jazeerah Shopping Centre, who took part in the GulfHost Meetings Programme, which facilitated top-level business matchmaking.

Exhibitors across the six trade shows were also aware of the value of the platform to reach the KSA market.

Exhibiting at SEAFEX Middle-East, South African fishing company Cederberg Fishing recognised Saudi Arabia’s growth as a vital opportunity for international business.

Its founder, Clifford Krige, said, “We are aware of the broad spectrum the KSA market caters to, and its growing opportunity for international brands.”

“SEAFEX creates excellent exposure for our business as we look to expand globally and introduce our product on a larger scale – and markets that are benefiting from significant F&B growth, such as KSA, will be of key focus for us,” he added.

Ukraine-based sweet manufacturer Yarych Confectionery, which participated at yummex ME, has adapted its offering to cater to the Middle-Eastern market.

The company’s marketing director, Anton Yumaiev, said, “The KSA market is very interesting because of its development and openness to products from overseas.”

“Our products always meet the requirements of Arab markets, including being fully Halal-certified. We have made some significant steps to enter KSA, as we see the huge potential in this market,” he added.
 
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