Dubai / UAE. (pr) Gulfood, the Middle East´s largest food exhibition and one of the world´s leading exhibitions covering food, drink foodservice and hospitality recorded an outstanding 16 percent increase in visitor attendance while most importantly maintaining exceptional buyer quality. Gulfood 2009 has surpassed the expectations of global watchers to transcend economic challenges and deliver its most successful edition in its history.
The achievement and substantial growth highlights Gulfood as a vital event driving the food industry in the region. Organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has released independently audited figures which initially show that a record number of trade visitors attended this year´s exhibition. Gulfood attracted 45’489 visitors from over 152 countries at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) and at Airport Expo Dubai (AED).
«Gulfood´s achievement at this critical time is an indisputable testament of the global confidence in the exhibitions capabilities to deliver and increase business and investments much needed to boost the economy, said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre. More significantly, it reaffirms Dubai´s leading position as the world´s most strategic and influential business hub. We continue to deliver maximum return on investment for participants amidst unprecedented economic conditions», he added.
The size and number of country pavilions at this year´s exhibition has also exceeded expectations. More than 3’300 companies, from 76 different countries participated in the four day exhibition utilising Gulfood as a platform to launch new products and expand operations in the GCC. Many international organisations also used the event to explore business ventures and foster better trade relations with emerging markets.
The commendation of this year´s show by participating companies was a result of the high calibre of visitors and quality business leads. Many suppliers now look to the Middle East market and recognise its growth potential. Gulfood presented global firms with a key platform to refocus priorities and assess strategies during current trading conditions.
Gulfood remains highly relevant and useful as an education platform for the hospitality community in the region. Its showcase of green initiatives by innovative companies and the concurrent conference on food safety organised by the Dubai Municipality makes it one of the most sought after events in the world. Trade visitors looking to support the long term growth and development of the hotel, restaurant and tourism industry in the region also found strong business opportunities.
Almarri: «As evidenced by the overwhelming exhibitor response, in times of global economic challenges and financial instability, it is even more vital for corporations world-wide to continue to engage and interact – the business meetings, conferences and exhibitions held at DWTC will remain the platform for this networking and will in turn stimulate opportunities that bring long-term economic benefits not only to Dubai, but to the wider Middle East Region.
In line with the strategic plan of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we are working to sustain our target of 1,0 to 1,5 percent contribution to Dubai´s GDP on par with global benchmarks such as Singapore and Hong Kong in the events and exhibitions sector. Our aim is to provide better experiences that deliver ‘Destination Dubai’ to every visitor, as we move forward with our vision to make Dubai the world´s leading destination for all major exhibitions, conferences and events», concluded Almarri (pr).