The fifth annual SIAL Middle East exhibition, the fastest growing event for the region’s food, drink and hospitality sectors, concluded recently at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) with confirmed trade deals worth in excess of $544 million.
A number of major onsite announcements were made, particularly by participants from the record number of national pavilions, either through direct trade agreements or through the growing number of global networks with key international brands.
“We have not only reinforced but have also developed a gamut of new partnerships which will help us address a range of issues such as food security and as well as further underscoring Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading trade hub for the Middle East’s food industry,” said Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director of Communication and Community Service Division at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and Chairman of the SIAL Middle East organizing committee.
He expressed his gratitude over the grand success of the event, towards the Abu Dhabi government and HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, the patron of SIAL Middle East.
‘The success of the event, now at its 5th edition, is attributed to the seamless support by the Abu Dhabi Government and the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which helped it expanding, year by year, both content and volume wise, and finally reaching to this global height, he said.
‘As the wise leadership of Abu Dhabi government has been always keen in following strategic vision that underline a sustainable food sector with safety and security as its prime focus, the SIAL is hoped to escalate in to new heights in coming years under the patronage of HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed’, he added.
According to him, the exhibition, which was earlier inaugurated by HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, was organized in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and witnessed a 10% increase in exhibition space with a number of first time exhibitors making their show debut.
Commenting on SIAL’s expanding role in providing a valid platform for the region’s food import industry, Joanne Cook, SIAL Managing Director, SIAL Middle East, said: “There has been a marked increase in the number of international destinations targeting SIAL Middle East which has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the number of deals signed over the three days of the event. We have eclipsed last year’s exhibitor numbers, increased the number of hosted buyers and most importantly addressed a number of issues impacting the food and drink industry. We look forward to SIAL 2015 with confidence, supporting this vital industry sector.”
Platinum sponsor, Agthia Group, underscored the importance of the event by showcasing a range of products and reinforcing the brand credentials whilst hosting meeting with a range of potential partners. The Lithuanian contingent, headed by Minister of Agriculture Virginija Baltraitien, hosted meetings focused on bilateral co-operation in a step to develop new market entry in the Middle East. Poland also developed new ties through a range of activities that saw deals done with many of the 60 exhibitors present on the Polish pavilion.
SIAL 2014 welcomed over 500 hosted buyers from around the world, 27 international pavilions, including first-timers Egypt, Indonesia, Georgia, Lithuania and Sri Lanka keen to develop partnerships with the GCC food sector as well as record numbers of exhibitors.
First time exhibitor Michael Moretti of American Taste, and part of the American Pavilion contingent highlighted the importance of the event for deal making and providing access to new markets.
“Our initial expectations for the event have been thoroughly exceeded. We have had the opportunity to meet with a range of distributers and make new connections in the Gulf region which is crucial for our ongoing business development” he said.
“There has been incredible interest in our products and we have been overwhelmed by the friendliness and eagerness to learn more about what we do and how we do it.” He continued.
Occupying all six halls at the ADNEC venue, the exhibition included the co-located Middle East Pack exhibition, the annual La Cuisine by SIAL competition, the newly rebranded OnBoard Catering exhibition, the SIAL Innovation area and an international line-up of global food industry players from five continents.
SIAL Middle East is part of SIAL Group, the world’s largest network of professional B2B food exhibitions which include SIAL Paris, SIAL China, SIAL Canada, SIAL Brazil, SIAL ASEAN Manila and SIAL InterFOOD Jakarta.