11/17/2011 12:00 AM
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and Turret Media today announced the highlights of the upcoming trade show dedicated to the regional food industry SIAL Middle East at a press conference, held at Rocco Forte Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The press conference was addressed by H. E Rashed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA; Rashed Tarish Al Qubaisi, Executive Director, Business & Trade Development Sector, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Mohammed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Services of ADFCA; Åž. Vural Altay, Turkish Ambassador to UAE; and Fadi Saad, Group Exhibition Director, Turret Media. 

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of ADFCA, SIAL Middle East will take place next week from November 21 to 23, at  the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).  

SIAL Middle East is part of SIAL Group, the world�s largest network of professional business to business food exhibitions, which include SIAL Paris, SIAL China, SIAL Canada, and SIAL Brazil. 

The show is set to welcome 12,000 trade visitors with an exhibitor line up of more than 500 food and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, in addition to national pavilions from Turkey, Argentina, Korea, China, Taiwan, Iran, France, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, Pakistan, Tunisia and the UAE. 70% of these companies will be exhibiting for the first time in the region. 

Major local, regional and international exhibitors at the event include Unifrutti, Unilever, Federal Foods, Agthia, HORECA Trade, MEC 3, BASF, Royal Culimer, Midamar, EMKE Group, Al Ain Dairy, Barakat, MKN and many more. 

H.E. Rashed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA, said: �Almost all statistics about the exhibition have doubled over the course of just one year. The exhibition space, the number of exhibitors, the number of national pavilions and the variety of products on offer will see a huge increase this year. This is indicative of the strategic importance of SIAL Middle East as the pre-eminent exhibition for the food industry not just in the UAE, but in the wider region as well.� 

Al Shariqi cited recent trade figures released by Ministry of Foreign Trade, that showed the UAE�s food re-exports rose by more than 16.5% in the year 2010, reaching AED 8.1billion. The UAE�s re-exported food goods had presence in 140 markets around the world. Islamic Republic of Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait dominate 73.2% of the UAE�s total food re-export in the same year with the value of AED 5.9billion. 

"The significance of internationally recognised events such as SIAL Middle East needs to be understood in the context of these trade dynamics,� added Al Shariqi. �Through SIAL Middle East, Abu Dhabi offers a wonderful vantage point for businesses to reach out to dynamic markets in the whole Middle East, North Africa and Asia. 

�The advanced food safety infrastructure that ADFCA and other food monitoring authorities in the country put in place complements the growth in trade, creating an investment climate that will make businesses feel totally at home.� 

Rashed Tarish Al Qubaisi, Executive Director, Business & Trade Development Sector, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry affirmed that SIAL Middle East is an exceptional opportunity for international and regional food companies to present and promote their products in new markets. 

Turkey - Country of Honour 

Determined in its efforts to broad-base and expand the country�s food exports, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce will host the Turkish national pavilion at SIAL Middle East 2011, bringing in 37 exhibitors. 

�Our participation at SIAL Middle East will open the way to more effective partnerships between Turkish food manufacturers and companies in UAE, GCC countries and Middle East region in general,� said Åž. Vural Altay, Turkish Ambassador, adding that Turkey�s food and agriculture sector and the region�s food security plan perfectly complement each other. 

Last year, the total trade volume between Turkey and GCC countries stood over US$10 billion (AED 36.73 billion). The Q1 period of the year 2011 alone witnessed more than US$3 billion (AED 11 billion) worth of foreign trade between Turkey and GCC countries. 

Trade data indicates that the UAE is Turkey�s largest trading partner among the GCC countries, with nearly 42 % of share in the total trade between Turkey and GCC. Turkey�s total trade with UAE is valued at AED 14 billion in 2010. 

500 hosted buyers at SIAL Middle East 

SIAL Middle East is also hosting 500 pre-registered and qualified food, beverage and equipment buyers under its one-of-a-kind SIAL Purchaser Club programme. 

Highlighting the distinctive features of the show, Fadi Saad, Group Exhibition Director, Turret Media � organiser of the event said, �This year we have managed to attract key buyers representing the largest food distribution outlets, catering businesses, supermarket chains, airlines, and as we speak, meetings are being arranged between these buyers and all exhibitors.�

Among the 500 buyers include representatives from Sodexo � Saudi Arabia, Carrefour - Iran, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE; Panda United - Saudi Arabia; Military Consumer Establishment � Jordan, Abu Dhabi Inflight Catering, Abela and Co., Al Jaber Catering Services, Emirates Catering, Bin Hendi, Al Quiyadia Group and Emirates Cooperative Society. 

Features at SIAL Middle East  

Among the many other highlights at SIAL Middle East is a three-day conference programme organised with Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where a line-up of 31 high profile international and regional expert speakers will look to address delegates about the pressing issues and opportunities facing the global food industry. 

The trade show will also host SIAL Innovations Observatory, where 50 of the world�s most innovative food products will be on display, including 10 selected products from SIAL Middle East. �These products will be displayed at all SIAL exhibitions around the world, giving the Middle Eastern products unprecedented international exposure. The importance of this Innovations Observatory cannot be underestimated as 50% of the food products we see today on supermarket�s shelves will be totally different in 5 year time,� Saad said. 

One of the 10 selected products will be awarded the prestigious SIAL Innovation Award for the first time in the Middle East.  

Returning this year is La Cuisine by SIAL, where the Africa & Middle East semi-finals of the WACS Global Chefs Challenge and Hans Bueschkens Young Chefs Challenge will take place.  

In addition, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in association with Abu Dhabi Department for Economic Development (DED) and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) will host investment meetings between international food manufacturers wishing to open food factories in the GCC region and potential GCC investors and industrialists. �This is a very important step that could help reduce the food security issues that the region is witnessing,� Saad pointed out. 

SIAL Middle East will also feature Grocery @ SIAL Middle East - a first-of-its-kind exhibition developed to facilitate direct commercial exchange between grocers and food and store retail equipment manufacturers.  

�This year�s growth of the exhibition truly reflects the need for such an event in GCC and Middle East food industry. It also reflects the appetite of a booming food and beverage sector,� Saad said. 

SIAL Middle East is sponsored by Jenaan � Platinum Sponsors, Al Dahra Agriculture � Diamond Sponsor,  and Agthia - Gold Sponsor. The event is also supported by Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, World Association of Chefs Societies, Electrolux, Emirates Culinary Guild, ADNEC and Ministry of Environment and Water. 

Co-located with SIAL Middle East will be the Emirates International Date Palm Festival - an event dedicated to fully utilize the tremendous potential of the dates industry in both regional and international trade. Top export markets and leading producers in the global dates industry are set to participate at the dates festival, which will run from 21 to 26 November at ADNEC.

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