Dubai’s Food & Beverage Sector Attractive For Investments – Gulf Food 2017 Ends On Positive Note

GULF Food 2017 Exhibition
The recently concluded 22nd Gulf Food 2017 exhibition in Dubai exceeded exhibitors expectation as visitors showed immense interest in food and hospitality offerings throughout the event. Gulf Food 2017, a major food and hospitality exhibition kicked off last week at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) received a positive response from the visitors as the food and hospitality exhibitors remained busy and happy booking new orders.

Featuring more than 5,000 companies from 120 different countries, Gulf Food 2017 is the biggest event in the GCC region, as the total visitors exceeded 90,000 arriving from 150 different countries compared to total visitors exceeded 85,000 arrived in 2016. The displays included a wide range of food products from affordable convenience, on-the-go food, to free-from products such as wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free, health & wellness and artisan class food.

With Dubai being recognised as the fastest growing GCC city in food consumption, the food and hospitality sectors are considered as a major source of attraction for exhibitors that look to capitalise on new business opportunities in the region apart from exploring possibilities of business in Dubai and UAE. The Gulf Food 2017 oversaw 2,000 new exhibitors that debuted in the event eyeing for a share in the multi-billion dollar F&B market in Dubai and UAE.

Moreover, the fresh demand for healthy food products in Dubai / UAE has provided a great opportunity for global F&B players to tap the market. Health and wellness, alongside free-from products, including wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and halal products were the most featured products in the Gulf Food 2017 exhibition. On similar lines, the demand for organic foods in Dubai / UAE (especially by the supermarkets) are expected to increase with estimated sales of AED 5.5 Billion by 2018 due to increased health awareness among consumers.

Food & Beverage Sector – Market Overview
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the world’s leading Food and Beverage (F&B) markets with immense potential for future growth. The total value of the UAE’s F&B sector is estimated to be AED 45 Billion (2016) and is expected to further grow by 4% annually reaching AED 82 Billion by 2020. Dubai’s F&B sector contributes nearly 43% of the overall F&B sector in UAE.

To service growingly diverse population (2.6 million as of 2016) and tourist inflow (1.5 million annually), Dubai has over 9,000 restaurants. The number is expected to increase by 15% over the next 5 years as Dubai prepares to receive over 2 Million tourists by 2020 and set to draw over 25 million visitors during the Expo 2020. A culture of dining out and high per capita income (AED 46,075) are some of the major factors that fuel the demand of the F&B industry in Dubai. This results in higher consumer spending on Food Consumables and greater margins for retailers in the F&B Sector.

Investment Opportunities in Dubai’s F&B Sector
Increasing demand for health and wellness food products indicates a clear opportunity for companies producing healthy foods, non-alcoholic drinks and free-from products for people with food allergies. Remarkably, Dubai’s favourable demography, high tourist density and business-friendly environment makes it one of the most attractive destinations for F&B players that have plans to enter or expand in Dubai, UAE and the GCC.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
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