The recently concluded Gulf Food 2016 exceeded exhibitors expectation as visitors showed immense interest in food and hospitality offerings throughout the event. Gulf Food 2016, a major food and hospitality exhibition in Dubai that 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.

Gulf Food 2016 – Biggest event of the GCC region

Featuring more than 5,000 companies and 117 pavilions, Gulf Food 2016 is considered to be the biggest event of the GCC region drew more than 85,000 visitors from 170 countries and facilitated multimillion-dollar transactions between the food and hospitality stakeholders in Dubai and the entire Gulf Region.

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 who look to capitalise from new business opportunities in the region apart from exploring possibilities of expansion and business setups in Dubai and UAE.

UAE residents willing to pay a premium for healthy foods 

Market research data suggest that consumers in Dubai are willing to pay higher price for Food Consumables as the total spending by Dubai residents on Food Consumables surpassed AED 82 Billion ($22 Billion) in 2014-15. It comes as no surprise that Dubai residents enjoy the second highest Disposable Income Per Capita in the GCC region, estimated to be at AED 46,075 ($12,543). This results in higher consumer spending on Food Consumables and greater margins for retailers in the Food and Hospitality sectors.

Dubai the fourth most visited global destination, drives demand of food consumables in UAE

In addition to residents, overwhelming tourist inflow also results in an increased demand for Food Consumables in Dubai and UAE. At present, Dubai is the fourth most visited destination in the world, receiving 14.26 Million visitors in 2014. Another factor driving the growth of Food and Beverage Sector in Dubai is the diverse demographics, that prefers to dine out at least once a week and spend spend of AED 850 (USD 231) on restaurant meals per month, which is the highest in the Middle East market.

As a result, there is variance in the consumer’s food preferences, which has led to the emergence of new market segments. Needless to say, Dubai’s population growth coupled with overwhelming tourist inflow will continue to drive the growth of Food and Beverage Sector, especially in anticipation of EXPO 2020 which will trigger massive demand for food consumables in the Emirates leading to more investments and business setups in Dubai.

Visit Research Konnection website at to know more about business setups in Dubai.

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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