Gulfood 2019 Elevates Dubai’s Lead Role in Global Food Industry

Gulfood 2019 Elevates Dubai’s Lead Role in Global Food Industry

The world’s largest Food and Beverage (F&B) event Gulfood 2019 recently concluded in Dubai. The 24th edition of Gulfood 2019 attracted over 5,000 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors. The primary motive of the event was to promote the F&B industry. Exhibitors showcased latest innovative F&B products and services which included drinking water solutions, meat free alternatives and other new products and technologies. In addition, the event focused on exhibiting F&B products that promoted health and wellness, as consumers increasingly switched to healthy eating.

With Dubai cementing its positiong as an strategic re-export hub in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, the F&B sector is expected to witness a further growth in the years to come. In addition, UAE is the major food consuming country in the Middle East with CAGR of 4.4 per cent and food consumption projected to reach 10 million metric tonne by 2021. As result, there has been tremendous interest among F&B players especially from European and Central Asian countries as they aim to enter and expand in the Gulf region.

Key Highlights – Gulfood 2019

  • Nearly 100,000 visitors over five days
  • 5,000 exhibitors from 120 countries showcased their latest innovations and F&B related new-to-market products and serverices
  • Several F&B exhibit categories including beverages, meat / poultry, pulses grains, cereals and international food.
  • Food industry related infrastructure projects in the UAE is expected to fuel investment in sector-specific manufacturing, processing and supply chain solutions.

The All New Start-Up Programme

In line with Gulfood 2019, a three-day Innovation Summit was also held whereby a new Startup Programme was launched. The program aimed at providing a platform to over 50 emerging entrepreneurs and support them with their F&B products and service offerings.

Latest F&B Trends in Dubai & UAE (2019)

The most noticeable trend at Gulfood 2019 was the focus put on wellbeing, and creating healthier alternatives for necessities such as water and flour. With rising health consciousness among consumers and rapidly increasing demand for health and wellness products in UAE, many F&B industry players showcased innovative products and services to visitors.

On similar lines, UAE based brand Agthia launched region’s first zero-bromate water, which is considered to be the purest form of water and the first Vitamin D fortified flour created to address Vitamin D deficiency. Due to lack of sun exposure, majority of the UAE residents are Vitamin D deficient. Therefore, food products and beverages packed with vitamins could be significantly successful in the country.

Likewise, NZMP – an F&B company from New Zealand, showcased its innovation with the launch of its protein water concept, made with its NEW SureProtein™ Clear WPI. The technology is designed to meet requirements of growing sports and active lifestyle market in the region.

As technology continues to improve, the quality of Meat alternatives also becomes more innovative, which was on show in Gulfood 2019. The UK’s Meatless Farm Co. displayed their plant-based meat as a healthy alternative to regular meat.

Potential of Dubai / UAE as a Major F&B Destination

The UAE’s F&B industry is expected to gain momentum during the next few years on account of rapidly growing population, rising number of tourists, changing food patterns, increasing health consciousness and continuous investments in retail and hospitality projects

The Dubai Chamber has witnessed growing interest from global food producers and exporters that are very keen to cooperate with Dubai on food security and use it as a re-export hub to expand their presence in the surrounding market.

The UAE has over 16,000 F&B outlets and is expected to increase to over 19,000 by 2020. The size of the UAE’s F&B market is expected to reach Dh131 billion for food and Dh14 billion for beverages in 2021, according to a report by Dubai Exports 2018.

The UAE continues to be one of the fastest growing F&B sectors in the world. As more people in the region get to learn about the variety of food and beverage through an event like Gulfood, the show is bound to continue attracting thousands of different F&B enthusiasts around the globe every year, solidifying Dubai and the UAE as a major F&B destination across the globe.

Research Konnection – Market ResearchFeasibility Study & Business Plan Services Dubai (UAE) Research Konnection is a market research company in Dubai that assists local and international companies to setup or expand businesses in Dubai and UAE smoothly. At Research Konnection, we specialize in Market ResearchFeasibility Studies and Business Plan Developments. Feel free to reach out to us on



Author: Waqas Siddiqui
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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