One of the UAE’s largest exhibitions is set to return this Sunday, for the 26th annual edition of Gulfood.
Held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the event will run from 21 to 25 February, and expects to see thousands of suppliers, trade visitors and chefs join together for the event. In total, more than 2,500 companies are expected, from 85 countries.
The five-day event will be the first in-person F&B conference held in the country for almost 12 months, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Current rules in the country mean that large-scale events can be held, as long as they adhere to social distancing policies, the use of face masks and strict sanitization protocol.
One of the key industry attractions at the event will be the Gulfood Innovation Summit, which will run for the first three days of the exhibition. The series of talks will see industry leaders, food scientists and government officials take to the stage to discuss industry trends, innovation and their predictions for the year ahead.
Also on the agenda is the festival’s popular Chef Talks series, which will see leading bodies offer insight in a curated programme throughout the five-day event. Topics planned for discussion include everything from the digitisation of the B2B seafood trade to the future of plant-based meat, fish and dairy alternatives. There will also be a slew of Michelin Star talent at this year’s event. Key speakers include Norbert Niederkofler (the chef behind three-star Michelin restaurant St Hurbertus in Italy) who will deliver a talk called “Fine Cuisine with Ingredients from the Wilderness” as well as Israeli Chef Gal Ben-Moshe (from Michelin Star restaurant Prism in Germany) who will lead a talk called “Chefs Without Borders and Beyond Recipes”.
There will also be a series of interactive workshops at this year’s exhibition, through a programme called First in Food Workshops, and a second dubbed Tastes of the World. The former will see live sessions on topics including sustainable dining, innovation, F&B design and food safety. Meanwhile Tastes of the World will see 31 of the world’s leading chefs – including five from Michelin Star restaurants – take part in one-off masterclasses. There will also be pop up restaurants from some of the region’s leading restaurants including Zuma, Boca and Robertos.
This year’s event will also see the Gulf Innovation Awards return, with 250 global entries from 44 countries. There are 10 categories in total, celebrating excellence across the food and beverage industry.
This year’s awards will celebrate innovation across several categories (including frozen, dairy, meat and halal produce). Along with awards for the most impactful packaging, and the best sustainable product of the past year.