‘Experience the Difference as Gulfood Turns 20’

Main Photo copyIn 2015, Gulfood celebrates its 20th edition as the world’s biggest and best annual food and hospitality show, so this is the perfect time to look back on some of its past accomplishments!

1.It all began in 1987 when the very first event, then known as Gulf Food, welcomed 65 exhibitors from 13 countries and attracted 1,600 specialist trade visitors. Al Halabi was the very first UAE equipment manufacturer to participate.

Second Point2.In 1993, in a sign of things to come, the fourth edition of Gulf Food expands beyond a conventional B2B exhibition with a two-day seminar on food hygiene, safety and legislation.

3.Formally rebranded as Gulfood in 1995, the fifth event gets its first-ever official logo, is extended to four days for the first time and is moved to February to coincide with the peak purchasing time for the Gulf’s food market. The exhibition is also extended to three halls to cover a net floor space of 18,000m2 – a 70% increase.

4.By 2003, the attendance had reached five figures for the first time as the ninth edition of Gulfood hosts more than 12,000 trade visitors from 71 countries – equating to more than a third of the nations represented in the United Nations at the time.

5.Trade visitors rise to more than 30,000 in 2006 as the show’s transition to an annual event is justified. History is made as Al ‘Ard, a producer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and part of the Anabtawi

Sixth Point copy6.Group, become the first company from Palestine to participate at Gulfood, whilst Dubai Municipality debuts the Dubai International Food Safety Conference.

7.Occupying the entire Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) – including an additional 11,000m2 of exhibition space in Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Maktoum Halls – the 13th edition of Gulfood in 2008 is completely sold out.

Last Point copyIn an historic first, the 2014 show saw food processing and manufacturing providers being strategically removed from the refreshed, five-day ‘finished foods’ show and handed a dedicated spin-off event in Gulfood Manufacturing.

Gulfood marks its landmark 20th edition in 2015 and is due to attract up to 4800 exhibitors from 120 countries and more than 80,000 visitors from over 170 countries. To accommodate the meteoric growth and tens of thousands of participating brands, Gulfood 2015 will span a record 127,000m² of exhibition space.

By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com

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