Promoted as “the authentic business class event for the region’s food & beverage sector”, SIAL Middle East returned to the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its latest edition this month, drawing a diverse crowd of visitors over the three days of the event.
The exhibition saw both local and international companies showcasing a diverse array of food and drinks products from all over the world. In total, around 900 companies were estimated to have taken up the opportunity to exhibit at SIAL Middle East, while around 16,000 trade visitors and buyers explored the latest ideas and innovations set to land on the UAE market.
New for 2017 were dedicated pavilions for Brazil, Kuwait and the European Union, with Kuwait bringing a national pavilion to a food and drinks exhibition for the first time ever. Also making their debut this year were the Middle East Food Forum, a conference focused on the regional restaurant industry, and Digitalise, a feature dedicated to marketing, public relations and social media.
Out on the show floor, the products on display spanned the diversity of the food and drinks sector, ranging from meat and poultry to biscuits, confectionery, breakfast cereal and hot drinks. Special features included a section for “healthy & organic” products, the UAE National Coffee Championships and the SIAL Innovation zone, as well as La Cuisine and Roaming Chefs – two features with a gastronomic focus.
Local produce was emphasised by the Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition, which shone a spotlight not only on traditional date production but also on innovation within the sector, including the launch of a new date juice from one local date specialist. Other examples of UAE-oriented product innovation included a gold-coated cardamom breath freshener, and Italian biscotti with added pistachios.
SIAL Middle East is part of the broader ‘family’ of SIAL trade shows whose flagship event is the internationally-important SIAL Paris, held in France every two years. Alongside the Middle East, SIAL has also extended its presence to China, Indonesia and North America through SIAL Shanghai, SIAL Interfood Jakarta and SIAL Canada.