Fast-growing gourmet taste for the sea drives launch of Middle East's first dedicated seafood show
SEAFEX set to net strong demand from region's hospitality industry
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With fish and seafood a perennial menu favourite in almost every culture around the world including the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the region’s first dedicated seafood trade show, SEAFEX, looks set to make waves when it launches on November 19-21, 2012 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
In a multi-billion dollar industry with a current annual global output of 145 million metric tons of seafood, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, seafood producers are increasingly looking to the Middle East for business growth.
This lucrative market with its diverse mix of nationalities and cultures has a strong preference for seafood. The UAE consumes more than 50kg of fish and seafood products per capita per year according to Asmak International Fish Farming Company while the Emirates Wildlife Society’s recent surveys show that 66% of the UAE population eats fish at least once a week. Another example of the Middle East’s growing taste for seafood gastronomy is the 114% growth in 2010 for Scottish Salmon, making the UAE the second-fastest growing market for the product in the world. Data from the Scottish Government reveals that Scotland has experienced a massive 55% rise in Food and Beverage exports to the UAE, increasing to USD80 million in the first half of 2011.
Organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre, with its experienced Gulfood team bringing more than 25 years of expertise, industry knowledge and connections to SEAFEX, the show covers the full spectrum of the seafood industry, from the fresh catch to the consumer’s plate, as well as cold storage, shipping and logistics solutions.
“Seafood is one of the fastest growing segments in the global food industry, with several of our regional markets in the world’s top 10 in terms of consumption. We are therefore delighted to be offering a dedicated and comprehensive platform for both suppliers and buyers to source products, develop new supply chains and enjoy valuable networking opportunities at SEAFEX,” said Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre. “Given the team’s expertise in organising Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food trade show, we have no doubt that SEAFEX will enjoy immediate success in facilitating the showcasing and supply of this speciality food for retail, Food & Beverage and the hospitality industries in our region.”
The three-day event will showcase the catch of the day from the world’s leading names in the seafood industry, with confirmed participation from over 51 exhibitors and 21 national pavilions including Canada, China, Cyprus, Greece, Libya, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Yemen, and Vietnam.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood products shipped to the Middle East have increased in value from USD192 million in 2009 to USD258 million in 2011. Vietnam is boosting seafood exports to the UAE, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Kuwait, and has confirmed that not only is the UAE the country’s largest customer, it also serves as a crucial gateway for transporting goods to other Middle Eastern and North African nations. Vietnam’s participation at SEAFEX will further facilitate its fast growing trade.
Ha Phuoc Huy, spokesperson for VASEP said: “Seafood exports of VASEP members represent 80 percent of the total seafood exports of Vietnam, with the Middle East one of our most important markets. Participating at SEAFEX Dubai, VASEP is looking to further grow the business of the companies represented, as well as to develop relationships and exchange information with Middle East importers and distributors.”
Regional distributor Essam Shamaa Seafood expects positive results from participation at the inaugural event. Production Manager, Sumi Johnson commented: “We believe that this will be an excellent event, offering a gateway for upcoming companies like ours to operate with the world and an opportunity to learn about new trends in the hotel, retail and export trade industries.”
In addition to its extensive exhibitor list, SEAFEX has also confirmed that it will host 300 of the top influencers, managers and buyers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Tunisian, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya through a specially designed hosted buyer programme. Connecting exhibitors with buyers directly, the programme ensures that exhibitors meet with the right buyers, even before they arrive at their stand. The show will also feature The Sustainable Skillery Corner - a live cooking station with preparation and presentation demonstrations that offers an exclusive opportunity to gain insights into preparing obscure and unusual seafood dishes.
SEAFEX is conveniently co-located with Speciality Food Festival, the region’s only dedicated gourmet and fine food show for the food and hospitality industry and Sweets & Snacks Middle East, the region’s only dedicated showcase for the sweets, snacks, chocolate, bakery and ice cream industry. All three shows cover everything from ingredients, equipment and technology through to the finished products for catering and retail.
SEAFEX is for Trade and Business Professionals only and will be open from 11am-6pm on November 19 and 20, 11am-5pm on November 21. General public and persons under the age of 18 will not be permitted entry. Free visitor registration is available now online at www.seafexme.com Registration will also be available at the show upon proof of trade status.
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Powered by Gulfood, SEAFEX is the Middle East region’s biggest showcase and international trade fair for the seafood industry. With 25 years’ experience, our team combines its in-depth knowledge of the food industry with the region’s most powerful database of quality buyers to deliver the best seafood trade and sourcing platform for your business success.
SEAFEX is the right place to meet with a high targeted audience of hotels, restaurants, catering buyers, wholesalers and distributors together with the import, export and processing industries from the fast-growing Middle East region. Held alongside the Speciality Food Festival, SEAFEX offers a bonus exposure to the emerging and developing fine and gourmet markets.
About Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
As the organiser of SEAFEX, Dubai World Trade Centre offers more than 32 years' experience of delivering world-class events in the Middle East, providing local, regional and international exhibitors with unmatched expertise and in-depth market knowledge.
Our team organises 18 of the largest and most successful international and regional shows in Middle East, providing an ideal platform for business development in the region. Our commitment to on-going innovation within the exhibition industry has supported the rapid growth and development of a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer shows, and delivered consistent satisfaction to exhibitors and visitors.