MENA’S largest hospitality and foodservice event will showcase the latest cutting-edge products and services, from one of the region’s flourishing industries.
In a ground-breaking event first – GulfHost visitors will be able to experience food in the metaverse, in collaboration with ICCA and Akshaya.io.
Underscoring the city’s position as the home of hospitality in the region, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced that MENA’s largest hospitality and foodservice event, GulfHost, will take place from 8-10 November 2022.
The region’s tourism market has seen a quick recovery, particularly in the UAE, due to its expert pandemic response, the return of major events such as Expo 2020 and the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, and introduction of new visa rules. Welcoming 12 million hotel guests during the first half of 2022 alone (a 42% year-on-year growth), the UAE’s hospitality sector is set grow 25% by 2030 and add a further 48,000 rooms to its extensive 200,000 key portfolio. Similarly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is pushing ahead with one of the world’s most ambitious hospitality development programmes to date. With new projects such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project, AlUla and Diriyah on the horizon, the Kingdom is also transforming its hotel scene, aiming to add 310,000 hotel rooms under its Vision 2030 ambitions.
Bringing global industry leaders together under one roof, this year’s GulfHost will bring a re-shaped programme aimed at profiling future-ready solutions. It will address the issues facing the sector globally, including labour sourcing challenges, inflation, and supply chain constraints, as well as hygiene-focused solutions and the incorporation of automation to enhance productivity and reduce operating costs.
Across the three days, over 2,000 brands – including industry pioneers taking unprecedented technological leaps in hospitality and foodservice equipment – will showcase over 8,000 cuttingedge products and solutions. An estimated 25,000 influential HORECA and food service professionals from across the Middle East, Africa and Asia are expected to attend. Regional and global players confirmed to attend include Ali Group, RAK Porcelain, Middleby, Simonelli, and Rational, as well as first-time pavilions from across the globe including Bulgaria, Ireland, Latvia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre commented, “Build, Shape, Sustain – those are the imperatives for the HORECA and foodservice industry as it looks to grow and evolve. As the regional home of hospitality, what better place than Dubai to bring the foodservice industry together to learn about and experience the future of the industry and find solutions to the issues facing the sector, whilst building enduring professional connections.”
Michele Romano, Business and Brand Development Director – EMEA and APAC, Ali Group said: “GulfHost has definitely become the forefront of food service equipment exhibitions in the Middle East and it represents the ideal showcase for those companies willing to invest in and support the industry in the region”
“The Ali Group is paying particular attention to this event where some of our brands – including Welbilt, our recent acquisition – will be exhibiting and share the latest products and innovations with the valuable Middle Eastern audience. It will also be a fantastic occasion to listen to all industry operators, contractors, dealers, chefs, and end users so as to get additional information and meet their product requirements” he continued.
FOODSERVICE EXCELLENCE SUMMIT
At the heart of the event will be the three-day Foodservice Excellence Summit. A must-attend conference for hospitality and food service professionals looking for the latest insights and trends in foodservice innovation. The summit will provide investors, hoteliers, consultants and F&B professionals with the ideal platform to gain valuable and tangible outputs for real business growth.
The agenda will focus on topics including development and investment opportunities in KSA, as well as a global outlook on the restaurants of the future and foodservice 3.0, in association with Hotelier Middle East and UAE Restaurants Group and innovation and sustainable design in hospitality, and the role of hospitality tech in driving operational efficiencies in association with FCSI, the premiere membership body for foodservice professionals.
A summit highlight is a dedicated delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, comprising representatives from Saudi’s F&B sector, advisors and consultants forming a unique advisory board presenting an opportunity to network with delegates and investors, and offering direct insight into how the government plans to welcome foreign investment..
“The Saudi F&B market has seen a consistent boom over the last few years with an estimated value of more than USD 27.8 Billion in 2021. Due to this revolutionary growth, now is the time to be involved in the discussion and to take the steps towards investing in this market. As a result, the Qoot Association has proudly signed on as the official strategic partner for GulfHost 2022 to shed a light on the F&B landscape in KSA and the abundance of opportunities. The 1-day program that has been prepared will include segments that will cover investment opportunities from the private and public sector’s perspective” said Prince Waleed Bin Nasser Al Saud, Founder and CEO of Mukatafa.
Confirmed speakers include: Atul Chopra (Founder of FreshOnTable Corporation), Joanne Limoanco (Executive Chef at Unilever Food Solutions) and Naim Maadad (CEO and Founder of Gates Hospitality); author and “leadership and engagement magician” Melkart Rouhana; and Benjamin Calleja (CEO of Livit Design, the world’s leading F&B strategic design company).
A SEAT AT THE TOP TABLE
A highlight of this year’s programme is the inclusion of Gulfood staple, Top Table featuring over 70 regional chefs. GulfHost 2022 will debut the Dubai World Cuisine Movement, providing a platform for homegrown chefs to collaboratively shape the cultural identity of Dubai. Big names include Michelin-star chefs Gregoire Berger of Ossiano (Chef of the Year 2022), Saverio Sbaragli of Al Muntaha and Salam Dakkak of Bait Maryam. The star-studded line up of chefs will also include homegrown favourites like Boca’s Matthijs Stinnissen, Solemann Haddad from Moonrise and Mohamad Orfali.
With outdoor dining no longer a trend, but a norm, TopTable will also for the very first time, feature a one-of-a-kind outdoor culinary experience which will see top chefs, barbeque masters and skilled pizzaioli demonstrate the art of live fire cooking using wood-fired ovens, charcoal grills and pizza ovens, using the latest innovations from participating global exhibitors, offering tangible solutions allowing restaurants to be more adaptable and flexible with their al fresco space.
PRESENTING THE FOODVERSE
GulfHost will present the Foodverse through different simulations where visitors will be able to delve into kitchen set up, servicing and restaurant experiences. Furthermore, an NFT minting station will be set up, led by a team of Web 3.0 experts offering practical applications and outcomes and minting souvenir NFTs onsite. GulfHost will also launch 6 NFTs for the six best chefs representing Dubai World Cuisine. Every NFT will represent the chef’s recipe and have several values including a secret menu with extraordinary dishes.
Aspiring young chefs looking to lead the region’s F&B industry in the next 20 years will find a place to showcase their skills at YouthX, which will see young and upcoming chefs from across the region’s leading hotels and restaurants come together in a culinary competition like no other and be rewarded for their contribution to the region’s growing influence on the global gastronomic scene. Partnering with the International Centre for Culinary Arts, the competition is bigger than ever before and the stakes higher, spanning 5 months which will see the regional winners take home AED 100,000 worth of prizes, with the final champions wining a one-week internship at a 3- Michelin star restaurant and culminating in an even bigger finale at Gulfood 2023.