Gulfood, one of the largest annual food and beverage sourcing events in the world, is set to kick off this month in Dubai featuring a record 5,500+ exhibitors and visitors from over 190 countries across the globe and with a footprint spanning 24 halls, according to event organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
To be held from February 19 to 23, Gulfood features a record 5,500+ exhibitors and visitors from over 190 countries across the globe and with a footprint spanning 24 halls.
International policymakers and F&B industry leaders have their sights firmly fixed on global food systems, and how they can be transformed to feed an ever-growing global population, while simultaneously building resilience and mitigating the impacts of climate change, to avoid future crises, it stated.
Innovations in ag-tech (a market set to almost double in size between now and 2030), the increasing use of AI in food production, reducing food loss and waste (which currently accounts for over a third of global food production), public-private partnerships, and investment in alternative proteins such as cultured meat can all help reduce food deprivation and feed the world through to 2050 and beyond, it added.
“Gulfood will be the first opportunity in 2024 for the global F&B industry to convene, and gain insight from some of the world’s leading food futurists into where the global food industry goes next,” remarked Trixie LohMirmand, the Executive Vice President at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Gulfood will be the only platform to identify the business opportunities and forge the business partnerships brought about as the industry enters a new era, defined by paradigm-shifting technology such as AI,” stated LohMirmand.
Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist and Inspire Conference Speaker, said: “By accelerating innovation and speeding the spread of trends, technology has transformed the food market from end-to-end. The next decade will see this transformation continue.”
“Technologies like AI will accelerate our understanding of human health, and influence consumer behaviour, and shifting demographic patterns will create new centres of cultural power. It’s a fascinating time to look to the future of food,” he added.
Under the theme ‘Real Food, Real Business’, Gulfood 2024 will bring together global brands including: Agthia, Al Ain Dairy, Americana, Dilmah, Hype Beverages, Japan Farmed Fish Export Association, JBS, Lactalis, Meat & Poultry Ontario, Monin, Tilda, Wilmar – as well as thousands of new exhibitors – to showcase authentic food products, ingredients, and culinary practices, make real business connections and seal in excess of $12 billion in commercial deals.
They will be joined by new country pavilions including: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Venezuela, said the organisers.
“Ghitha Holding, a subsidiary of International Holding Company PJSC (“IHC”), which owns 55 subsidiaries, 3 associates and 1 joint venture is thrilled to welcome the visitors and all business and government partners in the upcoming Gulfood 2024, as we see the region further boosting the economical trade between different verticals,” noted Falal Ameen, the CEO of Ghitha Holding.
“As Gulfood is a place where F&B businesses innovate for a more brighter future, we are confident that Gulfood will be a fruitful place of collaboration and further business growth with focus on greater sustainability across the region,” stated Ameen.
The Gulfood Inspire Conference will dive into a range of trending topics, including the tech-powered future of digitalisation, trailblazing innovations, the shift from linear to circular food systems, capitalising on investment and funding opportunities, and reimagining a global food system centred on food safety, security and transparency.
Over 200 ministers, global F&B leaders, entrepreneurs, futurists, chefs, scientists and academia from all facets of the industry will lead a series of engaging keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chats, showcases and workshops, providing insights into the future of the F&B industry and unlocking new opportunities for growth and competitiveness.
Confirmed speakers across the 5 days include: Jacob Jensen, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Denmark. Gary Urteaga, Founder and President of Jenesiz Capital, and first investor in Nutrishake Andino (now Nutri.co), a foodtech startup specialising in R&D of nutritional snacks using Andean cereals and superfoods like quinoa and amaranth. CTO & Founding Director of Nourish Ingredients – Dr. Anna El Tahchy. Global Food Futurist & Food Scientist – Tony Hunter; Innovation Trends Futurist – Daniel Levine; Food Futurologist – Dr. Morgaine Gaye; Applied Futurist – Tom Cheesewright; Bill McDowell, VP of the Institute of Food Technologists; Dr. Miray Zaki, MD and Head of Sustainability Investments at Gulf Capital, Supply Chain Technology Expert – Erin Grover and Raymond Tham KW, Founder and MD of Mycrocell.
Popular feature Top Table returns to Gulfood 2024, with a star-studded line-up of internationally renowned chefs showcasing traditional cooking methods, elevating authentic ingredients, and revealing the stories behind the world’s most beloved dishes.
Across the five days of Gulfood, over 100 chefs will present various cuisines across a series of masterclasses and chef talks. Top names participating in the programme include: Chef Alain Passard of L’Arpege, Chef Enrico Cerea of da Vittorio, Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, Chef Begona Rodrigo of La Salita, chef Mark Donald of The Glenturret and chef Pepe Solla of Sola restaurant. Home-grown talent includes: Chef Akira Back of Akira Back in Dubai, and Chef Vladimir Mukhin of White Rabbit Krasota in Dubai.
This year’s theme highlights the union of heritage and traditional culinary practices with modern, trendsetting innovative techniques. For the first time ever, Top Table will host chefs with over 21 Michelin stars between them, in one exceptional live culinary showcase, said the organisers.
The Dubai World Cuisine movement, launched during the last edition of Gulfood, will also be back, with a series of city-wide dinner collaborations. Dubai World Cuisine provides a platform for homegrown chefs to collaborate harmoniously with culinary icons from around the world, shaping the cultural identity of Dubai and helping establish it on the world’s culinary map.
Bringing exceptional talents from Europe, that will impart their legacy, heritage, and cultural richness through ancient and traditional cooking techniques, seamlessly merging them with modern and innovative approaches. Our aim is to bridge between the old and the new world, embracing sustainability in its culinary practices, they stated.
The YouthX Chef Challenge, a launchpad for empowering promising F&B talent with a career-changing experience, will also be back in an expanded, international format for its third edition at Gulfood 2024.
The international grand finale of the third edition of the YouthX Challenge will pit teams from leading restaurants and hotels in the UAE (SLS and Atlantis The Palm), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Four Seasons Riyadh), Kenya, and the USA against each other for a chance to win an internship at an international 3-Michelin star restaurant. Last year’s winners recently completed a successful internship with Chef Heinz Beck at La Pergola in Rome, said the organisers.
Gulfood has garnered interest from top brands in Dairy, Beverage (category sponsor – Al Jameel Intl.), Fats & Oils, Pulses & Grains (category sponsor – Supple Tek), Meat & Poultry (category sponsor – Sadia), Power Brands (category sponsor – Ghitha), Ready-To-Eat (category sponsor – Hungritos), Bakery (category sponsor – Prima International), and World Food, to innovate for a more sustainable, thoughtful, and brighter future for the entire global F&B ecosystem across the worldm, they added.