Gulfood Manufacturing 2015 Q&A with show director

Exotic meats prove popular in United Arab Emirates

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

30,000 visitors attended Gulfood Manufacturing 2015
30,000 visitors attended Gulfood Manufacturing 2015

Related tags: Meat industry, United arab emirates, Poultry

Niche and exotic meat production is growing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with quail and camel increasing in popularity, according to Gulfood 2015 exhibition director Mark Napier.

Speaking to GlobalMeatNews after the show, held at Dubai World Trade Centre, Napier highlighted growth in domestic poultry meat production as well. Read on for Napier’s take on the event, which ran from October 27-29.

Q: What is the progress of the meat industry in Dubai/UAE? By how much have sales of beef, poultry and lamb grown over the past year and what are the emerging trends in the market?

A: “The meat industry in the UAE continues to grow, with an increase in imports as well as growth in its own local market production Most meat sold in the UAE is uncooked, with retail sales accounting for about 44% of the market, and the foodservice business, including hotels, restaurants and catering outlets, constituting about 48%, according to the Dubai Chamber.

“The Global Agricultural Information Network reports that the UAE’s domestic poultry meat production continues to grow by more than 5 percent year on year, with 2015 production levels expected to total 45,000 tonnes for the year. 

“Emerging trends include increased production of niche/exotic meats, including quail – an estimated 300,000 birds are produced monthly – and camel meat, which is growing in popularity.”

Q: What were the major features of the show this year of relevance to the meat industry?

A: “Almost every sector relevant to the meat industry is present at Gulfood Manufacturing – from specialist manufacturing and processing equipment, to packaging, ingredients, new technologies, and of course the critical logistics element of the supply chain.

“The Factory In A Box presented by United Food Technologies has many applications for the meat industry.

“The multi-track conference programme debated investment, halal, regional packaging and taste trends, food safety and ingredient innovations. Also, the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Association under the Dubai Chamber were presenting and held clinics at the Manufacturing Advice Centre.

“Many members have made considerable investment in new meat processing facilities here in Dubai such as Al Islami so attendees could obtain first-hand guidance from industry peers who face and have solved the same challenges.”

How many meat ingredient and processing equipment companies were present at the show?

A: “1,500 exhibitors participated in this year’s show and while many solutions had multi-industry applications, some 17% were focused on meat ingredient and processing equipment.

“Not only were our exhibitors trading with existing customers from the region, but many of them reported the highest number of new customers literally buying off the stands.

“Relatively new markets that were most active this year were Pakistan, where poultry production seems to be growing at a substantial rate, and a number of African countries. India continues to grow as an exporter of meat.”

What were the major trend/trends exhibited by the meat industry at the show?

A: “Dubai’s position as a primary global trading hub for the international halal food industry – a strategic enabler in the emirate’s long-term vision to become the global Islamic Economy capital – is reflected at Gulfood Manufacturing where many of our exhibitors showcased products and equipment that met international halal standards.”

Q: How many visitors attended the show?

A: “Independent auditors will verify the final numbers but the early count is 30,000. However, it is not the number of visitors that is important, but the staggering volume of business conducted at the show that is the real story here.

“Multi-million dollar purchases, exhibitors report selling their entire displays. This is unique for a machinery and equipment show which reflects the massive investment in food and beverage processing in this region.”

Related topics: Meat

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