Gulfood, an important regional food and beverage event, is supposed to take place starting on February 21 in Dubai.
It will be held using proven and stringent safety and hygiene protocols, local authorities say.
It is important because many major exhibitions have been canceled due to the COVID pandemic, and Dubai is a center for these kinds of important gatherings.
With Israel’s airport closed, it is unclear if Israelis will attend. This is unfortunate because there is a new flowering of recognition for kosher cuisine in the Gulf nation, and there has been tremendous interest from Israel in Dubai.
Gulfood says it is returning this year to the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for its 26th edition this month, “with industry professionals recognizing its importance in reinvigorating global connections and making up for missed opportunities as the world’s first in-person sourcing event for the global food and beverage sector in almost a year.”
The show will be held against the backdrop of the United Arab Emirates’ national food security strategy.
“It is a strategy that visualizes the country ranking among the top 10 of the Global Food Security Index. The UAE vision is expected to be a magnet for international industry engagement at Gulfood 2021,” organizers say.
“This is a watershed event as the first opportunity that global F&B [food and beverage] players have to physically meet and source much-needed new business to reboot a sector following one of the most challenging years ever,” said Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president, events management at DWTC.
Gulfood has had to respond to the changes over the last year, yet the innovations in the industry are hungry to show off their wares at the exhibition.
“With product sampling and food handling such a vital interaction at a global food and beverage event, those proven protocols have been further intensified for Gulfood 2021, under strict guidance and coordination with Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Municipality, to ensure the safest possible business conditions,” the organizers note.
This means exhibitors will provide hand sanitizer to visitors before the food sampling commences in a designated area within the exhibition stand. “Live cooking demonstrations are permitted. However, food must be served on individual plates, and food is to be consumed at the stand; all live cooking demonstrations must observe 2 m. social distancing.”
There will be 20 halls to show off all the cooking, culinary delights and technology.
These days food security and food tech are buzz phrases in the region. Innovators in Israel and the UAE have already been discussing important join ventures and projects related to these trends. Israeli fruits and vegetables have already found their way into Dubai grocery stores.
The question many are asking in Israel is: When will travel resume?