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09/02/2022 – Event / Gulfood / Food / Innovation / Dubai / UAE

CONNECTING, CREATING and CHANGING F&B FOR GOOD – Gulfood 2022 pre-event insights

GULFOOD 2022 (13–17 Feb in Dubai) is set to supercharge the global agenda, with show programmes and features aimed at driving a more efficient, innovative and equitable future for the food industry.

This year’s Gulfood will power an array of trends and techniques currently disrupting the international food industry agenda, with its stated mandate of connecting, creating, and changing the future for the better. 

The 27th edition of the world’s largest annual F&B sourcing event – set to span no less than 21 Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) halls – will underscore UAE’s status at the forefront of sector change, and the nation’s leading role in tackling global issues with the launch of Gulfood Zero Waste, a global campaign in partnership with restaurants and hotels driving the zero waste initiative globally. 

Running from 13–17 February, the landmark show will be the global sector’s undisputed transformation powerbroker, where major global challenges, trends and change-drivers will be examined, including e-commerce, technology, sustainability, and disruptive cellular agriculture bio-innovation (i.e., the production of animal sourced foods from cell culture methods), alongside emerging slow and plant-based food trends. 

The show will be a precursor to the much-anticipated Food For Future Summit and Global Agtech Innovation Expo, taking place from 23–24 February at EXPO 2020’s Dubai Exhibitions Center – part of the EXPO 2020 Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week.

Inspiring global change

Latest data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN-FAO) indicates that one third of the world’s food is wasted, equating to 1.3 billion tonnes annually at a cost of US$1 trillion. Beyond the detrimental environmental impact, wastage also translates to the loss of nutrients and resources (water, land, labour, energy, and cost) invested in food production.


Gulfood Zero Waste will light the way in addressing this major global issue, with chefs from 30 UAE restaurants, cafes, and dark kitchens focusing on sustainable practices, utilising local produce via off-site workshops and masterclasses.

The initiative also provides a platform for impact-driven, homegrown companies, including a partnership with The Waste Lab, which is implementing solutions to repurpose food, such as compost, with societal and economic benefits. The Gulfood 2022 onsite Zero Waste Mega Impact will aim to collect 1,000kg of food wastage to produce 400kg of compost – equating to a CO2e emissions saving of 1,000kg.

The innovative campaign will culminate in an award ceremony to give recognition to zero waste-leading restaurants.

“Gulfood 2022 will underscore the UAE’s pivotal role in driving global F&B sector change for the better, with a deep-dive into the trends and techniques set to transform the industry for good. The Gulfood Zero Waste is a global initiative with the goal of sparking dialogue and movement among policy-makers, industry leaders and communities to take a proactive approach to adopting zero-waste initiatives, which can help end the discrepancies between food waste and hunger while playing a part in addressing climate change,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC.

“The campaign is yet another example of UAE’s desire and leadership to power industry development for the good of all,” she continued. “In addition, this influential gathering will host over 4,000 exhibiting companies, a host of high-calibre speakers from 120 countries, and more than 100 award-winning chefs – including Michelin Star and ‘World’s Best’ winners – alongside business leaders and government policy-makers, under one roof.”  

An all-action powerbroker

Gulfood 2022 will propel sector conversations from agenda to action, and facilitate innovative start-ups, spark the emergence of food-tech solutions, empower young industry professionals and women within the realm of F&B research and development, and spur e-commerce activity.

“Gulfood 2022 will build on the event’s unequivocal reputation as an industry trend springboard and a global sourcing powerhouse, to inspire industry-wide transformation for the good of the entire eco-system – from raw material producers to policy-makers and consumers,” asserted Ms. LohMirmand.

“This is a time when Dubai is – via Expo 2020 – presenting to the world a whole new future, with the grandstanding of epoch-making transformations,” she enthused. “Gulfood 2022 takes its cue from this inspiring vision with a more profound concept to provoke a stronger collective impact on the industry’s future.”

Tomorrow’s food future today

Driving creativity and change, Gulfood 2022 will shape the future of food. In another industry first, this year’s event will feature the Gulfood E-commerce Platform – an exclusive networking and conference agenda powering the ever-expanding role of the digital marketplace in the food supply chain.

SMEs will pitch to leading e-commerce and food delivery partners on the various ways that retailers can boost their digital presence; they will also hear from sector leaders, including Sebastian Wussler, the German entrepreneur behind Hoodly – an online store building application that helps with their set-up and e-commerce business process monitoring in less than five minutes. Other sector pioneers who will be providing invaluable insight include Nikola Cabarkapa (VP of Brand Partnerships and MFC of grocery delivery app Instashop) and Yesuprabhakar Yarlagadda (Vice President – Grocery, of the Middle East’s homegrown online marketplace, Noon).

Also new for 2022, the Gulfood Top Table will take culinary experiences to new heights with a live, star-studded line-up of award-winning chefs and food influencers. Industry media personnel, disruptors and global trendsetters will come together in a masterclass extravaganza. More than 70 chefs from 50 restaurants will create in excess of 1,000 creative dishes across the five days. Featured chefs include: Antonio Bachour, the 2018 World’s Best Pastry Chef and often described as a ‘confection master’; two-star Michellin chef Tom Aikens; Nick Alvis, from renowned homegrown restaurant, Folly; top Emirati chefs Khaled Al Saadi (co-founder of FAE Café) and Faisal Naser (founder of Lento); and Dubai-based Syrian culinary ace Mohamad Orfali.

Meanwhile, Gulfood Inspire will see a host of speakers take to the stage – including F&B business leaders, ministers, policy-makers, retail heads, technologists, agriculturists, analysts and futurists – to provide unmissable insights, industry knowledge and industry pathways.

Elsewhere in the mega event, Gulfood Global Changemakers – the future-focused start-up programme – will see 30-40 embryo ventures pitch innovative ideas and food tech solutions to renowned venture capitalists and investors. The contenders will also hear from Dennis Levine, the controversial author, corporate consultant, and former managing director at the iconic Wall Street investment-banking firm Drexel Burnham Lambert, who was a major player in mergers and acquisitions throughout the 1980s.

More power to the youth

Gulfood YouthX – in partnership Hilton and Dubai College of Tourism – is a first-of-its-kind platform to empower the most promising aspiring chefs, featuring a massive mentorship and scholarship programme. With the first edition focusing on aspiring Emirati chefs, participants will get to interact with Kasdi Dahari, Executive Chef at the Hilton Palm Jumeirah, and a team of young chefs that went on to win seven Gold Medals in the 2021 Chefs’ Table Competition.

The winning chefs in the YouthX contest will land a career-changing, hands-on learning experience in one of Hilton Europe’s top dining destinations, while the runner-up will secure a 25-per-cent scholarship for Dubai College of Tourism’s Culinary Arts Programme.

Enthusiastic market response

The new Gulfood approach has won an enthusiastic response from exhibitors, who have praised the show’s forward-thinking strategy. Among the expanded 2022 exhibitor line-up are new pavilions from the Norwegian seafood industry, Uruguay, Panama, and Uzbekistan who will be joined by newcomers including: Australia’s ABW Foods, Invest NSW and Austrade; Colombia’s Cartagena Chamber of Commerce; Uruguay’s Cooperativa Nacional De Productores De Leche, Estancias del Lago S.R.L. and Instituto Nacional De Carnes; Switzerland’s Fenaco and MK Merchants SA; Panama’s ProPanama, South Africa’s RFG Foods Pty Ltd., and Hong Kong’s Vitasoy.

Jean-Philip Habib, Business Develop-ment Manager at Arrow Juice Factory, is eagerly anticipating the insights from Gulfood Inspire. “Our industry is increasingly subject to regulation – impacting everything from packaging to waste disposal – and the chance to hear first-hand from the policy-makers of what we may face in the future will be incredibly useful and aid the industry in planning,” he said.

Gulfood 2022 will be held under stringent safety and hygiene protocols. Indeed, DWTC has proved its capability to curate the safest face-to-face business environment and deliver world-class events with the highest safety protocols.

With product sampling and handling a vital interaction at the global F&B event, DWTC’s proven protocols have been further intensified for Gulfood 2022 under strict guidance and co-ordination with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Municipality, to ensure the safest possible business conditions. The wearing of masks will be mandatory, with social distancing in place to ensure the wellbeing of all delegates. Onsite registration will not be available; registration must be completed in advance via

More information on the event safety guidelines can be found here

Latest issue – Vol 1/23
– Health & Nutrition focus
– Gulfood 2023 Special
– Next level legume – The rise of the chickpea
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