Under the theme “Defining Innovation in the Food, Beverage & Hospitality Industry
Abu Dhabi, UAE - 12 December 2019: His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), inaugurated today (Monday) the tenth edition of SIAL Middle East 2019, and the fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition, organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in cooperation With the French “Comexposium”.
The opening ceremony was attended by H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, H.E. Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Minister of the Federal Supreme Council at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, H.E. Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State, H.E. Faris Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Adviser to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei. Chairman of the Office of the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, H.E. Engineer Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy, H.E. Saif Saeed Ghobash, Chairman of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, in addition to the wide presence of officials and experts in the food, beverage and hospitality sector.
The opening ceremony was also attended by HE Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of Department of Economic Development, HE Mohamed Al Hameli Undersecretary of Department of Health, and Rashid Abdul Kareem Al Balooshi. Undersecretary for the Department of Economic Development-Abu Dhabi.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan toured the pavilions of exhibiting countries and companies, and met with officials from the participating authorities and was briefed on their latest products and innovative services, additionally, H.H. witnessed the signing of 14 MoUs between ADAFSA and several strategic facility, with the aim of nurturing a group of National Service recruits and training them on how to manage vital facilities.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour indicated that the UAE was inspired by the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, worked under the guidance and support of the wise leadership, and built a unique development model that achieves the goals of sustainable development for the food and beverages sector, and combines the requirements of the present and the future, while preserving natural resources, underlining that this model represents the basis of prosperity and development that we live in today.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour stressed the importance of the national food security strategy of the UAE government, and what it states to strengthen the joint regional and international cooperation, to meet the challenges that affect food security on a global level, and the implications imposed by climate change.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour underscored the importance of SIAL Middle East exhibition and the accompanying exhibitions and events, held under one comprehensive and integrated umbrella, which confirms the UAE's endeavours and firm commitment to support all efforts concerned with enhancing food security and safety worldwide.
Events held in parallel with SIAL Middle East exhibition, include Agriscape, The Second Global Meeting of the FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), which are organised by ADAFSA, in addition to the Food Forever Experience hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, said: “We are pleased with our success in launching the 10th edition of SIAL Middle East exhibition, as we are the strategic partner for this important event which provides an ideal platform that provides access to a wide range of investment opportunities in the growing food and beverages sector in the region under one roof. This will support our efforts to consolidate the food security system and maintain stable food supply chains. We look at the distinguished visitor turnout rates recorded on the first day as a positive signal that reflects the direction of shareholders, companies and major investors towards focusing their attention on the future of the food, beverage and hospitality sector. “
Al Ameri added: “We at ADAFSA work to motivate the private sector to invest in the fields of agriculture and food. Therefore, we seek to create an investment environment in this sector and build a promising and distinguished partnership between the government and the private sectors, and hosting of the International Agricultural Investment Exhibition “Agriscape” acts as an important link in the chain of these efforts, especially with regards to agricultural investments.'
H.E. Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group of Companies, said: “The hosting of the tenth edition of SIAL Middle East, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, confirms the central role played by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in promoting the future of business tourism in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, by supporting existing activities and enhancing their competitiveness and presence at the regional and international levels. The value of the direct and indirect economic contribution of the exhibition to the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the past nine years exceeded 819 million dirhams, while the value of deals concluded during its activities amounted to 34 billion dirhams, attracting more than 7,600 exhibitors and 154 thousand experts and specialists from all over the world.
Al Dhaheri added: “The current edition of the exhibition also reached several records. The number of exhibiting companies increased to more than 1,143 companies, recording an increase of 5 percent, while the number of countries rose to 50 countries, with a growth rate of 2 percent compared to the previous edition.”
Al Dhaheri further commented: “The total area of the exhibition increased to reach 22 thousand m2, representing a 14 percent growth, with the participation of 31 national pavilions, a 3 percent increase over last year. Further, the ratio of participating national companies increased to reach 40 percent of the number of exhibiting companies, as the area of the UAE pavilion increased by 35 percent. “
SIAL ME 2019 is held under the theme “Defining Innovation in the Food, Beverage & Hospitality Industry” and will provide the perfect opportunity to participating food and manufacturing companies to showcase their latest products, technologies and innovations. The event will host various activities, awards and workshops by industry experts, encouraging business development throughout its duration.
Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition
The event includes the fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of ADAFSA and under the supervision of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation. The exhibit is the world's only dedicated B2B event for date palm fruit and the largest international platform offering exhibitors the opportunity to present their products and enhance their presence in the global market. The exhibit hosts over 100 specialised exhibitors and 3,000 buyers from across the Middle East.
There is a key focus on innovation through “SIAL Innovation” an important aspect of SIAL Middle East, focusing on food products and providing participants with the experience required to identify future trends in the foods and beverages sectors. This is in addition to the “SIAL Innovation Award” limited to the exhibitors and evaluated by “XTS Global Innovation” and represents an ideal platform to showcase new and innovative products to industry stakeholders as the winning producer gains the opportunity to showcase their product in all global SIAL events.
Hosted Buyer Programme
SIAL ME includes a host of interactive events, such as the Hosted Buyer Programme supported by ADAFSA, and forms an integral part of SIAL ME 2019. The event is a dedicated private space for Hosted Buyers to meet with a selected batch of exhibitors, which enhances the level of external contracting condition through 'Speed Networking Sessions'. Last year, this initiative attracted over 470 event organisers in the foods and beverages industry from 50 countries to meet with suppliers and obtain new products.
The UAE National Coffee Championships
Individual consumers are privy to a focus with coffee products and related interactive competitions and a number of these activities are being hosted and are attracting the public to encourage them participate in the events of the exhibition. Coffee products have seen a strong presence in this year's exhibition. The UAE National Coffee Championships have brought together the world's best baristas with participation in competitions like the “National Latte Art Championship” and “National Cezve/Ibrik Championship” endorsed by the Specialty Coffee Association aiming to continue the development of expertise in this field in the UAE and enhancing awareness of the coffee culture.
The Latte Art Championship challenges the baristas and highlights their artistic skills in a competition format. Baristas are judged based on visual attributes, creativity, identical patterns in the pairs, contrast in patterns, and overall performance. While the “National Cezve/Ibrik Championship” has highlighted the skills and talents of the barista to showcase this traditional coffee preparation technique to produce an amazing cup of specialty coffee. This traditional technique is considered to be one of the oldest forms of coffee preparation that have existed throughout history in the Middle East.
This new event is being held in conjunction with SIAL ME 2019, the activities of the Gahwa Championships are organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, with the aim of reviving the heritage and traditions of Arabic coffee as an important aspect of the culture of the region. The Arab Coffee Championships comprise five categories, all of which aim to assess participants' knowledge and proficiency in terms of coffee heritage, selection and roasting of coffee beans, and processing and presentation of coffee to guests. The tournament will also see prizes awarded to the roasting categories and the best innovative drink in Arabic coffee.
Organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild, in collaboration with the World Association of Chefs' Societies, La Cuisine at SIAL sees the region's largest culinary competition and a favourite meeting point for catering professionals. This year's event is hosting over 1,000 main competitors from around the region to participate in ice sculpting and live cooking competitions with leading chefs.
Senior executive chefs representing regional and international hotels and restaurants are taking guided tours around the show number of times during the day to discover new and innovative products. Over 800 meetings are being coordinated and organised at the event.
The Food Forever Experience
In line with its strategic objective and commitment to reducing food waste and promoting responsible and sustainable consumption behaviours, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in collaboration with the Food Forever Initiative, has organised a major culinary initiative and challenge. The aim of the challenge is to diversify available foodstuffs within the food & beverage industry and to turn the spotlight on locally sourced food produced in the UAE. The challenge sees the participation of multiple international professional-grade chefs come together to create a wide range of dishes. The initiative has highlighted the importance of food diversification as a contributor to ensuring resource sustainability and enhancing food security. The culinary challenge is part of the second Global Food Forever meeting being held in conjunction with the exhibition.
SIAL ME is also seeing the Food Art event hosted by the National Culinary and Confectionary Arts Training Centre, established in 2016 in Abu Dhabi with professional standards to develop and promote the national food market to reach the world.