Abu Dhabi, UAE, 13th December, 2017: H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, ADFCA, today officially opened SIAL Middle East 2017, the region's fastest growing business trade event for the food, drink and hospitality industries.
The exhibition is being held under the strategic patronage of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and in coordination with the Department of Culture and Tourism.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour toured the halls of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, and met with exhibitors from across the region and the globe.
Sheikh Mansour said that the emirate of Abu Dhabi has an advanced legislative structure and special incentives to invest in F&B, its distinguished management of food strategic reserve and food supplies makes Abu Dhabi one of the leading global capitals for attracting exhibitions and large economic projects, especially those specialised in the F&B and date palm industry.
He also emphasised the importance of SIAL Middle East in finding pioneering investment opportunities through forging new global partnerships with leading F&B professionals, as well as creating innovative manufacturing industries which can contribute to the consolidation of the concept of national industry through the localisation of global industries.
SIAL Middle East is hosting an area dedicated to innovative products that allows investors greater opportunities to explore ways to streamline their production in a highly competitive industry.
H.H. Sheikh Mansour expressed his pride of the introduction of new and innovative local food products from 10 Emirati participants in the food innovations pavilion held at the exhibition, highlighting the ability of national products to achieve excellence and leadership in global F&B events.
He also opened the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Dates exhibition in conjunction with the accompanying events, affirming the importance of the exhibition, which is being held alongside SIAL Middle East, under the patronage of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. It is the only B2B event in the world dedicated solely to dates, providing the perfect platform for suppliers to meet with leading names in the hospitality industry. The exhibition allows onsite sales for the first time, opening up new business opportunities for buyers and suppliers.
Sheikh Mansour also praised the Year of Giving initiative introduced by the ADFCA, stressing that charitable and voluntarily work is at the core of the UAE's well-being and generosity. ADFCA will support the Emirates Red Crescent's ‘Preservation of Food' initiative supported by the donations from more than 600 SIAL Middle East exhibitors.
Thamer Al Qasemi, Chairman of the SIAL Middle East Organiding Committee, said, 'The next three days at SIAL Middle East will be full with activities, hosting more than 24,000 visitors and experts in the food sector, an increase of 25 percent from the previous year. The SIAL Innovation Awards has also seen a strong participation this year with 30 competing finalists.
'The event, part of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, brings together more than 1,000 food, beverage and equipment companies from more than 40 countries to showcase their latest products and services, along with the buyers' programme and food security round-table discussions and the Middle East Food Forum.'
Al Qasemi added that this year's exhibition will attract many UAE and international entrepreneurs who specialise in the food and dates industry, making the event an important platform to create real opportunities for the food sector, and contributes to the diversification of supply and demand, enhancing the position of national products position in the global market.
The new digitalised platform, hosted by Dining & Nightlife Abu Dhabi magazine, offers a communications hub with insights into social media, PR and marketing and influencer engagement, ideally suited to budding restaurateurs.
Taking place at ADNEC until 14th December, and held in strategic partnership with ADFCA, SIAL Middle East is part of SIAL Group, the world's largest network of B2B food exhibitions since more than 50 years ago.
SIAL Middle East returns with support from Host Sponsor: Abu Dhabi Chamber, Diamond Sponsor: Jenaan Investments, Silver Sponsors: Al Rawafed and Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre, Bronze Sponsor: Mai Dubai and The Deep Seafood Company, and Halal Certification Sponsor: Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State; Abdullah bin Mohamed Al Masoud, Chairman of the National Consultative Council; Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Executive Council; Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development; Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Health Department; Falah Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities; Mohamed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.