Saudi Arabia's food, hotel and hospitality event is set to be held from Sunday (19) to Wednesday (22) at Jeddah Center for Forums and Events. Labeled as the biggest of its kind in the Kingdom, the 18th edition of Saudi food, hotel and hospitality, is to replicate the significant growth and development that the food and tourism sectors are experiencing. Jaber Mohamed Al-Shehri, vice agriculture minister for fishery affairs, will open the exhibition.
Organized by Jeddah-based Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) , the event will showcase a wide range of food and beverages, hotel equipment and supplies, and kitchen and catering equipment from over 400 companies.
The event hosts a list of seven national pavilions supported by their relevant ministries and trade associations from Algeria, Brazil, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey, and individual companies from France, Germany, India, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States, alongside a large number of Saudi companies representing international brands.
In addition, the four-day international exhibition incorporates Top Chef & Art de Table contests, jointly organized by ACE and I LEVEL with the support of WACS — World Association of Chef Societies, SARCA — Saudi Arabian Chefs Association, Euro Toques, Nestle Professional and Al Mashfa, which will feature culinary skills of chefs from the finest hotels and restaurants and adjudicated by a panel of international experts.
"This is a major event in the Kingdom's food, hotel, and hospitality industries, with a successful track record of more than 17 years," Zahoor Siddique, vice president for exhibitions, ACE, said. Saudi Arabia continues to be the single-largest market for food and beverages in the Gulf, accounting for 63 percent of all of the region's imports. The value of the Saudi halal food market alone is estimated at $ 6 billion annually.
With a 23 million population, estimated to grow to 50 million over the next decade, there are innumerable opportunities for a host of businesses in the food, catering, hotel and hospitality industry.
In addition, nearly 7 million foreign residents and more than 5 million visiting pilgrims annually are seeking diversified and quality products. Consumers have become more selective in terms of nutritional value, quality, and price, he added.
The Kingdom's tourism market, which exceeds $ 15 billion annually, is expected to reach $ 60 billion by 2019, according to reports. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to Saudi Arabia's GDP is expected to reach $ 14.9 billion. Saudi Arabia's hotel and hospitality industry is set to grow with inbound travel that continues to increase thanks to pilgrims and business visitors. As such the Kingdom is already witnessing a boom in the hotel and hospitality sector. Plans are being executed for increasing hotel rooms, furnished apartments, leisure resorts, restaurants and food outlets.
The show timings are daily 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.