The 2016 edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show, will cement its standing as the world’s leading global food trading platform when more than 5,000 international companies from 120 countries gather at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 21—25 February.

Among the 85,000 – plus visitors from more than 170 countries expected, Gulfood 2016 will host international heads of state, ministers, government officials and national trade associations from five continents.

With event and year-round legacy trading expected to run into billions of dollars, Gulfood 2016 will connect nations and suppliers, open distribution channels for industry-related business, and highlight Dubai’s strategic role as a key global food industry trading hub.

Having this year celebrated its landmark 20th outing, Gulfood 2016 is poised to deliver ‘More Tastes, More Trends and More Trade’ as the specialist event readies to welcome tens of thousands of finished food suppliers, bulk commodity wholesalers and exporters, and the show’s largest-ever collection of hospitality equipment suppliers.

Led by the nation’s Ministry of Agriculture, Gulfood 2016 will also welcome its first Russian national pavilion – one of 114 national pavilions spanning in excess of 120,000 m² of world-class, multi-functional indoor exhibition space and two purpose-built, temporary structures spanning 10,900 m² at DWTC. The expanded indoor exhibition space includes three new DWTC halls – Za’abeel 4, 5 and 6.

“Gulfood is internationally renowned for providing a trusted and accessible platform for the world’s food industry to meet, transact and trade out of Dubai – one of the world’s most diverse, energetic and vibrant trading hubs,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC.

“As global food producers and traders establish new supply routes to reach customers and monetise opportunities in emerging markets, the heightened visitor experience will enable industry heavyweights to make strategic purchasing decisions with trusted suppliers, all while consolidating the UAE’s key role as a major transshipment destination for food products and hospitality equipment,” added LohMirand.

Gulfood 2016 will host the third Halal World Food, the world’s biggest annual Halal food sourcing trade event. The dedicated show-within-a-show leverages Dubai’s mounting credentials as a global Islamic Economy capital and increase the emirate’s share of year-round trading in halal foods.

“This is now an essential prerequisite for any supplier looking to establish a foothold in the world’s fastest growing food industry sectors with the global Halal market expected to reach US$10 trillion by 2030,” said LohMirand.

While facilitating global transactions for halal food and foodstuff commodities such as meat, cereals, grains, rice and tea, Gulfood 2016 will shine a spotlight on coffee. In a historic first, Gulfood 2016 will host the ninth World Cezve/Ibrik Championship, the first time the competition for the centuries-old art of brewing coffee in a ‘Cezve’ or ‘Ibrik’ – the small, long-handled pot – has been held in the Arabian Gulf.

With an international field of 20 baristas bringing their own style and cultural elements to one of the world’s oldest and most traditional coffee-making methods, popularly known as ‘Turkish coffee’, the World Cezve/Ibrik Championship will see the UAE’s very-own Karthikeyan Rajendran square-off against reigning world champion Italy’s Davide Berti.

Owned and organised by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE), the ninth World Cezve/Ibrik Championship will be overseen by an independent judging panel that will rate baristas’ brewing skills on criteria including taste, presentation and technique.

“To debut the World Cezve/Ibrik Championship in a region of the world where the technique was first created feels like something of a homecoming,” said David Veal, Executive Director, SCAE. “Cezve coffee preparation remains hugely popular across the Middle East, as evidenced by the standards shown during the National Championship in October. I’m sure our other competitors will be keeping a keen eye on Karthikeyan Rajendran– he’s definitely got a chance of giving the UAE its first World Cezve title.”

The show-floor culinary demonstrations will peak at the annual Emirates Culinary Guild International Salon Culinaire – a showcase of the region’s best culinary talent and expertise. One of Gulfood’s undisputed draws for the regions’ top professional chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and bakers, this year’s Salon will see more than 1,300 professional chefs evaluated by a panel of 25 renowned experts, mandated by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) to judge culinary events across the globe.

With the number of F&B outlets in the UAE expected to double by 2020 when Dubai hopes to receive 20 million tourists as the emirate hosts Expo Dubai 2020 – food service and hospitality equipment is an expanded focus at Gulfood 2016.

Every year, thousands of f&b products and services debut at Gulfood and the seventh Gulfood Awards will recognise best-in-class excellence of individuals and companies behind the region’s leadership and innovation in the food and drink industry. Judged by an international panel of independent industry experts, the Gulfood Awards cover six categories and 10 accolades.

Gulfood 2016 is a strictly trade-only event for business and trade visitors. The show is open 11am—7pm from February 21—24 and 11am—5pm on February 25. Visitors can pre-register at to save AED100 (US$ 27) on the AED250 (US$ 66.65) on-site entry fee.