Sunday 21, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Industrial City (DI), a member of TECOM Group, is set to participate at Gulfood 2016, the world’s largest annual food expo that will take place 21-25 February in Dubai. The leading manufacturing, logistics and food hub in the GCC region will showcase integrated business and investor-friendly offerings that serve the needs of existing and potential business partners.
Speaking ahead of the event, Abdulla Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Industrial City, said: “DI has grown its food sector exponentially and will continue doing so by responding to growing consumer demand in the region. We are committed to providing all necessary facilities and support to our business partners that have established their headquarters in our food cluster.”
He added: “Food security has become a major global concern due to increasing population, pressing climate change threats, food wastage, lack of investment in agriculture and a variety of related issues. We have an immense task here to come up with a holistic approach to tackle the concerns and change the face of the food industry in the region.
“This could be achieved through advancing food production capabilities in a self-sufficient manner with sustainable production methods, innovative solutions, and efficient ways of transportation, storage and distribution to help reduce food wastage to the bare minimum.”
Dubai Industrial City’s food business partners occupy an approximate area of 20 million square feet, registering an average year-on-year growth of 30% over the last three years.
Spanning over 55 square kilometers, Dubai Industrial City is situated close to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port. The strategic location makes it the ideal place to cater to various sectors including food, transport equipment and parts, machinery and mechanical equipment, logistics, chemicals, mineral products and base metals.
In addition to attractive benefits, Dubai Industrial City offers industrial services for various sectors as well as solutions to meet all needs of its tenants. The destination facilitates operational synergies through the co-location of similar industries and provides industrial land for self-build, pre-fabricated warehouses for logistics and light industrial use, as well as labor accommodation, office space, retail showrooms, and on-site assistance with startup and operational services.
Developing a strong food industry has become especially relevant following studies that indicate the growing trend of food consumption in the UAE and neighboring countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the GCC region is expected to increase food consumption from 20 million tons in 2014 to 32 million tons by 2030. The UAE is poised to follow the same trend with domestic consumption forecast to more than double by 2030, driven by population growth, rising consumption per capita and an accelerated influx of tourists.
In addition, a recent report by the World Travel and Tourism Council stated that tourists visiting Dubai, who usually stay an average of 3.7 days, will contribute to the increased demand for food imports. The UAE welcomed 13 million tourists in 2014 – this number is expected to peak at 25 million during Expo 2020 and stabilize at 22 million by 2030. The surge is anticipated to add to the food demand in the UAE.