The MoU consolidates Dubai’s position as regional hub for trading fresh fruits and vegetables
Dubai Municipality has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with planetfair, which will be this year’s strategic partner for the 7th edition of the International Perishables Expo Middle East (WOP DUBAI), the GCC region’s only dedicated exhibition for fresh edible food, which will be held from October 5 to October 7, 2015 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The event, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance & Chairman of Dubai Municipality, is expected to throw the spotlight on the latest market trends in the perishables industry while also showcasing leading local and international fruits and vegetable suppliers. The exciting three-day show has been dubbed as its biggest edition so far, with over 29 different countries to be featured across different pavilions and an expected participation of more than 200 exhibitors.
The MoU aims to consolidate Dubai’s position as a regional hub for trading fresh fruits and vegetables by turning/transforming the emirate to one of the most important global business centres for fruits and vegetable sectors in the region, by showing investment benefits and business opportunities that are available in Dubai's central market for fruit and vegetables, and to reinforce the import and export trade operations in Dubai in general and the central market in particular. In addition, the MoU encourages and supports local initiatives, builds relationships and productive partnerships and transfers better international experiences and practices in the field of trade of vegetables and fruits.
According to UN Comtrade, a repository of official trade statistics and relevant analytical tables, showing that the UAE is ranked Number 1 in the importation of fruits and vegetables among Arab and GCC countries and ranked 16th internationally. The repository, which contains both annual and monthly trade statistics, shows that the country has imported over AED 9.2 billion worth of fruits and vegetables in 2014--AED 6.1 billion worth of fruits and AED 3.1 billion worth of vegetables. In terms of volume and weight, the UAE imported a total of 2.5 kilograms of fresh produce last year, further broken down into 1.2 billion kilograms of fruit and 1.3 billion kilograms of vegetables. The repository also reveals that the UAE holds 44 per cent of the whole imports of fruits and vegetables in the GCC—47 per cent for the total number of fruits imported and 40 per cent of the total number of vegetables entering the region.
Obaid Salem Al Shamsi, Assistant Director General for General Support, Dubai Municipality, said: “The 7th edition of the International Perishables Expo Middle East, which is considered as one of the leading events dedicated to fresh edible food. We are confident that the event will offer an interactive platform to enable the exhibitors, industry leaders and stakeholders to exchange visions and expertise to further bolster the growth of sector regionally. He also stressed the leading position of Dubai as a the region’s leading centre for trading fresh fruits and vegetables, pointing out that these sectors recently witnessed a huge growth due to the remarkable achievements in the recent years.”
“Dubai Municipality is keen to support this growth by creating the suitable environment that better serves vegetable and fruits sectors. We have dedicated our efforts and capabilities to provide the needed facilities in accordance with the highest international standards to meet the requirements of these sectors, in line with the reputation of Dubai as a global leading city.
Over the years, WOP Dubai has been able to build a strong regional presence as the only event dedicated to fresh fruits and vegetable sectors in the Middle East. It has positioned itself as the only regional platform for industry leaders to exchange ideas and knowledge, sign deals and understand the latest market trends”, Al Shamsi concluded.
Organized by Planetfair and Messe Essen, this year's event will feature important topics like fresh produce safety, fresh produce trading, technical equipment packaging, transport and logistics and discussions on fresh produce services. This year's event will be showcasing 14 country pavilions, which includes Australia, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Kenya, Mauritius, Moldova, Morocco, Portugal, Poland, Spain and Rwanda. Organizers have revealed a 20 per cent increase in confirmed exhibitors--all ready to welcome more than 7,000 visitors and decision makers coming from all parts of the globe.
Tarek Al Sibai, Project Manager, planetfair, said: “Industry experts have forecasted that the UAE’s fruits and vegetables segments will continue to witness dramatic growth in the next few years. In fact, the recent UN Comtrade figures have ranked the UAE as the leading importer of fresh produce among other GCC and Arab countries. The market segment’s increased growth is driven by the country’s growing population and the accompanying demand for more fresh fruits and vegetables. Looking to play a major role in this expected growth, WOP Dubai returns this year to serve as a strategic platform to showcase the latest trends and challenges of the industry while also providing a business to business environment where people close deals, sign contracts bring new products of fresh produce to the country, maximize the competition in the market and bring the industry of fresh produce on a different level in terms of the quality of fruits and vegetables imported. We expect this year’s show to be the biggest ever in terms of participation and number of agreements signed.”
“We are also witnessing growing interest from the logistics sector, especially the cool chain, storage and refrigerated transportation of perishable fruits and vegetables. The United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), the biggest Arabian shipping company in the region, is in fact joining the exhibition for the second consecutive year. In the coming years, WOP Dubai aims to emphasize the importance of the transportation and cool chain industry within the Middle East by hosting special conference to highlight the industry’s biggest challenges and trends. During this year’s edition, we ultimately aspire to support the trade value of fresh produce in the UAE; increase import, export, re-export values; open new markets; and provide gateway to countries that have never reached the Middle East before,” concluded Al Sibai.
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