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New opportunities arise as UAE market for plants and fresh produce continues to grow

Date: 2016-11-09

Imports of plants, flowers and trees experience stable growth at an average of 24.6%, while thefruit and vegetables market continues to increase by an average of 5.6% each year.

UAE, 4 November 2016: The UAE is taking considerable steps towards sustainability and the city of Dubai hopes to be “green” by 2020, with 4% of the city dedicated to park land and all new buildings required to allocate a percentage of the plot to green spaces. At the same time, the UAE population is steadily increasing in the build up to Expo 2020 and the number of tourists and business travellers who stay in the UAE each year continues to grow. Dubai alone is expected to host over 15 million visitors before the end of 2016.

While the desert has its own appeal, residents and visitors alike have come to expect a greener landscape and easy access to fresh produce. This equates to an extraordinary demand for plants, trees, flowers, fruit and vegetables. With 90% of land in the Gulf States unsuitable for agriculture and aquifers depleting, this demand cannot be met from within the region, making imports big business.

Continued growth in the construction, property development and hospitality sectors has bolstered imports of plants, flowers and trees with the market growing at an average of 24.6% year on year, from US$29.5m in 2011 to US$71.2m in 20151. Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s aggressive expansion indicates this growth will continue over the coming years.

The population of the UAE is approaching 10 million which, for a country that imports over 80% of its food, represents a sizeable opportunity for exporters in other countries. Imports of fruit and vegetables have increased by an average of 5.6% per year, from US$2.27bn in 2011 to US$2.82bn in 20152. Even accounting for inflation at 3% and a UAE population increase of 1.5% per year, averaged over the same period, this represents considerable growth.

With the perspective of UAE trade continues to grow, two most important B2B Trade Fairs for horticulture and fresh produce in the Gulf region are even more successful - WOP DUBAI and IPM DUBAI are even bigger and exciting in 2016

The only exhibition for fresh produce and horticulture industry in the Middle East are set to smash preceding exhibitor and visitor numbers as global interest in the region continues to grow.

WOP and IPM DUBAI 2016, both exhibitions has an exciting line-up for local and international companies, ideal platform to launch a new product, finding new buyers & distributors, promoting bra­nd names & image, updating existing customers and updating oneself with the latest in the industry. The exhibition will attract an anticipated 7,000 attendees and decision makers are expected to visit from 78 countries around the world. An extra hall was added to accommodate the increased demand, bringing the total footprint to 9,720m2. This represents a 30% increase from last year, which reflects the significance of the event in this booming industry and secures Dubai’s position in the global marketplace.

The 8th International Perishables Expo Middle East or WOP DUBAI 2016 is the place to learn more about what’s new on the fresh fruit and vegetables and present your own products to consumers and potential clients. The exhibition will coincide with 11th annual edition of International Plants Expo Middle East or IPM DUBAI 2016 will once more offer an excellent business prospects to exhibitors from the sections entitled Plants Technology, Garden and Landscaping, Plant Maintenance, Floristry, Garden Features and Logistics.

This year’s exhibition, WOP DUBAI 2016 will have 235 Exhibitors from 34 countries and welcomes 14 official country pavilions, including Australia, Belgium, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Portugal, Turkey and Spain. On the other hand, IPM DUBAI 2016 will have 110 exhibitors from 24 countries and 9 official country pavilions from China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, Spain, Taiwan and USA. This is a reflection of Dubai and the Gulf region’s growing attraction for international horticulture industry.

1 Based on UN Comtrade mirror data for HS commodity code 06 (live trees, plants, bulbs, roots, cut flowers, etc.)

2 Based on UN Comtrade mirror data for HS Commodity codes 07 (edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers)

   and 08 (edible fruit, nuts, peel of citrus fruit, melons)

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