Tourism causing UAE to top GCC in food consumption

Report published ahead of SIAL Middle East F&B industry event
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SIAL Middle East is taking place from November 24-26 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
SIAL Middle East is taking place from November 24-26 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Gulf countries will consume 49.1 million tonnes of food annually by the end of 2017, with the UAE the largest consumer per capita among the six Arabian Gulf states, according to investment bank Alpen Capital’s revised 2013 GCC Food Industry Report.

The report comes as more than 1,000 exhibitors from 40 countries are preparing to take part in SIAL Middle East, taking place from November 24-26 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

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Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, director of communication and community service at ADFCA and Chairman of the SIAL Middle East organising committee, said: “Population growth, increasing income per capita, and a booming tourism industry are the main drivers of food consumption in the GCC region, while food is currently the largest segment of consumer expenditure in the entire region.”

“All reports indicate a fast growing market, with consumer spending on food in the GCC expected to reach US $106 billion in the next five years. This clearly underlines huge opportunities for private sectors players to expand within the region, and SIAL Middle East provides the all important stage to capitalise on the opportunities that lay ahead,” he added.

The Alpen Capital report goes on to say that over the next four years, the GCC region’s food consumption is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.1 per cent, while the UAE’s per capita food consumption currently stands at 1,486kg per year – 27 per cent more than Oman, which consumes 1,095kg of food per capita annually.

Saudi Arabia currently consumes 872kg of food per capita, Qatar 852kg, Kuwait 634kg, and Bahrain 453kg per capita, while by 2017, per capita food consumption for the entire region is forecasted to reach 983kg.

Owing to its considerably larger population, Saudi Arabia will continue to be the biggest food consumer by volume, accounting for 59 per cent of GCC food by 2017 (29 million tonnes), while Qatar’s appetite will outpace that of other Gulf countries, increasing by 5 per cent by 2017 to reach two million tonnes.

Looking to satisfy the growing appetites of the region will be more than 1,000 food, beverage and equipment companies

SIAL Middle East 2013 returns with a three-day conference, a hosted buyer program, La Cuisine by SIAL international chef competition, and the prestigious SIAL Innovation Observatory, showcasing the world’s most innovative food and beverage products, including winners from the global competitions from events in China, Brazil, Canada and Paris.

Held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), SIAL Middle East 2013 is part of SIAL Group, the world’s largest network of professional B2B food exhibitions which include SIAL Paris, SIAL China, SIAL Canada, and SIAL Brazil.

For more information and to register for SIAL Middle East, go to www.sialme.com.

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