A 'difficult' market for wine-makers

Spanish wine producers have spoken about their frustration regarding finding suppliers in the UAE, during the Spanish Food and Gastronomy Workshop held at the Park Hyatt Dubai.
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Spanish wine producers are frustrated at the shortage of suppliers across the Middle East.
Spanish wine producers are frustrated at the shortage of suppliers across the Middle East.

Spanish wine producers have spoken about their frustration regarding finding suppliers in the UAE, during the Spanish Food and Gastronomy Workshop held at the Park Hyatt Dubai.

Although keen to cash in on ever-growing demand in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the wine-makers said it was difficult with only two alcohol distributors in the country.

Casa Gualda export manager José Serrano Gil commented: “Every year there are more and more hotels across the region. That’s why we want to sell more wine here, but it’s a difficult market for us to get into because there are only two distributors.”

Gil, whose stall was promoting wine from central Spain, said he was hoping to meet representatives from MMI and African and Eastern during the event — but questioned how useful the event would be for him otherwise.

“I don’t know if this event is the best way for us to advertise our products, as it’s a promotion for Spain rather than each brand,” he commented.

“The better option would be to come here individually and set up meetings with these two importers, where they can take the time to taste the wines and talk about the people and the corporation.”

Jaime Palafox, international marketing manager of event organisers Federación Española de Industrias de Alimentación y Bebidas (FIAB), commented: “The region is a very good market for olive oil which is well represented at our event. But wine is difficult to sell here, despite the potential.”

Bodegas Roda Rioja export manager Sara Fernandez Bengoa added: “We think Dubai is a great place to come to, but it’s better for us to be doing business here.

“Dubai is a stepping stone to the rest of the Middle East and we would very much like to target top-end hotels for future business,” she added. 
 

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