In pictures: Gulfood 2018 kicks off in Dubai

23rd edition of the world's largest annual food and beverage trade show at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
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The event, which will run until February 22, is expected to see over 5,000 exhibitors and feature more than 120 national pavilions, including first-time participants from Estonia, Serbia and Slovakia.
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DWTC officials said in an official statement that Gulfood 2018 will strengthen UAE’s lead role in setting the global food agenda. On-site sales generated by 95,000-plus buyers and visitors at Gulfood 2018 will contribute heavily to a global food market expected to generate revenues of US$3.03tn by 2020.
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“In attracting the Middle East’s largest trade industry audience, generating huge transactional volumes every year on the show floor, and setting global foodstuff commodity prices, Gulfood is the region’s premier food and beverage industry platform – it underlines Dubai’s leading role in the global food sector,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, exhibitions and Events, DWTC.
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“With regional investment in food production on the rise, international manufacturers see the Middle East as a lucrative market for their products. In this dynamic climate, Gulfood continues to empower the global food and beverage community as an unmatched trading and knowledge platform that offers unrivalled market overviews and insights to industry professionals.”
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One of the new attractions at the 2018 event is the Gulfood Discover Zone, where exhibitors will be able to apply for recently-launched products to be showcased in an exclusive and interactive lounge.
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The Gulfood Discover Zone will also feature a dedicated area for companies that have never conducted business in the MENA region before and are using Gulfood as a market-entry opportunity.
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Another new feature is the Gulfood Start-up Competition, which is designed to foster further innovation in the food and beverage supply chain.
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Open to aspiring food industry professionals or students, the competition will reward sustainable development and socially-impactful ideas that are either disrupting the old ways of doing business, or promoting healthier and environmentally-correct practices, the release said.