WOP Dubai, the Middle East’s leading exhibition for fresh fruit and vegetables which took place earlier this month, saw impressive growth this year, recording an increase in visitor numbers, a 20 per cent rise in exhibitor numbers and a 25 per cent expansion in exhibitor space.
This seventh edition, which was organised in cooperation with the Dubai Municapility and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, demonstrated the present importance of Dubai as a hub for the region and the broad interest being shown in the market by international suppliers.
A total of 205 companies exhibited at the event to showcase their products and services, and from all over the world – Australia, Belgium, China, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritius, Moldova, Morocco, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The exhibition hosted 14 official country pavilions, from Australia, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Kenya, Mauritius, Moldova, Morocco, Portugal, Poland, Spain and Rwanda, with many more anticipated for next year’s show.
Taking place each day on the show floor was the Eurofruit Business Forum, which created a platform for foreign suppliers seeking to enter the market for the first time or looking to boost sales to the region. Speakers included Marc Rauffet of French apple exporter Groupe Pomanjou, Omar El Naggar of Spain’s SanLucar, Federico Milanese of new Italian group Origine, Irini Mitrosili of Greek exporter Mitrosilis and Mark Haynes of G’s in the UK.
According to organisers Planetfair Dubai and Messe Essen, almost 5,000 traders and industry professionals from 78 countries visited this year’s WOP Dubai, an increase of 11 per cent over last year.
Next year’s event is already set to be bigger and better, according to the organisers, requiring the use of an additional exhibition hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre when the fair returns to its usual mid-November timeslot.
A full report on WOP Dubai and on the discussions held during the Eurofruit Business Forum will appear in the January issue of Eurofruit.