Day two of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition (ADIFE) has come to a close after having showcased an impressive array of global flavors, innovative food technologies, and insightful discussions that solidified the exhibition’s status as a leading global platform and driver of new business and innovation in the F&B industry. From interactive cooking demonstrations by world-renowned chefs to groundbreaking sustainability panels, the day offered a feast for both the mind and palate and further established Abu Dhabi as a burgeoning epicenter of the global food industry.
Held under the patronage of by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), the second edition of ADIFE has been organized by ADNEC Group in strategic partnership with ADAFSA at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center with features and attractions that have drawn leaders, experts and attendees from around the world
Agreements and Deals
ADIFE’s second day was highly productive for business negotiations, with deals made for a total value of over AED 1.8 billion, along with several agreements and MoUs signed by leading brands and organizations from across the F&B industry. This amount adds to AED 716 million worth of deals and agreements of day one, bringing the total value to over AED 2.6 billion. Capital Catering + Services, a subsidiary of the ADNEC Group, alone signed 11 agreements on the day with a total value of over AED 120 million. Present at the signing was Ahmad Shaker, Interim CEO of Capital Catering and Services, accompanied by industry leaders, government officials and F&B experts from local, regional and international brands and companies.
The Hosted Buyers Lounge has returned for its second edition at ADIFE, and the feature continues to provide fertile ground in bringing together buyers and sellers within a unique area built for networking and business-focused discussions. Thousands of on-site meetings at the lounge led to a total initial deal discussion estimation of AED 112 million. With the total value of deals discussions reaching AED 1.9 billion on day two of ADIFE, the exhibition’s active role in bringing F&B buyers and sellers to Abu Dhabi and facilitating networking and business opportunities was highlighted once again.
The second day of the ADIFE Talks brought together leaders, experts and participants in the food sector for an exciting and insightful agenda of speeches, presentations and discussions. The day’s Talks kicked off with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority’s (ADAFSA) Third Business Partnership Forum, with an opening address from Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, being followed by a panel discussion that covered food waste, the vulnerability of imported foods to supply chain fluctuations, and distribution and marketing support for quality food produced by UAE farmers.
A presentation on ‘Bees and Beekeeping in the United Arab Emirates’ saw Dr Denis Anderson, a principal investigator at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, launch a book and lead a discussion on the viability of honeybees in UAE conditions. Aysha Al Kaabi, Technical Support Section Head at ADAFSA, explained how the ‘Zadna Rating’ works as a means of evaluating food establishments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Vidya Shah, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi Food Hub – KEZAD, looked at global wholesale markets and their critical role in enhancing scale, market access, and diversification.
Bassem Azzam, Managing Director for TSI Quality Services, covered the increasingly important functions of food safety managers in the context of climate change. Dr Ahmed Fawaz Atoom and Dr Afra Al Dhaheri of ADAFSA gave a presentation on ‘Agricultural Practices and Promotion of Local Consumption’ that assessed the optimal uses of antibiotics in enhancing animal health, food safety implications, and post-harvest procedures and technologies in the agricultural sector.
Today’s Innovation Awards saw additional winners at the exhibition who represented the ingenuity and forward-thinking vision evident in the global food and beverage sector. In the Food & Beverage category, Switch Foods from UAE took the top prize, with Nutco (Lebanon) and NOA (Columbia) rewarded as runners-up. The Coffee & Chocolate category was won by Colo Coffee of Columbia, with the following places taken by Coffee Selection and Shanshal Chocolate LLC, both from UAE. For Honey & Dates, Roopchand Worldwide from Kyrgyzstan won the award, with Agthia (UAE) and Haterk Food LLC 2 (Armenia) taking the runners-up spots. The winners of the awards gained visibility and networking opportunities in addition to a share of the AED 115,000 total prize per category.
The Brewers Cup Championship
The Brewers Cup Championship has been a highlight of the exhibition so far, with competitors preparing and serving three individual beverages for a panel of judges. Throughout the Championship, a number of participants have used traditional Arabic techniques, highlighting the heritage and history that has influenced their style of coffee. The judges have been evaluating teams on each day, with the winner and best brewer that will go on to represent the UAE at future international brewing competitions set to be announced on the final day of the exhibition.
The Pizza Hub
At the Pizza Hub, the pizza competition continued with Chef Mario, originating from Antonia, Italy, sharing his unique and traditional method of making pizza the Roma way. Throughout the competition, leading chefs have highlighted the importance of fresh ingredients when preparing any dish or pizza, while entertaining the crowd with authentic techniques while cooking beautiful and delicious pizzas for attendees to taste and enjoy. Judges throughout the competition have used a number of scoring criteria, with the winner due to be named on the final day of the exhibition.
World Gourmet Show
The World Gourmet Show was again a major attraction of day two, with eight Masterclass sessions taking place that explored the culinary brilliance of Abu Dhabi through the expertise of Michelin star chefs from Europe, India, and Armenia along with other global gastronomic innovators. Across eight sessions, expert chefs prepared delicious dishes, highlighting their unique skills derived from different
global regions. Attendees were able to watch full displays with leading chefs talking to the crowd through each step as they shared their professional skills and expertise.