His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Opens SIAL Middle East 2018, Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition 2018 in Abu Dhabi

•    His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan launches Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority’s self-monitoring app
•    His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan:
o    The UAE serves as a unique model for sustainable development
o    SIAL Middle East 2018 offers a wealth of opportunities to help the UAE meet its growing food demand while preserving its resources for future generations
•    His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi: The food industry is a target area of our sustainability efforts
•    Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi: The UAE places high importance on food security
•    His Excellency Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri: SIAL Middle East supports the National Food Security Strategy

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 10 December, 2018 – His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), today opened the ninth edition of SIAL Middle East, the fastest-growing food, beverage and hospitality event in the region, and Abu Dhabi Date Palm Exhibition, both held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and in strategic partnership with ADFCA at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

The opening ceremony drew the participation of His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, Minister of State for Food Security, Her Excellency Sheikha Maram bint Essa Al Khalifa, Secretary General of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development in Bahrain, His Excellency Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, General Manager of Peninsula Farms, His Excellency Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development and ADFCA Board Member, His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and His Excellency Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of ADFCA. Several senior officials and representatives of companies and media outlets were also among the attendees.

Following the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan launched ADFCA’s mobile application aimed at automating the food monitoring process through shifting from inspection to verification. He also toured the exhibits of several companies participating in the event, and explored their latest F&B products and services.

He said: “Under the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE has shaped and endorsed a unique model that strikes a fine balance between economic growth and the conservation of natural resources to achieve sustainable development. The model ensures that the nation’s production activities avoid depleting its natural resources, reflecting the concept of development championed by the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to safeguard the country’s continued progress and prosperity.”

His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan added: “The UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 seeks to strengthen regional and global partnerships, and step up the country’s efforts to address the challenges posed by climate change, water scarcity, decline in arable land in dry areas, and continued population growth. The strategy focuses on devising innovative and smart solutions to measure up to the magnitude of existing food security challenges and keep pace with the emerging ones.”

Highlighting the growing importance of SIAL Middle East due to the strong representation of international F&B experts, he said: “The event offers a wealth of opportunities to help the UAE meet its growing food demand while preserving its resources for future generations. I thank the guests attending SIAL Middle East, including prominent industry experts and influential F&B players, for their participation in the event and their efforts to enhance food security.”

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said: “Achieving sustainability across all sectors is a top priority on the UAE’s agenda, as evidenced by the UAE Vision 2021, and the food industry is a target area of our sustainability efforts. In line with this priority, we have devised a host of plans and strategies to promote the implementation of modern agricultural practices that ensure a high yield of healthy crops without draining our natural resources.”

He added: “Hosting international events such as SIAL Middle East that offer a platform for sharing global best practices and innovations in food production advances the UAE’s drive towards food sustainability. We are proud to see local and regional food companies live up to the challenge and present high-quality products.”

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi said: “In line with the high importance the UAE places on food security, the country pursues a strategy of enhancing local agricultural production and promoting foreign investments in agriculture. To strengthen its food security system, the UAE has stepped up efforts to ensure a sustained supply of essential food items at all times and under any circumstances.”

His Excellency Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri said: “To develop a comprehensive system for sustainable food production, the UAE government has launched the National Food Security Strategy 2051 that aims to develop new legislation to improve nutrition, reduce food waste, facilitate global food trade, diversify the country’s food import sources and strengthen its position on the global food security landscape.”

He added: “The strategy focuses on building effective collaborations with international partners in the food sector as well as developing advanced infrastructure and logistics services for food imports that leverage the latest technologies. It also seeks to maintain an adequate supply of vital food commodities through pursuing strategic foreign investment opportunities.”

The ninth edition of SIAL Middle East has drawn the participation of over 1,089 exhibitors, 34 country and specialised pavilions, and 25,000+ industry experts and unique visitors from more than 45 countries.

In collaboration with the Emirates Culinary Guild, SIAL Middle East 2018 also hosts La Cuisine, the region’s largest culinary competition and a favourite meeting point for food service professionals. In this year’s contest, more than 1,000 chefs from across the region compete in 19 categories. Furthermore, the event includes La Cuisine VIP Evening that convenes 150 senior chefs from the region in an informal setting at the spectacular Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, and Roaming Chefs – guided tours for senior executive chefs representing hotels and restaurants from the region and beyond.

The agenda of SIAL Middle East 2018 also features the Mercurys, the most prestigious awards in travel catering worldwide. Running for 36 years and judged by a panel of independent experts, the awards recognise the very best in travel catering with five main categories spanning airline meals, service, general on-board food and beverages, and equipment.

Another major highlight of the event this year is the UAE National Coffee Championships, a competition certified by World Coffee Events (WCE) and sanctioned by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).

In addition to showcasing the latest food trends and innovations, SIAL Middle East includes an extensive business programme that makes it a must-attend event for sharing knowledge and discussing a wide range of topics related to food production and meeting the region’s future nutrition needs. The event has also drawn the participation of several government entities and will witness the signing of a host of important agreements related to the F&B sector.

SIAL Middle East 2018 has signed on Abu Dhabi Chamber as Host Sponsor, the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID) as Investment Partner, Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre as Silver Sponsor, LuLu Group International as Retail Partner and Etihad Airways as Official Carrier.