The South African Consul General in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mr Andrew Lebona has described the UAE market as important, interesting and wealthy. According to him, the market opens up the Gulf region market and South African businesspeople should take advantage of the opportunities it offers. He said this during his walkabout at the South African pavilion at the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai.
The pavilion has been set-up by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic). The show started on Monday and will continue until Friday, 24 February 2023.
“Utilising the UAE as a springboard will give you access to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. This region imports 95% of its foodstuff as they are desert areas and cannot plant and grow vegetables and citrus. The food and beverage business is immense in the Gulf region and this is a destination for tourism, people eat out to experience good food. This presents an opportunity for the South African agro-processing products,” said Lebona.
Lebona wished the businesspeople a successful show and advised them to follow up on leads acquired during the show. Importantly, he said South Africa should bring more companies to the 2024 show to experience and access the Gulf region and global markets.
The Founder of Makhamisa Foods and a Black Industrialists Programme beneficiary, Mr Terence Leluma, who manufactures unique chilli-based condiments, is part of the SA delegation. According to him, the show has been good and his company’s products are receiving huge interest from countries such as Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India and African countries such as Malawi and Kenya.
“We are excited for this kind of exposure and the reception our products are receiving. This will indeed put our products on the map. We currently supply our own brand to Pick ‘n Pay and Checkers. We are also contract packing for Bidfood, Empact, Galitos, and Famous Brands,” said Leluma.
Gulfood is regarded as the largest food and beverage trade exhibition in the Middle East. It attracts a large number of participants from the Middle East and the world at large. It is estimated that the event will also attract more than 100 000 attendees from the Middle East region, Africa and Asia. Gulfood 2023 is showcasing products such as fresh produce and vegetables, dairy, beverages, seafood, grains and cereals, pulses, fats and oils, cooking ingredients and snacks.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, South Africa.