A country characterized by the total extension of the presence of the desert as are the United Arab Emirates, is forced to import over 90% of food.
Only this fact makes it clear how much this is an interesting market for Italian companies in the sector, which have the advantage of being able to offer products which the local market recognizes and appreciates the high quality.
The strong growth of the tourism sector and the resulting high number of new hotels and resorts open in the UAE in recent years, did grow as the demand for food imports.
The sector is also in further expansion thanks to the award by Dubai for the next edition of the World Fair: Expo 2020 is expected to about 26 million visitors.
Food companies are turning mainly to the Italian restaurant industry quality and, to a still small compared to the large potential, also to the field of distribution.
The restaurant in the UAE has over 11.000punti administration (restaurants and bars of all), of which more than 4,000 in 3000 to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Each luxury self-respecting in Dubai has its Inner least a real Italian restaurant, also other Italian restaurant to guide the property of Italian and Italian personnel, are also present in various areas of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In recent months the number of openings of Italian restaurants and pizzerias has grown a lot. To date there are about 200 Italian restaurants and the number is expected to rise quickly.
Another interesting area is represented by the large retail chains.
This sector in the UAE is advanced and well organized logistics. The main distributors selling directly to retail chains and about 65% of the total retail sales is attributed to supermarkets and hypermarkets.
The retail distribution sector has seen strong growth in recent years: there are in fact various chains such as Carrefour, Choitram, Lulu Supermarket, Geant, Al Maya Supermarket. Park & Shop, Spinneys, Zoom, etc., with an annual value of the retail food market estimated at $ 2.7 billion. Lately they were also open some stores specializing in quality products (delicatessen) and biological.
The average amount spent by households for food expenditure amounts to $ 3.600 per year.
There are no restrictions on imports of food products, except for certain restrictions on pork and alcohol (which can be imported only by authorized distributors).
All imported food must be provided with captions in Arabic on packaging and many of the import procedures are still borne by the distributor. As on all other sectors also in the food sector the import duty is equal to 5%, still borne by the importer.
In general the main distributors have within them different specialized divisions, and for the distribution Horeca both for retail chains.
Among the trade fairs, the most important trade fair Gulf Food is the next edition is scheduled from 21 to 25 February 2016 (www.gulfood.com).
In any case we suggest to have early sight of the market prior to accession to the fair: before any action is in fact essential to know the market closely.
As Euro Gulf Business Bridge organize trade missions lasting about four days for having read the market and meet a number of approximately 10/12 distributors or in the case of products that we already know to be potentially interesting for the market, we select and visit in ‘ arch 4/5 weeks local distributors in target, to present them the Italian company and its products, releasing buyers both catalogs samples.
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