MIDDLE EAST’S ONLY ORGANIC TRADE EVENT DOUBLES IN SIZE
At Dubai Convention & Exhibition Centre
The Middle East Organic and Natural Products Expo, the region’s only trade show focused exclusively on the organic sector is doubling in size in 2018. According to the organizers the flourishing organic and natural market in the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) and its successful 2017 edition are the reasons for this growth.
A talk with the event’s Exhibition Director, Shinu Pillai, casts light on the show’s success. “The new online to offline strategy O2O Connect’ that we initiated last year was hugely successful and delivered over 865 pre-arranged meetings with qualified buyers. Our Hosted Buyer and VIP programs delivered business on the floor which amounted to approximately $317 Million being generated in those 3 days. Another first for 2017 was the launch of organic247 (the Middle East’s only online b2b platform for bulk organic and natural trade), which connected suppliers and buyers throughout the year and not just 3 days of the event. I think it proved an effective combination for our exhibitors, because 22% of last year’s exhibitors confirmed their attendance for 2018 on the spot.”
Dubai hosted the 15th edition in 2017 under the patronage of UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and supported by The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), that featured exhibitors from 50 countries including 10 country pavilions and over 7000 trade buyers from the Middle East, North Africa and the surrounding countries.
Middle East’s Market Growth
The growth in the organic market in the Middle East has been nothing short of exponential during the past couple of years. The demand for all-natural products has been insatiable; so much so that the past four years have shown a 60% increase in the shelf space devoted to them in outlets across the UAE, with the surrounding countries following suit. Following the surge in popularity that organic goods have been enjoying, several retail giants have taken to private labelling products extensively over the last two years. Dubai’s powerful presence as a trade hub will only be further strengthened by the completion of Dubai Food Park, the Middle East’s first wholesale trade city.
Introducing in 2018
The expo is launching the Organic Tea & Coffee Pavilio; a dedicated pavilion for organic and natural tea and coffee growers, manufacturers and blenders to showcase their products and meet with specific buyers looking for these products in the MENA region. It is expected to house producers, promotion boards to meet with build buyers, blenders etc. from the region. Tea ceremonies and tastings are planned throughout the three-day event to further engage the trade audience.
“Taking a step further in assisting our exhibitors in trading with the region, we have launched ‘EZExport’; a logistics service that will provide international exhibitors with a one-stop-shop solution right from getting their products certified locally to clearing customs, freight and warehousing” added Mr. Pillai.
With its new added features, the expo is expecting over 250 exhibitors and more than 9500 trade visitors for the year.