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World Travel Catering Expo opens

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Dubai / Emirates Business

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, on Tuesday inaugurated the 3rd edition of the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo Middle East (WTCEME) with strong participation from more than 70 international travel catering organisations from across 20 countries, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Being held in conjunction with the Airport Show 2016, the WTCEME, which has become one of the world’s most sought after dedicated events for the travel catering industry, featuring a wide range of products and services relevant to the airport and airline catering industry from food and beverage, travel amenities, and accessories to catering equipment and technologies.
With the Middle East’s airlines expected to carry more than 400 million passengers by 2020, in comparison to 144 million in 2012, the region’s travel catering requirements as well as the products, services and solutions are set to witness a major growth to cater for the rising number of passengers. The region has been witnessing new projects, massive expansion in the aviation sector and an increased focus on tourism, which will further drive the demand for travel catering.
Franco Laurieri, CEO of Italian company Laurieri, which is showcasing a wide range of sweet and savory bakery products, said, “This is the third time we are participating in this expo and it has helped us develop new business relationships. We see a strong demand from the Middle East aviation industry and are keen on tapping in to the opportunities here.” Laurieri supplies its products to airlines across the world, including the Middle East.
Esra Kocak from Nestle Professional, said, “At Nestle Professional we firmly believe that the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo is a great platform for us to meet with our partners in the aviation industry and introduce our beverage and food solutions to ‘make more possible both on board and on ground’.”
The WTCEME provides an excellent opportunity for new business networking as well as relationship building for travel catering market players, who are eager to tap this high-potential region.
Safeen Arifi from Arioli Trasimeno, a first time participant in the WTCEME, said, “The response is quite encouraging on the first day itself. We are confident of a successful participation, the Airport Show and the WTCEME are very strong platforms for aviation industry players and we see it as an ideal platform to tap into fresh opportunities.”
Exhibitors from the UAE, Spain, UK, India, China, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, France, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt and The Netherlands are showcasing a wide range of travel catering services and solutions, including food, snacks, beverages, food packaging, processing, preparation and preservation equipment, tableware and chinaware, accessories, toiletries and travel amenities at the show.
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said, “In a very short span, the WTCEME has emerged as the most sought after event for travel catering industry players from across the world. The show has been moving from strength to strength and has witnessed more than 40% growth compared to the first edition. The strong interest also comes due to the business strength of the participating exhibitors in the show as well as the lineup of services and products. We are confident of several high profile deals materializing during the show this year.”
An enlarged Hosted Buyers programme is one of the main developments for this year’s Expo. More than 50 hosted buyers from 11 countries are participating in the show this year, a 20 percent increase over last year.

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