Muscat: Omanexpo’s signature food and hospitality trade event and Oman’s biggest event of its kind, Food & Hospitality Exhibition & Conference, opened its doors to the trade audience yesterday at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. The event was inaugurated by Mohsin bin Mohamed Al Sheikh, chairman, Muscat Municipality.
This year, organiser Omanexpo is offering its trade audience more than 500 brands from companies from 15 participating countries. These brands cover the entire gamut of the food and hospitality sector, with products and services representing food products, beverages, agriculture and fisheries, ingredients and seasoning, catering and kitchen equipment, packaging systems, resort and spa facilities, hotel décor, hotel and hospitality technologies, HORECA furniture and services, and food processing technologies.
The event welcomed chefs, F&B managers, housekeeping managers, purchase managers and other relevant professionals from the industry as well as local and international importers, distributors and buyers from supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Highlighting the exhibition are the Omani Products Pavilion and the India Pavilion, which will showcase 40 companies. A concurrent feature is the 2nd Food Safety Oman Conference, which will cover current relevant issues as Food Safety Culture and Environment, Regulatory Environment, Food Handlers Training, Food Inspection, Supply Chain, Logistics and Packaging and New Technologies. Speakers will also present best-practice case studies to help and identify how to tackle critical issues in food safety.
Another highlight of the event is the traditional Professional Chefs Competition organized in association with Oman Chefs Guild. The competition will put more than 50 of the country’s best professional chefs from 4 and 5-star hotels, restaurants, catering companies and bakeries, to a test of skill, technique and style in five categories: Three-Tier Wedding Cake, Tapas, Petit Fours, Live Cooking Mystery Box, and Five-Course Gourmet Dinner.
The sought-after Oman Barista Competition (an initiative in cooperation with Al Roofoof Trading, Nuova Simonelli, illy, and National Hospitality Institute), will also be a crowd-drawer after successfully making its mark in the coffee scene after four editions.
Ammar Ahmad, exhibition director, Food & Hospitality Oman said, "Our strategy to offer the sector and its audience and market more opportunities, whether business, investment or learning is contributing much to the sector's advancement. By creating awareness of current issues and challenges in Oman, especially food safety, which is also a global issue, and bringing in experts to the conference, we are able to create a wider audience and market base."
"The business-to-business meetings, which is also part of the show offering, is a way for us to provide companies with opportunities to increase their contacts in the local and international markets," he added.
To date, the show boasts a supporter and sponsor line-up that includes Omani Products, Riyada, Unilever Food Solutions, Renaissance Services Group, Al Ansari Group, Convotherm, Al Jarwani Hospitality, Oman Foodstuff Factory and Sweets of Oman. The conference is supported by Exova Limited, TUV Middle East, Food Safety Experts, Highfield International, National Hospitality Institute, Food Safety Academy.
Exhibition hours are from 10am to 7pm. Conference hours are from 9am to 3pm.