Muscat: Plans to diversify the Sultanate’s economy will be given a boost by the upcoming Food and Hospitality Oman Expo, which is set to take place from October 16 to 18 this year.
More than 90 companies, featuring 200 brands took part in last year’s expo, and the organisers are expecting a bigger turnout this time around.
“In the last edition, we had about 93 companies in total from Malaysia, India, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Thailand, Switzerland, Vietnam, Iran and Indonesia, to name a few,” said Melissa Daleja, marketing and communications manager for Oman Expo, the organisers of
“We’re expecting more than 100 this time.”
“It is a great way for companies to expand their contacts and their business, especially when international companies come in and exhibit in Oman,” she added. “It will benefit the Oman market because when we ask international companies to come in, there is a gateway for people in this industry to do investments in Oman.
“At the same time, it is a good way for companies Oman to secure partnerships with companies abroad.”
Both foreign and Omani companies that specialise in various aspects of food and hospitality, including agriculture, ingredients, manufacture of food and beverages, catering and kitchen supplies, etc. have been invited to take part in this expo.
In past versions, foreign companies, such as Caffe Vero from Italy, Malaysia’s Coffee Land, Sri Lankan beverage outfit Ceylon Tea, Gulf Halal, and Omani organisations, which include Assarain Food Products, Al Rufuf Hotel Supplies, Al Naba Supplies and Catering, Al Naseeb Kitchen Equipment and Paramount Middle East, have all participated.
“We also had an Indian Pavilion at the exhibition, and that brought about 20 companies,” added Daleja. “Usually, these pavilions are supported by the embassies or chambers of commerce of the country they are from, so they are the ones bringing in the companies who exhibit here.
“It is actually very helpful, and the embassies are a big support when it comes to bringing companies from their countries,” she said. “We also have support from the National Hospitality Institute, who organise chef competitions and barista competitions to those who will visit the expo and promote the talent available in Oman, so that hotels and restaurants can see the local talent and hire them.”
Approved by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the event took shape as Food Expo Oman in 2005, and because the growing tourism sector was rebranded as Food and Hotel Oman, before becoming Food and Hospitality Oman in 2013.
Daleja also said such expos would help contribute to Tanfeedh, the Sultanate’s plan for economic diversification.
“Expos like this help promote the main businesses in a country,” she said. “We have a responsibility to help the industry in Oman, and promote tourism and invite investment. Our market reports show how much investment is needed in sectors, because of what is required to make Tanfeedh work.
“Companies that come here will now know that there are investment opportunities available to them in Oman, and they will be encouraged to spend here because of this,” added Daleja.