500 brands in spotlight at food and hospitality exhibition

MUSCAT, Oct 16 – The mega Food and Hospitality Exhibition with more than 500 brands from 15 countries got off to a good start at the new Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday.
Organised by Omanexpo, the biggest event of its kind, including a conference, was inaugurated by Mohsin bin Mohamed al Shaikh, Chairman of Muscat Municipality.
Other major highlights of the exhibition include Oman Barista Competition and Professional Chefs Competition.
The Second Food Safety Oman Conference is another feature covering current issues like food safety culture and environment, regulatory environment, food handlers’ training, food inspection, supply chain, logistics and packaging, and new technologies.
Speakers will present the best-practice case studies to help and identify how to tackle critical issues in food safety.
The much sought-after Oman Barista Competition is an initiative in cooperation with Al Roofoof Trading, Nuova Simonelli, illy, and National Hospitality Institute. The crowd-pulling competition is being held for the fourth consecutive year.
“The competition sets a new benchmark for similar culinary competitions in Oman, providing coffee producers, distributors, importers and retailers with business opportunities,” said Afshin Mohammadi, General Manager of Al Roofoof Trading.
Another major attraction is the traditional chefs’ competition being organised in association with Oman Chefs Guild.
The competition will see more than 50 of Oman’s best professional chefs from 4- and 5-star hotels, restaurants, catering companies and bakeries. It will test their skills, techniques and styles in five categories.
They include a Three-Tier Wedding Cake, Tapas, Petit Fours, Live Cooking Mystery Box, and Five-Course Gourmet Dinner.
Other highlights of the exhibition are the Omani Products Pavilion and the Indian Pavilion, which showcase about 40 companies.
Earlier, a warm welcome was extended to chefs, managers of different entities associated with the event and other relevant professionals from the industry.
“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,” said Ammar Ahmad, exhibition director, Food and Hospitality Oman.
The brands on exhibition 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.
“By creating awareness of the 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,” Ammar said.
“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.
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 and Food Safety Academy.
Exhibition hours are from 10 am to 7 pm. Conference hours are from 9 am to 3 pm.

SAMUEL KUTTY
— Pictures by Khalfan al Toobi