By Rafiq Vayani
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates: The fifth edition of Expo Culinaire, a premier event in the gastronomy sector, launched today at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Organized by Purple Kitchen Events, the much-awaited Expo has drawn the attention of the global culinary community as over 2,000 chefs and 200 exhibitors from various facets of the industry — cooking, diverse international cuisines, hospitality, hotels, and tourism — are attending the three-day event to engage, share knowledge, and showcase their expertise.
H.E. Ziad Mahmoud Khairallah Al-Haji, SCCI Board Member, inaugurated the Expo in the presence of a distinguished assembly of board members from the Chamber and Expo Centre Sharjah, including H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah.
The ceremony was also attended by several government officials, diplomatic corps members, businessmen, international and local chefs, and representatives from the hospitality, hotel, and tourism sectors.
Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), supported the exhibition which gained popularity in the region’s hospitality sector.
Following the opening, attendees were given a tour of the exhibition, introducing them to an array of new products and exhibits as well as the latest developments in catering services, bakery supplies, and food preparation. They also had the opportunity to sample some of the most exquisite international cuisines presented by culinary specialists.
This year’s Expo Culinaire, which will run until May 31, also marks the commencement of the 26th edition of the UAE Culinaire Salon. Organized by the Emirates Culinary Guild with the support of the Sharjah Chamber, this prestigious culinary competition features participation from both local and international restaurants and hotels.
Other highlights include the semi-final qualifiers for international chefs and the Alain Thong Golden Coffee Pot Challenge, which boasts the participation of nine international culinary teams.
H.E. Ziad Mahmoud Khairallah Al-Haji emphasized that “Expo Culinaire” significantly enhances Sharjah’s exhibition industry thanks to the remarkable successes it achieves with every new edition. This reflects Sharjah’s reputation as a regional frontrunner in the hospitality sector and a distinguished hub for gastronomy and innovative culinary arts.
Al-Haji stated that the chamber is committed to constantly supporting Expo Culinaire to maintain its successful trajectory and crucial role in fostering tourism development, advancing the hospitality sector, stimulating its consistent growth, and raising quality standards within the hospitality and food industries.
For his part, H.E. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa said the overwhelming success of ‘Expo Culinaire’ in its fifth edition, attracting an impressive roster of exhibitors and chefs, underscores the event’s preeminent position as one of the most significant exhibitions specializing in the hospitality and food sectors in the region.
“The exhibition’s potential to draw in major players in the food and beverage industry, alongside internationally renowned chefs, is yet another testament to Sharjah’s stature and the phenomenal growth experienced by our tourism sector, which witnessed a remarkable 28% year-on-year increase in 2022, attesting to the dynamic evolution of our emirate,” Al Mida said.
A free three-day training programs will also be held on the sidelines of the event, during which attendees will have access to over 30 hours of live educational sessions. These are facilitated by partnerships with five distinguished international culinary academies and institutes, a cadre of worldwide culinary experts and chefs, and a team from the International Centre for Culinary Arts in Dubai that is organizing demonstrations aimed at enhancing culinary quality standards.
Open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Expo Culinaire promises unique culinary experiences for food enthusiasts, showcasing a wide array of international cuisines.