The inaugural K-Food Fair–organized by the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA)
in association with Korea Agro-Fisheries and Trade Corporation (aT)—blazes into the UAE market by captivating the Dubai audience for its Inaugural edition over the course of 26-28 of November.
This year, the K-Food Fair travelled from Malaysia, Indonesia and closed its 2015 edition in Dubai.
The year 2014 saw over USD 300 Million in Korean food export to the UAE* and the three-day event not only attested to the culinary potential of South Korea, but further strengthened the existing trade alliance between the two nations.
The first day of the K-Food Fair revealed South Korea’s growing plans within the Halal food certified space. In a presentation by invited speaker, Zilzar–the ‘Alibaba’ of the online Muslim space—there are over 2 Billion Muslims globally with a consumer expenditure of USD 1.6 trillion per year** presented by Zilzar during the B2B seminar attended by 25 key companies, 35 official buyers during the first day of the event and 19 additional export companies from Korea.
“The importance of Korea being in Dubai’s global platform is because Dubai has basically taken up the role to become the capital of the Islamic economy. Halal is an important element of the Islamic economy- making Korea now part and parcel of being a stakeholder in the Halal ecosystem,” says Rushdi Siddiqui, Co-Founder and CEO of Zilzar.
As a means to share the cultural diversity of Korean cuisine, the complimentary, open to the public, community event held over the weekend of the 27th and 28th of November saw 20,000 people from the UAE community in attendance. The weekend entertainment calendar boasted an impressive 4 acts including Taekwondo and dance collaborated performances from Y-Kick, Korean Martial art team; Samulnori, Korean traditional percussion quartet; Traditional dances using fascinating folding fans and for consumer participating competition events: a building persimmon and a pear peeling contest. Mouthwatering cuisine, unique Korean snacks, ready to eat foods and fruits and vegetables were available to be sampled at various stalls. There were games, competitions and prizes won across different categories.
“After deliberation over the past few years, we are delighted to finally have the opportunity to introduce Korean cuisine in more depth to the Middle East. We had hoped that this cultural introduction would be well received but the interaction and insight from Dubai has been overwhelming. The response we have seen from the business side to the attendance and participation from the UAE community over the weekend have far exceeded our expectations!” said Chung-SikYoo, Executive Vice President of Food Industry and Export Promotion for Korea Agro-Fisheries and Trade Corporation (aT).