UAE’s tea consumption has witnessed a steep rise in the last couple of years due to the growing population as well as an increasing focus on tea nutrition and fitness properties. According to the Dubai Tea Trading Center, the country consumes about 7 million kilograms of tea per annum with tea being the second most consumed drink in the country, only after water.
Coffee consumption too continues to demonstrate a steady upward trend, registering a growth of 85% between 2010 and 2013. With a high consumption of tea and an expected 70% increase in coffee purchases in 2014, the UAE progressively holds its position as one of the region’s leading markets for these beverages.
As a larger variety of international and local chains open up their restaurants and cafes in the UAE, in response to the growing demand for tea and coffee, the International Coffee & Tea Festival, which is the only dedicated trade event for the specialty coffee and tea industry in the Arab World, will be back once again to highlight and support this growth within UAE’s lucrative hospitality industry. The festival will be held from November 12 to 14, 2014 at the Meydan IMAX Gallery in Dubai, and will provide a one-stop destination showcasing all facets of coffee, tea, bar and café products, equipment and services, presenting a focused, industry-recognized platform in the Middle East.
Ryan Godinho, UAE’s National Coordinator for World Coffee Events (WCE), stressed on the strategic importance of the event in creating a wealth of business opportunities for industry players, “Over the last ten years, the consumption of coffee and tea has more than tripled in the Arab region, while it has become a thriving economic activity in the UAE worth around Dhs300m a year. With independent cafes on the rise, it is evident that the trend is heading in a more positive and sustainable direction with the emphasis on quality products and services. We are in a steady growth process that will have the UAE eventually catch up with the rest of the world’s thriving café cultures. The International Coffee and Tea Festival is a time-tested and proven platform for local, regional and international exhibitors to capitalize on this demand and promote their products, while launching innovative concepts and channeling partnerships for overall business expansion. During the 2013 edition, 21% of our trade visitors represented restaurants while 40% were authorized buyers in search for new and innovative products that our exhibitors brought to the table at the show. We are confident that this year’s event will continue in providing a high quality of trade visitors, who are in the market for sourcing products, striking meaningful business opportunities and exploring latest trends in their quest to learn more about the industry.”
During the three-day event, the National Level Barista and Latte Art Championships will also be conducted at the show venue, where the most skilled and professional baristas in the country will battle for the coveted titles of the 6th UAE Barista Champion and 3rd UAE Latte Art Champion. Recognized and advocated by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and licensed by World Coffee Events (WCE), the UAE Barista Championship is the highest national coffee competition conducted in the region, with the winner having the opportunity to represent the UAE at the World Barista Championship in 2015. The winner of last year’s competition will be competing at the World Barista Championship 2014, due to take place from June 9 to 12, 2014 in Rimini, Italy.
The International Coffee & Tea Festival is organized by International Conferences and Exhibitions (IC&E), a leading Dubai-based exhibitions and conferences firm, and supported by SCAA, an organization dedicated to the recognition, development and promotion of specialty coffee.