F&B innovation in the spotlight at Gulfood Manufacturing 2023

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Sports Council, visited Gulfood Manufacturing on the second day of the global trade event.
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Updated 13 November 2023

F&B innovation in the spotlight at Gulfood Manufacturing 2023

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Sports Council, visited Gulfood Manufacturing on the second day of the global trade event at Dubai World Trade Centre.

The four co-located events — Gulfood Manufacturing, The Speciality Food Festival, ISM Middle East and Private Label ME — which ran until Nov. 9, saw displays of innovation, latest trends and best practices from across the global F&B sector.

At Gulfood Manufacturing’s Food Tech Summit, topics of discussion included inventions and best practices within supply chain and logistics, the evolution of food safety and quality control, and how the food industry can work together to deliver sustainable impact.

Bobby Krishna, senior food safety specialist — Dubai Municipality, gave insight into how Dubai has leveraged digitization to improve food safety. “We were lucky to have digital momentum from the early 2000s. That gave us an enormous amount of data in digital format, which we are currently using to make our decisions. We are able to use that data to predict problems,” he said.

ISM Middle East, the biggest confectionery and snacks event in the Middle East and North Africa, saw the announcement of the winners of ISM Middle East New Product Showcase. Me Gusto Sp. z.o.o picked up Best Bakery Product for its organic wafer with peanut butter; Magical Flavors for the Food Industry won in Best Hard and Soft Candy for its Marshzone Marshmallow Fries; Gia Siming (zhuhai) Food Technology Co., Ltd. scooped Best Chocolate Product for its lyophilized chocolate; and Matis Bros S.A. was awarded Best Snack Product for its tahini spread with rice krispies.

The second day of Gulfood Manufacturing also saw curated workshops by hand-picked artisan brands, as part of Gourmet Boutique. Led by gourmet experts and connoisseurs of heritage brands, Gourmet Boutique is the perfect platform from which to discover niche brands and products that are grabbing the attention of the hospitality industry and retailers in the region. Visitors have the opportunity to access engaging workshops, demonstrations and tasting sessions as heritage brands unleash their products in an impressive showcase.

Speaking from the show floor at Gulfood Manufacturing, Rizwan Ahmed, executive director — IFFCO Group, said: “IFFCO Group is thrilled to be part of Gulfood Manufacturing 2023, a dynamic and global industry platform that fosters learning, engagement and the presentation of innovative products and solutions. This event is pivotal for industry leaders and innovators, offering a unique opportunity to collaborate and drive progress in the ever-evolving food manufacturing sector. We look forward to networking, and contributing to the industry’s growth at this esteemed event.”

'Perfumes of the East' exhibition opens to visitors at the National Museum in Riyadh

Updated 23 May 2024

'Perfumes of the East' exhibition opens to visitors at the National Museum in Riyadh

Under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Farhan, the minister of culture, the Saudi National Museum, in partnership with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, has unveiled the “Perfumes of the East” exhibition which is making its first international stop in Riyadh.

The exhibition offers an immersive journey through the rich history of the Arab world’s profound relationship with perfumes; it introduces the unique fragrances of the East and the cultural traditions that have endowed perfume with its significant social role. Attending the opening ceremony were distinguished delegates from the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, prominent leaders from the Ministry of Culture and the Museums Commission, and participating artists from Saudi Arabia, the Arab world, and France.

Highlighting the cultural and historical significance of perfumes in the Arab world, the exhibition traces its origins to the Arabian Peninsula, a pivotal trade hub that sourced and distributed precious aromatic materials to ancient societies. This trade sparked a profound passion for perfumes across the Arab world, and turned the peninsula into the cradle of a civilization that savored fragrances and used them to enrich human life. Over time, the use of perfumes proliferated as they came to symbolize familiarity, respect, and generosity in daily interactions.

Featuring over 200 archaeological items as well as contemporary artworks, the exhibition is structured around three sections, offering visitors the opportunity to explore different timeless themes.

“Sublime and Generous Nature” delves into the history of perfumes, emphasizing the discovery of the raw materials — flowers, herbs, spices, and fragrant natural resins — used in their creation, and the unique ingredients such as frankincense, amber, and myrrh that contributed significantly to the art of perfume-making in the Arabian Peninsula.

“The Scents of the City” guides visitors through various urban neighborhoods, showing perfumes as a collective experience deeply woven into the fabric of social interactions among friends, family, and loved ones.

Lastly, “Fragrant Courtesy” highlights the social traditions and customs associated with perfumes both in the Arab world and Islamic civilization. It explores practices such as perfuming, fumigating, and scenting guests to ensure that they feel warmly welcomed.

The exhibition routes are crafted to guarantee a balanced blend of olfactory and visual experiences. Innovative devices, carefully placed to release fragrances, offer visitors an immersive olfactory experience curated specifically for the exhibition by internationally acclaimed perfume designer, Christopher Sheldrake.

Complementing the exhibition is a series of workshops and seminars, offering insights into the ingredients of perfume, the art of perfume making, and packaging design.

This educational and cultural initiative aligns with the Saudi National Museum’s commitment to celebrate Saudi cultural heritage and promote the richness of Arab and Islamic civilization.

The exhibition is open to the public until Sept. 14, 2024. Entry tickets are available through the Discover Culture platform: https://dc.moc.gov.sa/home/event-tickets/343/perfumes-of-the-east/

Pure Beverages Industry Company brings world-first water treatment technology to Saudi Arabia

Updated 23 May 2024

Pure Beverages Industry Company brings world-first water treatment technology to Saudi Arabia

Pure Beverages Industry Company has announced the launch of a world-first water treatment technology in Saudi Arabia, in partnership with German company Krones AG.

The move is in line with PBIC’s commitment to bringing the latest technologies to the Kingdom and Vision 2030, which aims to enhance innovation in the Saudi market. The company’s developmental efforts have led to providing pure and high-quality water by applying the highest international standards. Every drop of Ival and Oska, PBIC’s water brands, goes through a rigorous monitoring process to produce premium bottled water.

This new water treatment technology constitutes a milestone in the water sector as it enhances the company’s ability to provide innovative products that meet the aspirations of customers in the Kingdom and abroad.

Saad bin Ajlan Alajlan, general manager of PBIC, praised the successful cooperation with Krones AG, stressing the company’s commitment to achieving leadership in providing pure and healthy water to consumers.

Dr. Roland Fellner, head of water treatment units at Krones AG, highlighted the high quality of the technology provided and its support for the PBIC’s goals in achieving excellence and innovation.

“This latest upgrade to water treatment technology will be another major milestone for PBIC to achieve excellence in the quality of bottled water and become the first company in the world to possess the greatest possible know-how of the advanced water treatment process globally,” he said.

PBIC has a wide distribution network across Saudi Arabia, comprising a fleet of more than 850 vehicles.

New Murabba’s Mukaab signs piling contract with HSSG Foundation Contracting

Updated 23 May 2024

New Murabba’s Mukaab signs piling contract with HSSG Foundation Contracting

In a significant milestone that propels the ambitious Mukaab forward, the New Murabba Development Company, a PIF company, has announced the signing of the “Mukaab Piling Works Contract” with HSSG Foundation Contracting LLC, known for providing technically advanced foundation solutions.

This marks a pivotal step in the development of the Mukaab, which is set to become the centerpiece of the New Murabba, Riyadh’s transformative downtown destination. Once completed, the Mukaab will be one of the largest built structures in the world, measuring 400 meters in height, width, and length.

The contract was formalized by Michael Dyke, chief executive of New Murabba Development Company, and Ali Korhan from HSSG Foundation Contracting, bringing together two leading organizations in a historic commitment. The partnership underscores HSSG Foundation Contracting’s experience and strong reputation and will leverage its extensive expertise in complex foundation engineering for the successful realization of the Mukaab project.

The contract awarded to HSSG Foundation Contracting, and other partnerships that to date have been established, represent a significant leap forward in the realization of the vision for the Mukaab, and the creation of the largest modern downtown in the world, in line with Vision 2030.

Piling, as an initial phase of construction, is fundamental to the structural integrity and longevity of any major development. For the Mukaab, this will mean establishing a strong base that will support its innovative architectural vision and ambitious scale. By securing this contract, New Murabba Development Company has reaffirmed its commitment to laying a resilient groundwork that will uphold the future vibrancy and dynamism of Riyadh’s new downtown.

As development continues for New Murabba and the iconic Mukaab, the New Murabba Development Company and its partners are laying the foundations for a lasting legacy — a vibrant, dynamic, downtown that will captivate the world and start a new chapter for Saudi Arabia’s bright future. 

Cenomi Centers celebrates progress on ‘Jawharat Riyadh,’ Saudi capital’s upcoming retail & lifestyle destination

Updated 22 May 2024

Cenomi Centers celebrates progress on ‘Jawharat Riyadh,’ Saudi capital’s upcoming retail & lifestyle destination

Cenomi Centers, the largest owner, operator and developer of contemporary lifestyle centers in Saudi Arabia, celebrated progress on its Jawharat Riyadh development with a VIP gala dinner on May 20. Jawharat Riyadh is set to become Riyadh’s largest lifestyle destination, and one of Cenomi Centers’ prized assets across its portfolio of 22 centers including iconic flagship and lifestyle centers.

The gala dinner saw the creation of an elaborate event space on the Jawharat Riyadh construction site, to celebrate a milestone in the project’s development and bring its highly anticipated opening one step closer. Saudi Chef Mona Mosly created a bespoke menu for the VIP guests, with dishes celebrating the different regional foods of the country. VIP guests included international, regional and local retailers who are interested in bringing their retail and lifestyle concepts to Jawharat Riyadh, many of whom are not yet in Saudi Arabia. 

Opening in the second half of 2025, Jawharat Riyadh will be a watershed moment in lifestyle experiences in the Kingdom, as Cenomi Centers pursues an ambitious growth pipeline to develop next-generation retail and lifestyle destinations. Its flagship centers will introduce many retailers to Saudi Arabia for the first time and bring major new flagship stores, international entertainment destinations, expansive F&B offerings and a range of unique experiences.

Jawharat Riyadh will be the Saudi capital’s No. 1 destination in terms of spend with a SR5 billion+ ($1.3 billion) total potential retail spend and is expected to attract over 20 million visitors annually. Located in one of the most affluent and fastest growing areas in the city, Jawharat Riyadh will combine stunning designs with the best luxury and fast fashion retail brands and dining options, as well as futuristic entertainment, events and experiential offerings supported by technology-led customer services to create an experience like no other.

The first phase of the development at 185,000 square meters of the total gross leasable area will boast over 300 stores, restaurants, a lifestyle and co-working space along with over 50,000 square meters of prime office space. It will bring luxury, lifestyle brands, entertainment and dining at a scale not seen before in the Kingdom. Jawharat Riyadh will feature distinct zones including the Luxury District, Fashion and Lifestyle Avenue, Youth and Innovation Zone, and the Leisure and Entertainment District. There will also be four F&B zones, ranging from premium dining to social experiential dining as well as outdoor promenades and immersive dining around next-generation entertainment. Thirty first-to-Saudi brands and over 70 flagship stores from the most sought-after names will open in Jawharat Riyadh. 

The development will feature the first and largest luxury wing inside a shopping mall, spanning over 25,000 square meters, with more than 60 luxury stores and the full suite of services. Its entertainment offering will feature multiple attractions and entertainment concepts from the US, Dubai, and Asia, serving all age groups. As customers explore Jawharat Riyadh, they will also see numerous digital offerings, including an iconic 3D holographic entertainment offering, as well as digital screens with generative art and mixed reality features.

Alison Rehill-Erguven, CEO of Cenomi Centers, said: “We are pleased to have hosted a successful VIP gala dinner to celebrate another milestone for the Jawharat Riyadh development. This project supports our company’s growth strategy to deliver the next generation of retail and lifestyle centers not yet available in the Kingdom. Jawharat Riyadh will meet the fast-evolving consumer needs and deliver the flagship spaces that retailers require to expand into the Kingdom. Cenomi Centers is a proud partner of Vision 2030, delivering sustainable lifestyle centers which help drive the retail and tourism economy and create new local jobs.” 

Bruno Wehbe, COO of flagship assets at Cenomi Centers, said: “Our flagship destinations will change the way Saudi Arabia imagines retail and lifestyle experiences. At Jawharat Riyadh, we are delivering a number of firsts to the Kingdom, from major international retailers to entertainment, events and dining concepts. We are experiencing high retailer demand for space and look forward to offering visitors and those who call Riyadh home something new, engaging and genuinely different in 2025. This is a forward step for Cenomi Centers, for Riyadh and the concept of what a lifestyle destination is about in the Saudi Arabian capital.” 

Jawharat Riyadh will achieve the internationally recognized Gold Standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is a first for a Saudi mall, and will support Green Riyadh with more than one tree planted for every 2.5 meters of the surface area, totaling 4,500 trees. Phase 2 of Jawharat Riyadh will see the delivery of up to 1,000 lifestyle and premium hotel rooms, premium branded residences and serviced apartments, and other commercial space. 

Jawharat Riyadh is part of the Jawharat flagship projects, which include the development of two further one-of-a-kind lifestyle destinations — Jawharat Jeddah, which is set to open at the end of 2025, and Jawharat Alkhobar, which will open in 2027. These centers will redefine retail and leisure in the country and will further cement Cenomi Centers’ leading position.

LuLu opens 60th Saudi hypermarket in Khamis Mushait

Updated 22 May 2024

LuLu opens 60th Saudi hypermarket in Khamis Mushait

Regional retailer Lulu Group has further expanded its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of its newest destination in Khamis Mushait, Asir province. 

Khaled bin Abdulaziz bin Mushait, governor of Khamis Mushait, inaugurated the hypermarket — the 60th LuLu outlet in Saudi Arabia — in the presence of Yusuf Ali M.A., chairman of LuLu Group, and other dignitaries. 

Present on the occasion were Saifee Rupawala, CEO of LuLu Group; Ashraf Ali M.A., executive director, LuLu Group; Shehim Mohammed, LuLu Saudi director; Rafeek Mohammed Ali, regional director, LuLu Hypermarket, Jeddah region; and other senior officials. 

The hypermarket is spread over 71,000 square feet in the popular Mujan Park Mall and comes packed with all the favorite shopping features that have made LuLu the fastest growing retail chain across the Kingdom. 

Chairman Ali said: “LuLu’s growth story in Saudi Arabia is a testimony to the quality choices of Saudi shoppers who recognize the commitment of LuLu to deliver its brand promise of quality, affordability and variety. Brand LuLu has always been known for catering to shoppers based not only in city centers, but also in the outskirts and suburbs, so that people do not need to travel long distances. We are committed to providing world-class shopping and we shall continue meeting the lifestyle needs of our clientele base.” 

He added: “We have also focused on promoting and providing local employment opportunities, which have been critical to our success through a structured recruitment process that aims to provide necessary training and skill enhancement opportunities to the local workforce.” 

As part of its expansion plan in the Kingdom, LuLu will open another 17 new hypermarkets in the near future, which will provide more employment to the local youth, Ali said.

“The onward march of LuLu Hypermarkets in Saudi Arabia signals our group’s commitment to the Saudi leadership’s vision and energy for a bright future. Our growth would not have been possible without the support of all our stakeholders — especially our valued customers who have always patronized our quality and service, and our management who have tapped retail trends and built a network of stores on the foundation of excellence.” 

“We are proud to be part of Saudi Arabia’s overall development and will continue to support sustainable development strategies. I thank the wise leadership of Saudi Arabia for their support,” added Ali. 

Located on the first floor of the mall, the store is designed with customer convenience at its core. The hypermarket offers the choicest selection of ingredients from across the world, fresh food in the Hot Foods section and bakery, electronics in the LuLu Connect section and a fashion store.

Shoppers have the convenience of 1,100 car parking slots and, inside the store, 12 checkout counters and four self-checkout counters. There are also dedicated green checkout counters to encourage the company policy of giving ecologically aware customers priority. LuLu will also offer e-receipt checkout, in line with its green drive that seeks to promote paperless transactions.

Special in-store features include an emphasis on healthy and diet food choices, an extensive range of “Free From” foods, pet foods, a seafood section that also extends to freshly made sushi and grilled fish, premium meats and an expansive imported product range.