Dubai: The annual Seafood Expo in Dubai is a big opportunity for companies to expand their regional and global reach with up to Dh10 million in industry deals expected to take place at the event.
Sunil George, Marketing Manager of East Fish Processing, said the Ajman-based company always gained new clients in new markets at the event.
“Every year we are getting a lot more customers and at the same time we are getting more suppliers,” he said.
George said that the exhibition had contributed to the companies $100 million (Dh367 million) in turnover last year.
East Fish Processing, who have experienced 20-25 per cent growth in recent years, have participated in the event since its inception.
The Seafood Expo is in its seventh year.
Nafees Ahmad, Project Director at event organiser Orange Fairs, said in 2011 Dubai imported more than $100 million. He said that companies from across the world, including Estonia and Malaysia, were exhibiting at the event to expand their reach into the lucrative market.
Ahmad said that an “excellent” performing tourism and hotel industry and a steady increase of the expatriate population meant that there was increasing demand on the seafood industry.
The major role of the Seafood Expo is for companies to find new contacts, Ahmad said, who expects between Dh5 –10 million to take place during the three day event.
He added there were few challenges for UAE-based companies and that relevant government authorities and environment agencies had mitigated the impact of rapid urbanisation and development of manmade island on the seafood and fishing industry.
George said the increasing presence of smaller companies was becoming an increasing concern for the big players in the market.
For larger companies such as East Fish Processing who employ 250 staff and have a fleet of 50 vehicles expenses equate for 15 per cent of turnover while smaller companies’ expenses were just five per cent. George said this meant the smaller companies were able to deliver at much cheaper prices although on a smaller scale.
George said the increasing presence of smaller companies had lead East Fish Processing to diversify. They are launching a range of value added products targeted for supermarket and hypermarket shoppers.
The Seafood Expo will be hosted at Crowne Plaza Deira until Thursday September 26. It features 66 companies from 22 different countries.