Hospitality Sector Gets a Tech Boost

The kitchen equipment sector, which is a key segment of the booming hospitality industry in the country, has got a shot in the arm through a new initiative announced in Sharjah on Monday (March 10) Expo Centre Sharjah and International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai, have joined hands to host the 'Chef's Tech Arena' at the 2nd Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East from December 8 to 10, 2014. The Chef's Tech Arena will help enable industries to view technology in use and feature a complete functional industrial kitchen from pre-cook to sink. It will not only present latest kitchen technology, but also provide live display of their use, thus achieving multiple objectives of introducing new technology, demonstrating their use, providing training and ultimately helping in making the right buying decision. "With the hotel and hospitality market in the UAE dramatically outpacing growth in the overall economy, and the World Expo 2020 projected to attract more than 25 million visitors to the country, the sector is poised for unprecedented growth in the coming years," said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah , after signing an MoU with Mr. Sunjeh Raja, Director and CEO of ICCA. "The Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East will be a key ingredient to the hospitality industry's growth, and the deal between Expo Centre and ICCA is set to whet the appetite of the industry that constantly needs to upgrade its equipment to meet international standards," Mr. Midfa added. Though the UAE's hospitality market has been projected to grow at an impressive rate, the winning bid to host the World Expo 2020, which alone is expected to generate around 110,000 new jobs in the tourism & hospitality sector, is set to propel the industry to greater heights. Much before the Expo win, it was projected that the country's tourism & hospitality sector will touch US$7.5 billion by 2016, up from US$4.5 billion in 2011, a 67 per cent increase. "We would like to thank the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Expo Centre Sharjah for choosing us as a strategic partner and we are excited to work together to ensure that the Kitchen Equipment and Technology Exhibition Middle East is a great success. At ICCA we are working to redefine ways in which professional and personal culinary training is offered in the region, and to serve as a trainer and provider of world class chefs to the hotel and restaurant industry here, in preparation for Expo 2020," said Mr. Raja. "Our head chefs and trainee chefs will demonstrate, train and explain new technology and equipment throughout the show, enabling visitors to watch the required equipment in use and its functionality which will help them to choose the best suitable product," he said. The decision to sign an MoU follows the successful debut of a chef's corner, which was manned by an ICCA team, at the first Kitchen Equipment and Technology Exhibition Middle East in 2013. -Ends- Image: About Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East 2014: The Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East 2014 is organized by Expo Centre Sharjah in association with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It provides a dedicated showcase for the growing requirements of the hospitality, restaurant and industrial kitchen sectors in the region. The show will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from December 8 to 10, 2014, alongside Halal Middle East and Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah. The exhibit profile of the show will cover catering equipment, refrigeration, dishwashers, kitchen accessories, buffet equipment, cleaning equipment & supplies, baking equipment and cooking technology & equipment, among others. About ICCA: Established in 2005, the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA) Dubai is an industry centred vocational training (VET) centre. Specializing in culinary arts, ICCA's mission is to become the leading training provider in the Middle East with a vision to redefine ways in which professional and personal culinary training is offered. ICCA provides its students with a world class culinary experience at its state of the art, recently opened facility in Dubai Knowledge Village and is a City & Guilds, London Approved Centre, delivering an International Vocational Qualification (IVQ) in Food Preparation and Culinary Arts. It is also recognised by The World Association of Chefs Societies, and locally works in partnership with the Knowledge & Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the Government and municipality of Dubai. Featured amongst the Top 10 Culinary Institutes in the World and awarded the "Recognition of Quality Culinary Education" by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), a global authority on food standards. The "Recognition of Quality Culinary Education" award seeks to recognize training and education that meets or exceeds the culinary standards education established by WACS.