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Korean Food Finds New Opportunity in the Halal Market2016 K-Food Fair Held in Dubai, UAE

MAFRA (the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs) and aT (Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation) hosted the 2016 Dubai K-Food Fair in the UAE for four days from November 23 to 26 in an effort to promote Korean food products and culinary culture.

The fair was organized under the slogan “Younger, Healthier, and Prettier, K-Food” and was composed of B2B export consultations and B2C promotional events for consumers.

Twenty Korean food exporters and 30 buyers and vendors from the UAE and Saudi Arabia attended one-to-one export consultations which took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Dubai on November 23 and 24. The Korean exporters focused on promoting fresh Korean pears, which are gaining popularity in Dubai, and on kimchi and red ginseng products. All of the products received much interest from local buyers.

The 2nd Annual Expert Forum for Halal Food between Korea and UAE was held on November 23 and also attracted attention. The participants, halal experts from the UAE and Saudi Arabia and Korean food companies, discussed a variety of topics including the understanding of halal rules and the developing of strategies for halal food industry. The Middle East Export Strategy Seminar, which was organized on November 24, was an opportunity to share information on the import food customs system of the UAE and the success stories of Korean exporters entering the Middle East market.

Enthusiastic interest of Dubai consumers in Korean agriproducts could be felt during the promotional events that took place at the Jueirah Beach Residence on November 25 and 26. Many people who wanted to taste japchae (glass noodles with sautéed vegetables), bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables, beef, and red pepper paste) and other Korean dishes came to the K- Food Open Kitchen. A variety of other events, such as a pear peeling competition and spicy food eating competition, also received positive evaluations from the participants.  The Korean Food Exhibition Hall played a key role in raising awareness about Korean food culture by introducing fresh fruit and precooked food products.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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