One of the largest snack and confectionery trade shows in the Middle East and North Africa will kick off its 10th installment in Dubai next week.
Coordinated by Koelnmesse Group and the Dubai World Trade Center, the sold-out Yummex Middle East, formerly known as Sweets & Snacks Middle East, will be held Nov. 7-9. More than 350 exhibitors from 44 countries are expected to participate, and roughly 8,000 attendees representing Yummex logoretailers, hotels and importers will roam the aisles.
Organizers say the show will be spread across two halls in the Dubai World Trade Center, accounting for nearly 110,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space. That’s up more than 18 percent from the previous year.
Furthermore, exhibitor participation has grown 12 percent, with strong representation from Turkey, Germany, Egypt, Italy and Spain. Russian companies have shown increased interest, organizers added.
The show will also feature a North American Pavilion, which will have space to accommodate companies with fully furnished booths. Nearly a dozen companies from the United States are slated to attend.
“For the 10-year anniversary of Yummex Middle East, we can once again present an exhibitor record,” says Denis Steker, v.p. international of Koelnmesse. “Thanks to the good cooperation with the industry, the event has become a fixed component of the international trade fair calendar over the past 10 editions.”
Booming growth in the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) confectionery market might also have something to do with it. Euromonitor projected chocolate retail volume sales to grow 20 percent between 2010 and 2015, thanks to economic recovery and the expansion of more expensive confectionery categories among middle-class consumers.
Furthermore, Euromonitor reported that boxed chocolate assortments were predicted to grow by 30 percent in retail volume between 2010-2015, largely because of wider availability in supermarkets. 
I’m pleased to note I’ll be attending Yummex for the first time this year, since Candy Industry is one of Yummex’s several media partners. I’m looking forward to seeing what the exhibitors and Dubai have to offer. Also, if you see me meandering around the exhibition halls, please say hello. I’d love to meet you!