The 3rd annual World of Coffee Dubai hosts largest show to date
WOC Dubai Roasters Village. Image: Vanessa L Facenda
World of Coffee Dubai 2024 was held last week (21-23 January) and by all accounts, it was ‘bigger and better’ than last year’s according to attendees and exhibitors that have been present at the show since it launched in 2022.
In fact, it was the biggest edition to date, as World of Coffee (WOC) Dubai 2024, organised by DXB Live, the integrated event management and experiential agency of the Dubai World Trade Centre, in collaboration with the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), reported 30% growth from 2023, with more than 13,000 participants including 1,650 exhibitors from 51 countries. Participants were stakeholders from every facet of the coffee industry, ranging from farmers, traders, manufacturers, distributors, small and medium-sized companies to café owners, baristas, hotels, and of course, coffee enthusiasts.
Commenting on the turnout, Khalid Al Hammadi, senior vice president of DXB LIVE, said in a statement, “The latest edition of the World of Coffee Dubai 2024 exhibition has generated significant interest among stakeholders and enthusiasts in the coffee industry, drawing participation from international contributors, who showcased their products and equipment. The exhibition reflected a remarkable turnout, with visitors numbering nearly four times that of the inaugural edition of the event.”
Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, accompanied by Consul General of Kyrgyz Republic in Dubai and the Northern Emirates inaugurated WOC Dubai on 21 January. Organised similar to other World of Coffee shows, the Dubai event also featured lectures, workshops, cuppings, competitions and the popular Roasters Village. The show ran from 10:00 to 18:00 the first two days and was supposed to close at 16:00 on the third and final day, but after an appearance on the second day (22 January) from Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, an Emirati politician and royal who is the current ruler of Dubai, and serves as the vice president, prime minister, and minister of defense of the United Arab Emirates, ticket sales surged overnight for the last day (23 January) so exhibitors asked the organisers to extend the closing time until 18:00 because they needed more time to conduct business.
And transactions were taking place — you could see and feel the eagerness to ‘make deals’ walking the show floor. “The show is definitely bigger than last year and the people attending are here to conduct serious business,” said a three-time exhibitor during our conversation on the second day.
Khalid Al Mulla, the chief executive officer of the SCA’s UAE Chapter, stated that “the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to gain insights on diverse cultures and artistic approaches to coffee preparation, stay abreast of the latest industry trends, and engage in discussions on promoting sustainability in the coffee sector. Held in the UAE, World of Coffee plays a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds of cooperation and communication between international brands and their regional partners in the rapidly expanding coffee industry. The remarkable attendance at this event, coupled with the associated activities, underscores the increasing popularity of specialty coffee in both the country and the region.”
WOC Dubai was launched to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding coffee industry throughout the Middle East. Data Bridge Market Research reports that the value of the coffee and espresso drinks market in the MENA region is expected to reach around USD $1.33 billion by 2030, increasing from approximately $1.085 billion in 2022, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6 percent over the specified timeframe.
WOC Dubai’s success has caught the attention of other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, and countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait, which have all conveyed their interest in hosting future World of Coffee events. But for now, Dubai remains the venue for World of Coffee in the Middle East. The fourth edition of WOC Dubai will take place 10 to 12 February 2025.
- Vanessa L Facenda, editor, Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.
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