DMCC – the world’s flagship free zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – has successfully concluded the eighth edition of its industry-leading Global Dubai Tea Forum (GDTF), which was held at The Address Dubai Marina Hotel between 25–27 April.
Hosted by the DMCC Tea Centre under the theme of “Unpacking the Future of Tea: From Consumer Trends to New Market Opportunities”, GDTF 2023 welcomed over 300 industry experts and professionals including traders, producers, suppliers, buyers and governments from across the globe. During the three-day conference, industry stakeholders addressed key trends within the global tea market and discussed how to harness current opportunities to drive its sustainable growth.
The opening keynote address was delivered by His Excellency Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, who said: “With its strategic location, at the crossroads of the world, the advanced infrastructure and the enabling business ecosystem, the UAE is well-positioned to drive global tea trade. In 2021, we ranked first in global tea re-export with a 51% contribution in terms of value and quantity, and fifth in tea trade after major producing countries. As such, the UAE represents the perfect venue to host such an important forum that brings together traders and industry players to shape the future of tea.”
Delegates were welcomed by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DMCC, who said: “Tea is one of the oldest traded commodities in the world, from the first brews in ancient China 5,000 years ago, via the caravan networks of the Tea Horse Road to today’s pioneering new flavours. The second most consumed beverage in the world after water, tea’s star is set to soar in the coming years with a global market value projected to increase by 40%. This is a trend we have witnessed in Dubai, where DMCC Tea Centre now handles on average 43,000 metric tonnes of bulk tea every year contributing to the UAE’s status today as one of the largest re-exporters of tea in the world. The sector continues to evolve at a rapid rate and we expect to see new concepts, innovations, as well as trade, move to Dubai in the coming years alongside the tea industry’s global growth trajectory.”
With its strategic geographical location, advanced infrastructure and strong business environment, Dubai has positioned itself as a crucial link between the largest tea-producing countries and consuming markets around the world. The emirate has become one of the leading global tea trading hubs, in addition to emerging as a centre for innovation and value addition in the tea industry.
In line with its mandate to attract, facilitate and steer new trade flows through Dubai, DMCC has been a driving force in establishing the emirate as a leading global hub for tea trade. Since its inception in 2005, the DMCC Tea Centre has witnessed consistent growth, handling an average of 43,000 metric tonnes of tea per year. The services provided by the Centre have proven invaluable to the entire tea value chain, offering a one-stop solution for tea businesses and allowing them to capitalise on opportunities within the industry.
Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director – Agri Commodities, DMCC, added: “The DMCC Tea Centre has played a major role in positioning Dubai at the heart of the global tea trade. This world-class facility aims to develop and grow tea trade by connecting markets through Dubai. Building on a record-breaking 2022, our Tea Centre is poised to deliver yet another strong performance throughout 2023. This growth will be driven by technology and automation, as well as a focus on developing specialty tea and innovative infusions that will delight tea enthusiasts around the world.”
Seeking to encourage meaningful dialogue on the most critical challenges as well as growth opportunities within the tea industry, the GDTF 2023 offered a busy agenda that included interactive presentations and four main panels titled: “Producing countries – Growth, trends and opportunities”, “Consumer trends: Consumer consciousness, choice and competition”, “Sustainability: From packaging and plastics to transparency and fair trade” and “Technology, innovation and disruption in the tea industry”.
The breadth of topics in discussion was reflective of the wide spectrum of stakeholders in attendance. Delegates explored key trends such as the rising demand for greater choice and varieties including new flavoured teas and speciality products and addressed major challenges including constrained shipping impacting supply chains, geopolitical tensions and inflation causing uncertainty, and climate change affecting production. In addition, discussions highlighted how new technologies, innovations and the push for greater sustainability will disrupt and shape the tea market at all levels of the supply chain for years to come.
The GDTF 2023 was supported and sponsored by a number of leading organisations from the industry. The Platinum Sponsors included dph Group, a one-stop shop for all tea packaging needs, Glatfelter, a leading global supplier of engineered materials, and HST Machines, developers and producers of high-performance packaging machines, in addition to the Diamond Sponsor Reliance Latea, sourcers and producers of high-quality tea products.
GDTF is one of the most important events in the global tea industry calendar, playing a major role in shaping the future of the industry and facilitating its growth by bringing key stakeholders together and providing a platform for collaboration. For additional information, please visit https://www.globaldubaiteaforum.ae/.