The UAE’s restaurants, cafes and other foodservice outlets are expected to see a nearly 50% rise in sales in a few years as consumer spending rebounds after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released on Thursday.

Consumer foodservice outlets across the UAE generated AED 58.4 billion ($15.9 billion) in sales last year, driven by the rapid response and recovery from the pandemic, as well as strong economic growth, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce said, quoting data from Euromonitor International.

The figure is poised to grow by 48% to AED 86.4 billion ($23.5 billion) by 2027, said Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber.

Euromonitor regularly tracks foodservice data, which includes cafes, bars, full-service and limited-service restaurants, as well as self-service cafeterias. During 2022, sales at full-service restaurants alone reached AED 32.5 billion, up by 24%.

The Dubai Chamber shared the figures as it launched six business groups within the F&B industry for HORECA traders, meat and poultry, bakeries, organic food, groceries, as well as hypermarkets and supermarkets sectors.

The chamber is looking to set up 100 business groups by 2023. The groups will focus on promoting the development of food companies to boost the profile of Dubai’s food and beverage sector in the global community, the chamber noted.

Other food-related sales

Spending on fresh food is also expected to increase, with sales in the category forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2022 and 2027. Packaged food will see a 3.9% increase during the same period.

Between 2021 and 2026, sales of traditional grocery stores are estimated to be worth AED 11.4 billion, representing a CAGR of 3%.

Retail sales of supermarkets in the UAE are also set to rise to AED 19.7 billion during the same period, posting a CAGR of 4%.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)