Dubai, UAE – Northern Ireland exported over £22.4M of food and drink to the GCC in 2023, as released by His Majesty Revenue & Customs (HMRC) numbers for the rolling year between October 22 till September 2023. The figures demonstrate how Northern Ireland’s global reputation for premium produce, coupled with best-in-class food traceability and food security, makes the country’s produce a firm favourite for consumers and chefs across the region.

The GCC has emerged as one of the rapidly growing global markets for Northern Irish produce. In recent years, Gulfood has played a crucial role in enabling Northern Irish food and beverage exports to the Gulf region. This year marks the 17th consecutive participation of Northern Irish companies at the trade show, and a variety of food and drink companies from Northern Ireland will be participating in the exhibition.

Several food producers from Northern Ireland, specialising in cereals, dairy, bakery, teas, coffee, baby snacks and gourmet vinegar, will be showcasing their excellent food and drink offerings. Many of these producers are experts in creating private label products. Northern Ireland’s progressive agri-food sector, along with its enterprising producers, has played a crucial role in its successful export growth to the GCC and other countries worldwide. This industry is worth £7 billion to the economy.

Commenting on Northern Ireland companies’ attendance at Gulfood this year, Scott Hanna, Senior Business Development Manager at Invest Northern Ireland – UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait, said: "Northern Ireland companies' presence at Gulfood this year is a testament to their commitment to global engagement. It reflects the innovation and quality they bring to the international stage. We are proud to support and showcase their endeavours as they contribute to the diverse and dynamic landscape of the Gulfood event."

He added: “The UAE and the wider GCC are premium markets and have a high import capacity for products such as dairy, oats and gourmet food, which offers significant opportunities for our Northern Irish exporters. Increasingly, consumers are placing emphasis on the environmental impact of commercial farming practices. Northern Ireland's food and drink sector distinguishes itself through a strong commitment to high ethical and environmental standards, featuring producers dedicated to quality and traceability. This commitment has been pivotal in our successful export growth to the Gulf and more than 70 countries worldwide. We eagerly anticipate showcasing the finest Northern Irish foods in the region as we continue to strengthen our close relationships across the GCC.”

Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), the regional economic development body for Northern Ireland, is committed to working collaboratively with key partners in the food and drink industry to help Northern Ireland companies trade more effectively in the region. By doing so, the entity supports businesses to increase turnover, fuel greater prosperity, and realise their ambitious growth plans.

Invest NI’s stand will be located in Shk Saeed Hall 1 Stand: S1-A44 at Gulfood 2024 taking place in the World Trade Centre, Dubai from February 19 – 23.

To learn more on the companies which will comprise the Northern Ireland Pavilion at Gulfood , please visit

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:
Nabeel S. Khouri
Regional Marketing and Communications Manager – IMEA
Invest Northern Ireland  
FTI Consulting for Invest Northern Ireland

About Invest Northern Ireland

Invest NI is the regional economic development agency for Northern Ireland. Our role is to grow the local economy by helping new and existing business to compete internationally and by attracting new investment to Northern Ireland. In the IMEA Region, we have International Business Offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Doha, Cairo, Johannesburg, and Mumbai.

Invest NI’s International Business Offices help Northern Ireland companies to increase exports, develop international collaborations and seek new investment, bringing greater prosperity to this part of the United Kingdom.