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 DUBAI,UAE–The International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition, the largest exhibition in the Middle East for coffee and chocolate lovers, recently concluded its 9th edition. The exhibition was held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center.

The number of participants in the exhibition exceeded 200,000 visitors, including investors, businessmen, experts, and coffee lovers. The exhibition also hosted more than 400 local and international brands from 40 countries around the world.

The large turnout the exhibition witnessed reflects its prestigious reputation and remarkable distinction achieved in recent years. This has made it one of the most important trade exhibitions hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it is the largest event specializing in coffee and chocolate in the Middle East. The exhibition is recognized by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). It is an international exhibition that conforms to the stipulated specifications and standards of the association. Additionally, it is an accredited member of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).

Championships and prizes

The exhibition concluded its fifth day with the Saudi Barista Championship, which is accredited by the World Barista Championship. The championship was held under the supervision of 4 international and 11 local judges. According to the nominated parties, voting, and evaluation, Ahmed Bahaa won first place in the Saudi Barista Championship. Abdul Rahim Al Balushi won second place and Muhammad Fakhri won third place.

Saudi World Brewers Cup

 The exhibition also hosted the Saudi World Brewers Cup, which was held for the first time in Saudi Arabia with international accreditation. Moreover, it hosted numerous activities and awards to encourage innovation and the growth of businesses specialized in the field of coffee and chocolate manufacturing.

 The Middle East Coffee and Chocolate Awards

The Middle East Coffee and Chocolate Awards were given to the fastest-growing coffee and chocolate establishments in the Middle East. The awards aim to support the development of the local trade balance and the development of non-oil export revenues.

Investment opportunities

The International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition hosted a group of entrepreneurs interested in investing in the field of coffee and chocolate at the local and international levels. The event is a platform for communicating with major participating companies and thousands of interested people through meetings to learn more about the opportunities led by innovations and product excellence in this field. The exhibition allowed major investors from participating companies to exchange deals and establish partnerships in the production, manufacturing, and exporting sectors of the industry.

 Workshops and discussion sessions

On the first day of the exhibition, there were two interactive sessions where entrepreneurs shared their experiences and expertise with the participants.The opening session featured a keynote address by Nourah Al Aidh, chairman of the Aseer Region Coffee Association. Her speech focused on the theme “Why do we need a sustainable coffee economy?”. This session, titled “Sustainability in Coffee: The main issues in 2023”

The second session, titled “The Entrepreneur Spirit and Coffee Business Success”, featured Mr. Mubarak Al-Mabadi, founder of Coffee Story Company and the Lastoria Café chain, and founder of Haseel Roasters Company.On the second day of the exhibition, the fourth interactive session focused on the challenges of the coffee industry between climate change and rising costs. Three speakers shared their insights: Mr. Abdullah Al-Aqeel, certified coffee evaluator and developer of coffee and cafes; Mr. Dejene Dadi, GM of the Oromiya Cooperative Farmers Union; Mr. Muhammad Al Rajeh, founder and owner of the calibrated Cafe and Roastery and expert in coffee business.Another session held on the second day was titled “Coffee Innovation and New Trends in 2024″. It featured Mr. Osama Al-Awam founder and director of Roasting House. On the third day of the event, the focus was on sustainability in the production of specialized coffee. The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Gary Urrutia, managing director for the Cup of Excellence Program in Honduras, shedding light on this important topic.This session featured discussions led by Mr. Walid Al Khaldi, general manager of Espresso Station; Eng. Abdullah bin Kulaib, researcher in coffee cultures; Mr. Moaz Al-Qahtan, co-founder of Black Night roastery; Mr. Abdullah Al-Othman, co-founder of Sika roastery; Mr. Ali Alblushi, founder of Slope, CEO of Roast limit KSA champion of AeroPress championship, championship judge and roaster.Ms. Irina Sharipova, SCA Dubai coffee consultant and educator, delivered the keynote address during the 7th session, focusing on coffee culture and barista skills.

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