ALL EYES ON OMAN FOR THE WORLD’S LEADING FOOD INDUSTRY EXPERTS’ GATHERING IN 2016

22 January 2014 - Muscat: More than 1,000 of the world’s top food industry professionals will descend upon the Sultanate of Oman when it hosts the 27th Annual International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Mideast & Africa District Conference and Expo from 5-9 December 2016.

The IAOM MEA Congress at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre will attract decision makers from the multi-national companies that control the food supply along with a range of investors looking for new business opportunities.

The announcement was made today at the official signing ceremony at Omran Head Office attended by Omran Chairman, H.E. Nasser Al Jashmi, Omran CEO, Eng. Wael Al Lawati, IAOM MEA Chairman, Mr. Merzad Jamshidi, and IAOM MEA District Director Mr. Ali Habaj.

His Excellency Nasser Al Jashmi said this announcement was significant milestone in the development stage of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

“We are delighted that the Sultanate of Oman has been selected to host such a prestigious convention which will be the first important conference to be hosted by Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre to coincide with its completion in 2016.” said H.E. Al Jashmi.

Mr. Habaj said the event was one of the largest specialised conference and exhibitions in the world.

“The Middle East and Africa are the largest buyers of grains and other food imports, accounting for about one-third of the production in the world today”.

He said the hot topic would be the sustainability of the food supply with Oman set to become the food hub for logistics and food processing in the Gulf region.

“IAOM MEA Conference & Expo is certainly one of the most anticipated events in the milling and food processing industries. For the last 25 years, it has become a venue for key industry players, decision makers, and top executives to broker next year’s commodity prices and deals.

“The Middle East and Africa’s annual volume of imports of major grains exceeds 84 million tonnes, which is estimated to be over US$ 29 Billion in value. This comprises 29% of global grain trade. (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Many of these purchase contracts are negotiated during IAOM MEA events.

“This is serious business and we can’t wait for the completion of the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre so we can host a congress that is relevant to Oman at a state of the art venue.” Mr Habaj said.

Interestingly, IAOM MEA events have been purposely held alternately between the Middle East and Africa. This is to ensure IAOM MEA’s presence, and strengthen its ties with local millers throughout the region. Previous conferences were held in Tanzania, Turkey, South Africa, Jordan, Morocco, and the UAE.


Mr. Habaj commended venue manager, AEG Ogden for bringing the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre to the IAOM MEA’s attention two years ago.

Newly appointed General Manager for the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre Mr. Trevor McCartney said from the very first meeting, it was obvious that IAOM MEA with more than 150 exhibitors showing the latest in flour and feed milling machines was a perfect fit for the venue.

“Not only are we delighted to showcase Oman’s professionalism of organising prestigious events such as this, we look forward to welcoming participants to experience the traditional Omani hospitality during the congress and encourage them to then take the time to explore the country’s natural beauty and history.

“This is one of many major international conventions the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is targeting to secure in the lead up to its completion in 2016,” Mr. McCartney said.

The Government of Oman’s leading tourism infrastructure developer Omran which is charged with the development of this landmark project for the country, welcomed today’s signing.

Mr. Al Lawati said Omran was pleased with the level of interest generated from the pre-opening marketing activities by AEG Ogden and IAOM’s commitment to host their 2016 congress in the early stages of this landmark project for Oman.

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