The 11th Hotel Asia Exhibition and Culinary Challenge officially opens at Dharubaaruge

The 11th Hotel Asia Exhibition 2015 was officially opened this morning at an inauguration ceremony at Dharubaaruge Exhibition Hall, Male’.

The three-day event is organized by Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services (MECS). Bestbuy Maldives (BBM), one of the country’s most well respected resort suppliers, is the main sponsor of the exhibition’s culinary challenge.

The official opening of the exhibition, which follows the commencement of the Hotel Asia International Culinary Challenge yesterday, was attended by chief guest Minister of Health, Hon. Iruthisham Adam, as well as the 1st Vice President of the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ismail Asiff.

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Alan Palmer with the guest panel and a selection of judges

Also on the panel addressing attendees were Mohamed Mazloom, CEO of Bestbuy Maldives (BBM) and Alan Palmer, the chief judge of the International Culinary Challenge and project director of South Asia Exhibition Services. Ahmed Jaamiz, country representative for Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services Pvt Ltd, Delrine Vossman from Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Pvt Ltd and Arjun Dharmadasa, managing director of South Asia Exhibition Services were also in attendance.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Minister Iruthisham Adam addressed the gathering saying: “Maldives is a hospitable country and we are open for business.” Adding that, “Maldives is moving forward and expanding at a rate that is competitive, as well as recognised by international partners.”

Alan Palmer, who has been involved in the culinary challenge since its inception, spoke of the tremendous growth the competition had seen. “When I first came in 2002, to organise the first , we were outside under a tree with a canopy and we had 40 plus participants,” he explained. He then went on to explain that the competition now has 12 professional kitchen setups, placing them alongside other “global quality” competitions. Approximately 480 chefs will compete this year.

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The ceremony’s chief guest, Minister of Health Hon. Iruthisham Adam

During the inauguration, a special edition of Hotelier Maldives, the event’s official magazine, was unveiled and presented to the chief guest, Hon. Iruthisham Adam.

Now in its 11th manifestation, this year the exhibition is the biggest yet. 245 companies representing over 4000 brands can be found throughout the 175 exhibition booths. With exhibitors having flown in from 28 different countries, 1,800 pre-registered buyers are expected to be amongst the 5000 visitors over the next three days.

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Ahmed Jaamiz presented Hon. Iruthisham Adam with the special Hotel Asia edition of Hotelier Maldives, the event’s official magazine

Although Hotel Asia has a strong emphasis on food and beverage services and products, exhibitors are presenting solutions for all aspects of resort and hotel operations. Amongst the booths, visitors can find hygiene and maintenance products, printing solutions, high quality linen, furniture and tableware, to name but a few highlights.

Another highlight of the exhibition is the BBM Pavilion where the company will be showcasing an extensive variety of the latest innovative F&B products from some of the most exciting global brands in the industry.  Live cooking demonstrations will be taking place continuously throughout the event.

The Hotel Asia Workshops – a selection of 1-hour presentations and seminars being held over the course of the three-day event – are a chance for visitors to learn about topics as diverse as Ceylon tea, environmental monitoring, meat cuts and the Maldivian investment market.

The inauguration ceremony was followed by a tour of the exhibition and refreshments.

Hotel Asia Exhibition and Culinary Challenge will run until Monday September 21st at Dharubaaruge.