Hoogstraten presented itself at the World of Perishables (WOP) in Dubai from the 19th to the 21st of November. Jan Engelen and Ralph Bogers were present to represent Veiling Hoogstraten. Veiling Hoogstraten has been supplying strawberries straight to an importer in Dubai since 2010. The product is mainly intended for restaurants, hotels and events in Dubai's wide surroundings. During the last Grand Prix Formula 1 race in Abu Dhabi 5 tonnes of Hoogstraten strawberries were eaten in the VIP village.
Speakers and visitors from all parts of the world were present, which meant there were many lively conversations about diverse subjects at the congress. An important characteristic of the trade with the Middle East is the influence of the municipality. But cultural differences and politic circumstances also play an important role in the region. The congress was also linked to the trade fair 'World of Perishables' which was held from the 19th to the 21st of November in Dubai's World Trade Centre. "For Hoogstraten it was our first participation in this fair. Our goal was to make the first contact with the sector and the players in this region. We also wanted to introduce the participants and visitors of the fair to our product. The experiences with our product were very positive, so we hope that the door to the Middle East has been cracked open."
Where own production of fruit and vegetables is concerned, the Middle East has no notable production. This means the Middle East is dependent on import for many products. The main suppliers in fruit and vegetables are the USA, Australia, Holland and South-Africa. The import of fresh fruit in Dubai grew by 16% between 2008 and 2010. The import of fresh vegetables increased in that same period by 20%. In 2010 Dubai imported almost 1.7 billion kg of fruit and vegetables with a value of almost €1.12 billion.