The International Coffee & Tea Festival (ICTF) opened its doors to entrepreneurs, hospitality professionals and aficionados of coffee and tea at the Meydan Gallery & Convention Centre in Dubai, on 11 November. Running until 13 November, the expo is showcasing the regions developing café industry. “Coffee and tea continue to gain popularity in the United Arab Emiratis (UAE). More specialty cafés are springing up all over the place, much to the delight of discerning customers,” said ICTF Organiser Anselm Godinho. “The café business has proven to be easier to manage than full-fledged restaurants, and highly profitable.” On day one, the Crown Prince of Dubai, H H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum made an appearance to view some of the products and equipment launched at the exhibition. Along with the exhibition, ICTF will include the UAE Barista, Latte Art, and Cup Tasters Championships. The national competitions will act as qualifying events for the world championships taking place in Dubai and China next year. The event will also provide a platform for the Specialty Coffee Association of America to teach its Certified Coffee Training Programs. “With the increasing competition comes better quality coffee,” said Godinho. “One of our objectives with ICTF is to educate consumers to demand better on the one hand, and to provide the training and tools to cafés to meet the growing demands of consumers on the other.” ICTF allows international and regional suppliers to reach out and engage their audience through interactive platforms such as the Espresso and Brew Bar and a series of Business Presentations focused on the coffee and tea industry. “Over 7000 visitors are expected to attend the Festival in Dubai this year and plans are in place to introduce regional competitions and coffee education programs in Abu Dhabi later this year,” said Godinho. To read more about ICTF and the region's coffee industry click here. Pictured: H E Saeed Humaid Al Tayer – Chairman of the Board and CEO of Meydan City Corporation along with Ryan Godinho – Roastmaster of Specialty Batch Coffee.