Catering services offer food for events like weddings, corporate meetings, parties, and conferences, among others. These services are also well-adopted across colleges, schools, and corporate offices, either through their in-house cooking staff or a third-party source. The various applications & equipment involved in catering services include basic cooking utensils, refrigeration, storage & handling, serving, food preparation, sanitation, etc. Of all countries across the Middle East, the UAE witnesses maximum tourists and attracts several international F&B brands. As a result, it is the leading Food & Beverages (F&B) market in the region, owing to which the demand for catering services is also considerably rising in the country.
The UAE Catering Services Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 6% during 2023-28. The growth of the market attributes principally to the increasing inflow of tourists in the UAE and the extensive presence of renowned catering service providers like Emirates Flight Catering, National Catering Services & Foodstuff, Royal Catering, etc., and the convenience of catering service in schools, colleges, restaurants, offices, cafeterias, etc.
One of the key factors attributed to the growth includes the execution of various events such as Expo, trade fair such as Intersec, etc., throughout the year in the UAE. Moreover, the increased number of air travel passengers has boosted the focus of the UAE airlines to expand their fleet size. Consequently, this would further lead to the establishment of partnerships between the catering service providers & airlines, which is anticipated to strongly contribute to the growth of the UAE catering services market in the forthcoming period.
|Study Period||Historical Data: 2018-21|
|Base Year: 2022|
|Forecast Period: 2023-28|
|Region Covered||Abu Dhabi & Al Ain, Dubai, Sharjah & Northern Emirates|
|Key Companies Profiled||Abela & Co. LLC, ADNH Compass Middle East LLC, Emirates Flight Catering Company LLC, National Catering Services and Foodstuff, Royal Catering Services LLC, Southern Food and Catering Services (SFCS) LLC, Accuro Specialist Support Services LLC Intercat-Cateriya Catering & Hospitality Services L.L.C, Conntrack Catering Services L.L.C , Wakha Catering Services, Others|
|Unit Denominations||USD Million/Billion|
Additionally, since the competition in the UAE's catering industry is cutting edge, there's an increasing focus of catering service providers on presenting healthier meals prepared from fresh ingredients & reducing dependence on frozen prepared foods. Besides, the soaring trend of theme-based parties & weddings among foreign delegacies in the UAE is also contributing to the surging demand for catering services across the country.
Moreover, with the rising consumer health consciousness, catering services are gaining traction by providing healthy eating options, like organic foods, healthy snacks, and a balanced vegan diet. Furthermore, the mounting emphasis of catering service providers on improving the overall customer experience by providing high-quality food & ensuring less waiting time is another crucial aspect expected to drive the UAE Catering Services Market in the coming years.
Covid-19 Catastrophically Impacted the UAE Catering Services Market
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the UAE Catering Services Market. To curb the exponential spread of the virus, the government imposed frequent lockdowns and stringent movement restrictions, which restricted people from public dining services. As a result, the catering industry observed massive financial losses as the public gatherings were prohibited & people postponed their events like weddings, corporate meetings, etc.
However, with the gradually declining number of Covid-19 cases, the government uplifted restrictions with social distancing norms & other preventive measures, owing to which the market witnessed a hike. Yet, a limited number of people at any event remained a crucial policy to avoid the virus spread. While 2021 displays as the phase of slow market recovery, the coming years promise profitable opportunities for the leading players in the UAE Catering Services Market.
Based on the Type:
Based on Type, contractual catering services have acquired the primary share in the overall UAE catering services market since the historical period. This can be justified by the fact that contract-based services allow long-term cost-effective solutions to the consumers mostly the organizations such as educational institutions, oil & gas and mining sites, office buildings, hospitals, and many others.
Moreover, the availability of food facilities has become a necessity for these organizations, as a significant count of people present for long hours on a regular basis. Requiring different forms of catering contracts depending upon the number of people, time period i.e. short term or long term, menu, etc. The growing catering facilities in the country, along with surging remote operational activities such as mining sites, and offshore oil & gas exploration and production are expected to further fuel the demand for contractual catering services across the UAE.
Based on End-Users:
Here, Corporate users are anticipated to acquire the largest market share in the coming years. It owes to the increasing establishment of multinational companies (MNCs) & their mounting expenditure in the country. Companies select the UAE as a place for establishing corporate headquarters because of the country's openness to international commerce and strategic location as a regional gateway, which creates commercial opportunities and makes the UAE a desirable market. The rising strategic agreement among corporations to enhance foreign direct investment in order to assist private sector growth, as well as the low taxes for a corporate office setting, are expected to boost demand for corporate catering services in the country.
Moreover, the increasing focus of caterers on offering healthy meals with fresh ingredients as well as reducing dependency on frozen food is another crucial aspect fueling the demand for catering services among corporate users and, in turn, propelling the growth of the market.
Geographically, the UAE Catering Services Market expands across:
Of all cities in the UAE, Dubai is projected to witness substantial growth in the Catering Service Market over the forecast years. It owes to its swiftly expanding tourism sector, coupled with the extensive presence of leading players like Emirates Flight Catering. Besides, rapidly evolving consumer preferences & rising urban lifestyles are leading to increasing casual dining, which is another crucial aspect driving the catering services market in Dubai.
The city is devoted to enhancing its competitiveness & improving foreign trade. Hence, the escalating developments in the tourism industry shall generate lucrative opportunities for catering service providers and, in turn, boost the market in the years to come.
Key Trends in the UAE Catering Service Market
Surging Focus on Providing Healthier Meals
Rising Demand for Corporate Catering Services
Catering services are highly demanded in the corporate sector because of their advantages, such as offering hassle-free food arrangements, saving time & money, offering multi-cuisine options, menu variations, etc. Henceforth, the increasing infrastructure development in the corporate sector such as the opening of new offices has propelled the demand for catering services in the sector.
Rapidly Growing Medical Sector has Propelled the Market Growth
The hospital catering services play an essential part in the recovery of the patients admitted to the hospitals for a long or short span of time. Hence, the food for patients needs nutritional, and hygienic and should be delivered on time in order to help them recover faster. The majority of the hospitals provide healthy & nutritious food as per the illness & requirements of the patients, and the gravity of nutrition and hygiene has increased substantially after COVID-19. Therefore, the hospital food catering service has a high demand for managing the dietary plan for the patients.
Growing Air Traffic Would Accelerate the demand for Inflight Catering Services
The growing air traffic in the UAE owing to the increasing number of tourists, due to the presence of various tourist destinations like Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed, the world archipelago, etc., and the rise in business travels, etc., have boosted the demand for the aircraft fleet size. Hence, to accommodate the increasing number of air passengers the airlines are expanding their fleet size which would further the demand for inflight catering services.
Key Questions Answered in the Market Research Report:
Frequently Asked Questions
A. The UAE Catering Services Market is expecting around 6% CAGR during 2023-28.
A. The burgeoning demand for catering services across the Corporate sector is anticipated to emerge as an area of lucrative opportunities for the leading players operating in the UAE Catering Services Market during 2023-28.
A. The surging demand for in-flight catering services owing to the swiftly expanding aviation sector, coupled with the increasing number of mega-events being hosted in the UAE, are the prime aspects expected to drive the Catering Services Market during 2023-28.
A. With the recommencement of catering services across different verticals in the UAE while abiding by the safety regulations, the Catering Service Market is observing a steady growth in 2023. The same trend is likely to be followed in the coming years and create lucrative growth opportunities for catering service providers in the country.