A NSW Government website

Food and Beverage to the Middle East

Eligible businesses can apply for free support to export processed foods, health-foods, fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, nuts, seafood, meat and dairy or plant-based alternatives, and non-alcoholic beverages to the Middle East (United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia). Applications closed on 24 September 2023.

Program dates

October 2023 to June 2024.

Number of hours you’ll invest in sessions prior to travelling in-market: Approximately 12 hours total estimated, not counting any optional activities or work your business may need to do outside of sessions.

Key event

Please note: Participant attendance of Gulfood is mandatory for this program.

Why this market

There is strong global demand for Australian food and beverage products from the Middle East’s, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. The region’s food market is forecast to reach 51.28 million metric tonnes in 2025, experiencing growth at a compound annual growth rate of 3.15%.

NSW trading relationship with the United Arab Emirates and Middle East is very strong due to the reputation of NSW products and the demand for reliable and sustainable suppliers. Due to harsh climatic conditions in the region, it is largely import-dependant and NSW is a major import source.

Key consumer trends in the GCC include rising health consciousness, demand for convenience and increased use of online grocery retail. There is also an increase in imported inputs for domestic food and beverage manufacturing.


Introductory sessions 

  • Welcome session – week of 23rd October 2023
  • Introduction to Food & Beverage ecosystem and doing business in Middle East
  • Access to self-serve factsheets developed by the Export Council of Australia exclusively for Going Global participants
  • Access to Intellectual Property protection briefings from IP Australia

Market intelligence briefings and cultural training 

  • Market briefing and sector-specific opportunities
  • Market specific business culture
  • Regulatory requirements, Export documentation and product specific regulation.

Preparation to meet potential partners/customers

  • Pitch Development - Pitch workshop: Refining Your Marketing and Value Proposition

Potential partner search and introductions

  • In-person participation at Gulfood – with In-market assistance and logistical support from Investment NSW
  • Identification of potential partners
  • Targeted 1:1 qualified business introductions

Pre-Departure Briefing – Early February 2024

Ongoing advice and follow up

  • Ongoing support provided by a dedicated NSW Government Export Adviser.

 *note: the curriculum is subject to change

Participation requirements and success factors

Eligibility for the overall Program

  • Have headquarters in NSW
  • Have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) registered for NSW 
  • Be export-capable and export-ready 
  • Have an employee number between 5 and 199 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • The product or service must be produced primarily in NSW
  • The product or service is achieving sales already
  • Have a website featuring the product or service
  • Be prepared to adapt the product or service for the new market
  • Be flexible regarding market-entry method
  • Have resources to support marketing and development for a new market
  • Be able to travel to the selected market (where and when travel is permitted) and/or to Sydney for events, and must cover own travel expenses

Note this program is designed for NSW businesses who produce and own their own brand. This program is not for aggregators, traders, or businesses who sell services to exporters.

Additional eligibility requirements for this stream

  • The export product must already have valid halal certification
  • In-person participation at Gulfood 2024
  • Have an employee number between 5 and 199 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, OR a minimum annual turnover of $1.5 million.
  • Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) certification, where relevant
  • Production capability to support the new market
  • Financial resources to support marketing and development for the new markets

The ideal participant 

  • Ability to place production/expiry dates on products
  • Export plan and ability to provide export pricing
  • Ability to sustain slightly extended payment cycles (for example, 30 to 60 days)
  • Commitment to exporting

Businesses not eligible for this stream

  • Alcoholic products
  • Companies acting as agents of food manufacturers
  • Poultry products
  • Past NSW Going Global Export Program “UAE and Middle East” participants


Applications closed on 24 September 2023.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome around 10 October 2023.

Note:  Apply for your preferred market - you can apply for and participate in only 1 stream.