A few days remain for this year's Hotel Asia Exhibition, the largest trade fair in the Maldives. Similar to previous editions, the exhibition would also host the much anticipated Internationally Culinary Challenge - the biggest competitive cooking event in the South Asian region.
The hospitality industry's elite are counting down the days for the fair being held at Dharubaaruge - the main convention centre in Male from September 9-12.
Here are five reasons why the event is such a highly anticipated annual affair in the archipelago.
Fourteen years and counting!
The Hotel Asia Exhibition is one of the oldest fairs hosted in the country. The event was first held in 2000 and this year would mark the 14th edition of the prestigious fair. Though the first fair was held with a mere 40 stalls, this year's edition would feature 180 stalls represented by leading companies from countries including China, Australia, Canada, USA, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, UAE and Hong Kong.
A festival for chefs from all corners!
The Hotel Asia Exhibition would not be complete without the eagerly awaited International Culinary Challenge - the biggest competitive cooking event in the South Asian region.
Endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), the event is expected to display the culinary skills of hundreds of contenders in-front of judges' panel comprising of celebrity chefs from around the world.
Worldchefs remains an elite global network of chefs associations first founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris.
At present this global body has over 100 official chefs associations as members.
This year's illustrious judging panel for the culinary challenge would be headed by renowned chef Alan Palmer.
Best Buy Maldives - Main sponsor
The prestigious event's main sponsor Best Buy Maldives (BBM), one of the leading resort suppliers in the country. Founded in 1994, BBM has established itself as one of the largest wholesale and retail companies in the Maldives with a wide range of consumer goods.
Every year BBM plays a pivotal role in the event with prizes and training opportunities for the chefs that shine in the International Culinary Challenge.
With the introduction of new products to the market, BBM organizes workshops and seminars to teach chefs about what the products can offer, often by bringing international chefs to share their expertise.
Once a year, BBM also handpicks a selection of chefs from the Maldivian hospitality sector and sponsors their travel abroad to widen their culinary knowledge. In the past, BBM has sent Maldivian chefs to Germany, Dubai as well as Malaysia.
A wide range of products!
The exhibition regarded as the one stop solution for the elite hospitality industry would feature products, service and technology from tourism, food and beverages, architecture, waste management, furniture to safety and security systems.
Over 250 companies from 46 different countries would participate with over 2,000 prominent brands is set to be showcased.
The exhibition would feature 180 stalls - the maximum number Dharubaaruge can accommodate represented by leading companies from all around the globe.
An experienced organizer - MECS
Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (LECS) is arguably the leading organizer in the entire region. The Hotel Asia Exhibition is organized by Maldives Exhibition and Conference Services (MECS) is part of LECS which focuses on the industry specified trade fair industry in South Asia with the objective of developing it to an international level by maintaining international standards and attracting overseas participation.