Anthony Russo, owner of Russo’s New York Pizzeria, will exhibit at the 2010 Gulfood Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the region’s largest and most important industry event. The food, drink, foodservice, and hospitality exhibition will take place February 21-24, taking up one million square feet of dedicated space at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center.

The 2010 Gulfood Conference will be the biggest event in the show’s history leveraging its regional influence to highlight the latest trends, innovations, and developments in the industry. It’s a one-stop-shop for the foodservice professional, offering personal interaction between buyers and sellers, on-the-spot deal making, and the chance to sample food from top-notch chefs — including Anthony Russo and New York Pizzeria, who will be serving the company’s signature extra-large, 28-inch party pizza.

The pizza chain has an optimistic agenda for business development in international markets. With the logistics already in place, Russo plans on selling area development in the Middle Eastern market resulting in numerous franchise opportunities. “We’re trying to build a global brand and are extremely excited about the opportunities that Gulfood will bring,” Russo says.

The future looks bright for the ambitious restaurateur, who has successfully expanded his franchise to 28 locations in Texas and surrounding states and achieved an outstanding 30 percent increase in pasta sales in 2009 alone. Gulfood is the perfect venue to facilitate growth for New York Pizzeria, providing access to one of the key growth markets for the food and beverage industry.

The Middle East and its neighboring regions have been earmarked as ‘windows of opportunity’ according to the 2009 A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index. While other markets have endured economic hardship and decline in sales over the past year, these emerging markets have enjoyed continued growth, with eight of the top 20 countries in the Development Index in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The United Arab Emirates makes the biggest jump in the Index this year, moving up to fourth from twentieth last year, thanks to an economy that has remained relatively sturdy during the global recession.

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