From a simple spaghetti to an indulgent ravioli, pasta can be quick, nutritious, healthy, versatile and delicious, making it one of the world’s most-loved foods. Italian pasta exports are significantly growing, with more than half of the pasta produced in Italy (56%) being exported. With Dubai’s multicultural society and over 300 Italian restaurants based here, the city’s residents and visitors are firm pasta foodies and the Emirate has been chosen to host the 20th World Pasta Day celebrations tomorrow, Thursday 25 October.
Locally-based chefs including Chef Mohamed Orfali and internationally-renowned Italian chefs, experts, nutritionists, dieticians and scientists will assemble in Dubai to celebrate and promote the quality, nutritious ingredient that is a staple of a healthy Mediterranean diet.
Organised by the IPO, (International Pasta Organisation), AIDEPI (Italian Association of Confectionery and Pasta Industries) and ITA (Italian Trade Agency), events and activities include a full day of debates at the Dubai Knowledge Park Auditorium and cooking sessions with Italian and local chefs at the ICCA, International Centre for Culinary Arts.
HE Liborio Stellino, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE said, “Tomorrow is about celebrating the authentic pastas that are readily available and we are working with the best chefs and experts from across the world during World Pasta Day. Pasta is one of Italy’s most renowned icons. Over the past 25 years, the amount of pasta that is exported by Italy across the world has increased from 740,000 tonnes to over 2 million tonnes and the number of countries has increased by 34% to around 200. In 2017, ‘Made in Italy’ products almost reached 30 billion euros, accounting for 73% of total agri-food exports. Dubai is a multicultural and vibrant city with a food scene that is gaining international recognition and is attracting more creative chefs, restaurateurs and foodies who are open to experimenting with Italian pasta.”
Gianpaolo Bruno, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan said, “There are over 600 different pasta shapes available worldwide and new recipes being developed every day because pasta is loved by so many. In 2017, the turnover generated by Italian food & beverage exports exceeded 40 billion euros, up by 5.7% over the previous year. Also in 2017, Italian producers exported over 300 million euros worth of items to the UAE alone, with a significant proportion of this being high-quality, Italian pasta.”
Paolo Barilla, IPO President said, “Pasta is an extraordinary product that brings joy and conviviality to the table of millions of people all over the world every day. We pasta producers, like to see how chefs continue to reinterpret it, how culinary experts describe it, and how nutritionists recommend it for a healthy, balanced diet.”
According to a UN report, there has been a rise in world hunger for the third year in a row. The number of undernourished people has increased, returning to levels from almost a decade ago, and putting the Zero Hunger Development Goal by 2030 at risk. More than 820 million people suffer hunger and more than 150 million children have delays in their growth development. This is why pasta makers from all over the world have committed themselves to the second Power of Pasta, a global charity initiative donating around 2 million pasta plates to local organisations involved in the fight against hunger. As part of this initiative, the Emirates Red Crescent charity will receive a donation of over 40,000 pasta plates from AIDEPI. The Emirates Red Crescent will be joined by a team of staff and volunteers, headed by Mohammad Abdullah Al Haj Al Zarouni, Head of ERC’s Dubai Center.
The World Pasta Day will continue its celebrations with the Pasta Week at selected Italian Restaurants in Dubai from 25 October to 1 November
World Pasta Day is part of the Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World, which is taking place in the UAE for the third year in a row. A number of events and activities will be hosted during this extended celebration starting on 25 October lasting for one month until 25 November, to profile the growing number of Italian producers successfully exporting their authentic Italian ingredients to the UAE.