Fluctuating Yet Promising Dynamics of Catering Services Across the UAE

Catering Services

Dating back to the time before the Covid-19 pandemic, the catering services industry was substantial, particularly across countries with high tourism & migrant influx like the UAE. With the surge to address & cater to the need of this large population pool across hotels, resorts, restaurants & cafes, alongside the corporate sector having major meetings, events, and more, catering services were in continual demand. These services coordinate right from the preparation, creation, delivery, & presentation of food & services for clients. Be it a wedding reception, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, fundraiser, or anything else, all the delightfully prepared & presented food is backed by the catering service providers. The prominent reason behind the popularity of these services includes convenience, taking off the burden from the host, and responsibly & professionally looking after the event. A catering service company might also include additional offerings like rental, set-up, & clean-up of decorations, tables, chairs, music, & lighting, among others.

While the pandemic bought significant disruptions in almost all types of industries across the UAE, the service sector, in particular, kept the industry afloat when others were sinking. On one hand, working from home became the new normal, where subsidiary sectors like facility management, security services, & others were severely affected. Even the private cafeteria operators & in-house cafeterias were in a dilemma, figuring out how to keep a kitchen & dining facility functional when barely a few people were allowed to come to work. Yet, as lockdowns & movement restrictions did not allow everyone to have access to food or services and demonstrated an uptight notion of hygiene, catering services swiftly paved the way to sustain the industry amidst the crisis. These services contributed by offering healthy & safe food and other services associated with sanitization & hygiene across diverse facilities like hospitals, corporate buildings, containment zones, government buildings, and more.

Today, things are better, and almost all industries are already on the path to recovery. Just like that, with the reinstating of tourism & traveling across countries, the UAE is regaining its economic fluidity based on tourism and demonstrating a wide arm open for catering service providers. Perhaps, it is also why a recent research report published by MarkNtel Advisors reveals that the UAE Catering Services Market is set to register a CAGR of around 6% during the forecast period of 2022-27. In fact, the industry also hints toward the presence of lucrative opportunities for the players to widen their service offerings, visibility, and customer base across the UAE, making substantial contributions to the industry expansion. Let us take a closer look into the prominent factors behind the robust growth of this industry and the fundamentals underlying the market dynamics.

Understanding Catering Services & Its Significance in the UAE

Since catering service takes over all the responsibilities, right from the initial client-caterer meeting to the big day, to deliver the best services, through rigorous planning, preparation, teamwork, creativity, & flexibility, in a professional manner. Besides, as countries like the UAE is a hosts of many events such as Expo, trade fairs, and another such events, and substantial tourist attractions throughout the year, the demand for catering services is consistent, and in fact, demonstrates high competition.

The massive rise in the inflow of air passengers has played a prominent role in boosting the focus of different airlines to widen their fleet size and even avail of in-flight catering services. It further leads to the establishment of partnerships between diverse catering service providers & airlines and stimulates the overall industry in the country. Likewise, the establishment of various prominent hotels in the country is also propelling the demand for top-notch catering services to further offer a class-apart experience to the people. Such factors are stimulating the overall catering services industry across the UAE.

Moreover, on the back of the cutting-edge competition in the UAE, many catering service providers are focusing on presenting healthier meals prepared from fresh ingredients & reducing dependence on frozen prepared foods to attract a substantial consumer base. As people are becoming increasingly health conscious and choosing healthier food, the emergence of such trends is profiting the players in the industry.

Talking about trends, let us not forget how theme-based parties are the new thing in the town. Today, improving the economic conditions of the people have shaped their interest in living differently and keeping up with the world. Such aspects exemplify a rise in the number of weddings & parties based on diverse themes, especially among foreign delegacies across the UAE. Such aspects are also generating lucrative opportunities for the leading players to widen their scope of service offerings and contribute to the overall catering services industry in the UAE.

Perks of Utilizing Catering Services

Since the prevalence of catering services have been growing continually across the UAE, there are several factor backing the widespread consumer base for these services. The credit can be given to the key players operating in the market, offering their services on a contractual & non-contractual basis and allowing the user to opt for a particular service type, depending upon their needs.

Of the two variants, contractual catering services have a more consumer base & hold a dominant position in the industry. This dominance is driven by the benefits of contractual services like long-term cost-effective solutions to organizations like educational institutions, oil & gas and mining sites, office buildings, & hospitals, among others.

Today, many corporate companies prefer offering food to their employees and prefer having a well-functioned cafeteria with the constant availability of food facilities, as people are present for long hours regularly. As a result, the demand for catering services is hiking with a rising number of organizations established in the country.

A Way Ahead for Catering Services in the UAE

Considering all the aspects cited above, it can be said that the catering services industry in the UAE is set to witness substantial growth in the coming years. In fact, observing the high demand for these services, the competition is expected to remain tough yet shall also generate lucrative opportunities for the player to increase their service offering, visibility, and consumer base throughout the country and contribute to the overall expansion of the catering services industry in the future.


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