(Relaxnews) – Hong Kong sends off the 2011 food year with a bang, hosting the country’s largest food show, the 9th annual Hong Kong Food Festival. Expected to attract a whopping 780,000 visitors, the expo is open to the foodie public. Here’s a look at other major food events around the world.

Kuwait Food Show
December 22 – January 1, 2012

The Hong Kong Food Festival kicks off December 24. ©The Hong Kong Tourism Board

A trade show for the region that assembles food consultants, retailers, nutritionists, airline, bakery, confectionery and manufacturing players in Kuwait’s first and largest exhbition center, a 7,000 square meter hall. The fair will showcase the finest chefs and cuisine of the area as well as launch new products and technologies in food.

9th annual Hong Kong Food Festival
December 24-27
Hong Kong

Billed as Hong Kong’s largest food festival, the show has attracted 780,000 visitors over the years and is largely a consumer-oriented expo. New this year will be dedicated zones for World Tea, Wine and Coffee and an International Food Zone. A special focus on Japanese foods will also be featured this year.

37th annual Winter Fancy Food Show

January 15-17
Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA, USA

The 37th annual edition of the Winter Fancy Food Show is poised to be the largest of its kind on the West Coast. This year, more than 17,000 buyers are expected to converge in San Francisco looking for the latest specialty and premium products like chocolates, cheeses, olive oils, spices, ethnic foods and natural and organic products. More than 35 countries will be represented and 80,000 products on display. American cheese makers and craft brewers will be featured in nearby pavilions from the American Cheese Society and the Brewers Association. International offerings include new twists on tea from India, quinoa from Peru, and meats from Poland. Italy returns with the largest international pavilion.

Food Hospitality World
January 19-21
Mumbai, India

Food Hospitality World is billed as the one of largest trade events in India in the food, drink and hospitality market. The show is the result of a merger between Italy’s biggest fair operator, Fiera Milano Group, and national media conglomerate The Indian Express Limited Group. More than 2,000 visitors are expected at the show, which will showcase 80 exhibitors in food, hospitality, manufacturing, equipment and cookware. Special events include Wine World, The Great Indian Culinary Challenge and a Hospitality Knowledge Forum. 

5th annual Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2012
January 22-24
Glasgow, Scotland

As the oldest and largest trade event in specialty foods for Scotland and northern England, the fair attracts 1,000 buyers from delicatessens, farm shops, specialty food retailers and food halls, and specializes in food gifts and premium products. Gift food includes bakery, cheese, cured meats, chutneys, preserves, oil and vinegars, herbs and spices, confectionery, tea, coffee and spirits.

6th annual International Gourmet Festival
January 12- 22
Lisbon, Alentejo and the Algarve – Vila Joya, Portugal

A food festival for the true gourmand, the festival gathers the cream of the culinary crop to various venues across Portugal, inviting more than 20 Michelin-starred chefs to present a tasting menu for guests. This year’s invitees include April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig in New York, Michelin-starred French chef Laurent Gras, Italy’s Massimo Bottura, and local Portuguese chefs like Vicente Farge of Fortaleza do Guincho. As with most Michelin-starred restaurants, however, a seat at the dining table doesn’t come cheap, starting at €350 to €600. Each meal includes a pre-dinner cocktail, dinner menu, wine pairings and coffee.

42nd Annual International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM) 2012: The Future of Sweets, Germany

January 29 – February 1
Cologne Exhibition Center
Cologne, Germany

ISM is the largest global sweets and biscuits fair. This year’s event will feature Belgium as the partner country and is expected to draw 1,400 suppliers from around the world. Like last year, master chocolatiers will be on hand to demonstrate the art of making pralines, while students from the Cologne International School of Design will showcase how confectionery can be turned into gift ideas. Journalists will also select the top three new products at the fair, and highlight emerging trends in the world of sweets and confectionery. The 2011 event attracted 1,500 exhibitors and 32,450 visitors.

3rd annual Abu Dhabi Gourmet Stars Awards
February 8-23
Abu Dhabi

Presented by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, this ritzy trade and food show is an aggressive attempt to establish the region as a culinary destination and spares no expense. Though in its infancy, the show has attracted a few culinary superstars already. Last year, chef Sang-Hoon Degeimbre, owner of the two Michelin-starred Brussels restaurant L’Air du Temps in Brussels. The dining scene of Abu Dhabi has changed dramatically over the years, and today, fine dining Italian restaurants are second only to Middle Eastern cuisine. As the Middle East’s cultural hub, it’s also a culinary cosmopolitan metropolis, with Asian flavors from authentic Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean chefs.