First regional Middle East Vegetarian Congress

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For vegetarians out there, or anyone interested in learning about the benefits of reducing the amount of meat they eat and increasing vegetable intake, a conference in Dubai organised by the Middle East Vegetarian Group (MeVeg) and held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre on the December 5-6 could be well worth a visit. 
Supported by the International Vegetarian Union, this is the first regional conference being held by MeVeg (a volunteer-run support group) and will see experts from various fields (nutrition, medicine, environment and holistic health) addressing visitors.

Sandhya Prakash, the founder of MeVeg and the organiser of the MeVeg Congress, says that the event aims to teach people how to make healthy food choices: "This year, again, we have a line-up of regional and international speakers who will enlighten attending delegates on topics such as 'reading food labels and identifying harmful ingredients in packaged food', 'organic foods - from farm to plate' and a range of related topics."

Visitors will be invited to participate in group discussions, sample raw, vegetarian and organic food and attend workshops led by a baker, nutritionist, fruitarian and a well being expert, among others.

Access to the event costs Dh99 per day (register online) which includes lunch as well as access to all seminars and workshops. You can also register on site for individual workshops, which cost Dh25 each.

See below for an overview of the schedule, more information can be found here

Session 1: For Healthcare Professionals: 1/2 day

1. The Healthy Vegetarian by Deepti Bhatia - a holistic health coach who has received her training in more than a hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods
2. Labeling Ingredients by Robin Tauzin -  a health advisor
3. Sports and Nutrition by Helga M Bergsteinsdottir - BA in sports and medicine
4. The Science of Organic Agriculture - Thomas Ceirpka - IFOAM Manager
Session 2: For Chefs and Cooks: 1/2 day
1. Ingredient Choice - freshometer
2. Cooking Methods - so many!
3. Healthy & Tasty - is that a dream?
4. The Vegetarian Option

Session 3: A Roundtable Discussion to address Vegetarian Needs in the UAE

Session 4: Over 2 days

There will be demos, workshops and short films screened for groups of 30-40 student delegates from colleges and schools, chefs, nutritionists, ladies on an ongoing basis.

The topics covered at the workshop and demo sessions shall range across:

1. Raw for life Naturally
2. Baking Bread
3. Going Nutty & Seedy
4. The Vegan Way
5. Protein Parlour
6. From Farm to Plate - Organic
Session 5: Felicitation Ceremony: 2 hrs

The Vegetarian Stalwarts / Supporters / Restaurants in the region will be recognised in a special felicitation ceremony.