Dubai continues to be popular destination for trade shows and exhibitions

Posted: 21-Apr-17 10:00

The Dubai World Trade Centre reported record growth over the course of 2016, with 3.03 million delegates and attendees last year, which was an 11 per cent increase over 2015. The venue continues to host a wide array of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) events, making it a substantial contributor to the overall economic impact of Dubai.

Dubai continues to be popular destination for trade shows and exhibitions

In recent years, Dubai has established itself as a major destination for tourists, but more recently, the city has become a frequent location for trade shows and exhibitions. The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is largely responsible for the city’s increased popularity among international trade visitors, with a diversified calendar of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE). DWTS reported an 11 percent year-on-year increase in 2016, with attendance from 185 countries.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, deputy chairman of the board of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, stated that the venue reached a significant milestone by hosting 3.03 million delegates and attendees last year. Al Maktoum believes those numbers underscore Dubai’s popularity with trade delegates from around the world.

Al Maktoum highlighted the importance of the MICE sector to Dubai’s economy and stated that:

“Today, we continue to leverage our unique geographic positioning and the strength of the entire portfolio of DWTC businesses to collectively raise Dubai’s profile as a critical node on the new global silk road, by building the profile of the DWTC events programme, increasing the variety and number of events, improving the venue occupancy and accelerating regional and international visitations.”

Over the course of 2016, DWTC hosted almost three hundred MICE and business events. More than 100 of those were mega-events. These events contributed to a double digit increase in the number of attendees over 2015. International participants grew four per cent each across the number of visitors and the number of exhibiting companies, meaning that DWTC’s venue welcomed over 1 million foreign business travellers to the city last year. Foreign visitors made up 45 per cent of its overall mega-event participant volumes.

The past year also saw 35,526 foreign exhibiting companies from 185 countries participate in DWTC events. With increases such as 2016’s, MICE continues to make large contributions to Dubai’s business tourism volumes as well as the city’s economic impact. The primary source for visitors continued to be dominated by the proximity markets and Europe—Saudi Arabia, India, Oman, Iran, the UK, Pakistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, and Jordan. 

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