It has a reputation as being a city constantly on the move and it’s perhaps no surprise that Dubai’s business events sector is currently heading to the heavens – much like the buildings which dominate its ever higher skyline.
According to new figures released by Dubai Business Events (DBE), the Middle Eastern ‘Alpha+’ rated global city secured a total of 212 bids throughout 2017, representing its most successful year to date.
As a result of secured bids and proposals in 2017, Dubai is set to welcome an additional 95,000 delegates, delivering an economic impact of approximately AED 715 million (£140m).
Dubai submitted a total of 354 bids throughout 2017, and among the wins were those for bids submitted before 2017. At the end of the year, 104 bid submissions were still awaiting decision. The bids and proposals secured in 2017 mark an increase of 64% over 2016 when a total of 129 bids were won, further cementing the Emirate’s leading position as a global business events destination. This success also comes as DBE celebrates its 15th anniversary as Dubai’s official convention bureau. Since its establishment in 2003, DBE has been pivotal in shaping the city’s world-class business events offering.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The exponential increase in bids won in 2017 is a direct reflection of Dubai’s rapid growth as a leading business hub. 2017’s success in attracting international business events builds on the steady growth the city has experienced, establishing Dubai as a destination of choice for business events from around the globe. These successes have been made possible due to the close collaboration with our stakeholders and partners, who play a crucial role in realising Dubai’s strategic objectives. International and regional business events not only contribute to the growth in overall visitor numbers to Dubai, they also play an important role in the development of our knowledge economy.”
Key bid wins from 2017 include the Baby Care Annual Incentive, with an expected attendance of 1,500 delegates, as well as the Amway Russia Annual Incentive, which will bring 2,700 employees to Dubai; both business events are set to take place in 2018. Other notable wins in 2017 include:
- The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Geospatial Week, which will attract around 1,500 delegates from global markets, and is set to take place in this city in 2019,
- The 71st edition of the International Astronautical Congress with an expected attendance of 5,000 delegates in 2020,
The Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, which will see 1,500 attendees gather in Dubai in 2022. Dubai is currently preparing to host key industry events in 2018, including: the Institute of Internal Auditors Congress, and the World Cardiology Congress. This year, Dubai is also host city for the 57th edition of the ICCA Congress, a leading conference industry event, taking place from 11-14 November. It will see meeting industry professionals from all over the world gather in Dubai to discuss key challenges and opportunities within the business events industry.
Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events, said: “Propelled by our successes to date, we are looking forward to hosting a number of significant events in the city over the next few years. The strength of Dubai as a business events destination and knowledge hub is proven year-on-year, and our performance in 2017 has raised the bar. Our strategy is aligned with Dubai Tourism’s Vision 2020 to attract 20 million visitors to the emirate, per year, by the year 2020 and our goal is to build on this momentum to transport the city’s reputation to new heights.”
The US-based Forever Living Incentive Trip, which welcomed 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries worldwide, was the largest incentive programme to take place in Dubai in 2017. To further contribute to the vision and its sustainability for years to come, DBE, in collaboration with its Dubai Association Centre partners, launched the first-ever Dubai Association Conference in 2017. The two-day conference, hosted in December, offered a unique platform for the growth and development of associations in Dubai and the region.
DBE also focused on in-bound study missions in 2017 that were designed to showcase the destination’s dynamic offering and world-class business event capabilities. The convention bureau hosted 9 international study-missions, bringing in more than 300 hosted buyers and over 20 international trade media from key markets across Europe, Asia and North America. The itineraries featured immersive experiences that showcases the depth and breadth of hotels and event venues in the city. Attendees also experienced Dubai’s ever-growing leisure offering with visits to popular attractions such as Dubai Opera and La Perle. In addition to the international study missions, DBE hosted a total of 31 site inspections for 68 clients and buyers in 2017.
Featured image: Tom Oliver; Creative Commons