The city’s official convention bureau is delivering one of its strongest year’s to-date, with 86 new international business events secured in 2016Dubai Business Events has secured 15 percent more events in the first eight months of this year than the whole of 2015, and is poised to capitalise on increasing demand from international meetings, conferences, and incentives organisers, according to internal auditing at the city’s official convention bureau.
The events secured this year will be held over the course of the next four years and combined, will bring 65,000 delegates to Dubai from around the world, as speakers, panellists, exhibitors and visitors. And with each delegate expected to add almost AED 6,000 to the economy, the impact of these events could be as much as AED344 million.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Dubai’s growing appeal as a premier destination for international business events is a testament to the vision and leadership of the government and the positive response that we have seen as we have shared the emirate’s remarkable story with a global audience.”
“Evidence of Dubai’s increasing role in hosting global events can be seen in its strong position in global rankings, which saw the city retain its number 14 position in the 2015 International Meetings Statistics report published by the Union of International Associations, our growing portfolio of business events, and the number of delegates attending them. As we continue in our quest to support the creation of vibrant knowledge-based economy, the impact delegates have on the economy and the calibre of expertise they bring to Dubai will prove invaluable,” said Kazim.
The organisation has benefitted from strong support from strategic partners, including Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Airline, the hotel sector and other government entities. In 2015, Dubai Business Events won a total of 75 pitches for international meetings and congresses and, with four months to run until year-end remains on track to exceed last year’s events haul.
In addition to creating revenue streams and opportunities for knowledge sharing, an increasing number of the events being secured mirror the strategic positioning of the knowledge clusters that are emerging across the city. With the population of the region expected to top 53 million by 2020, interest in healthcare remains strong though other sectors have also made gains.
In 2017, Dubai will host 3,400 delegates from Amway Korea through the Amway Achiever’s incentive programme, which rewards top performers within the company. At the same time, the Asia Pacific Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference will make a comeback to Dubai. Other events that were secured by Dubai Business Events to date include the Congress of the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology 2017and the 60th Amway APAC Leadership Seminar that will see 10,000 delegates convene in Dubai in 2019.
As in past years, Dubai has benefitted from the contributions made by the Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors Programme established in 2010. The programme aims to engage scientists, doctors, business professionals and organisations based in the UAE that have connections with international institutions to work with Dubai Business Events to bring meetings and conferences to Dubai.
The programme has over 300 prominent members from diverse fields and sectors, including academia, finance and healthcare. Since the beginning of the year, the programme recruited 161 new ambassadors, equivalent to 92 percent of the total number of new recruits recorded in 2015. Looking at the number of bids that were submitted through the Al Safeer Ambassador programme, the remarkable progress of this unique initiative is even more evident with 35 bids currently submitted. In 2015, the programme contributed to securing a total of 37 international conferences for Dubai. Throughout the course of 2016, Dubai Business Events has hosted additional Al Safeer Ambassador Workshops, bringing together ambassadors to discuss best practices in attracting and organising major business events.