Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings show 2014 opens its doors on Monday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and will take place until Wednesday 26th March.
This year's event will see local, regional and international suppliers and buyers meet face-to-face with over 8,000 appointments and take part in an expanded line-up of interactive seminars and panel sessions.
There are over 74 first-time participants, over 250 key targeted hosted buyers and over 2000 expected trade visitors.
The inaugural Middle East Buyers Report will be released on second day of the event which surveyed planners from across the region to gain direct insight into their purchasing habits and the decision-making process.
A sneak peek at the findings reveals that the UAE is the leading destination 66% of meeting planners reporting having held meetings there in the last two years, with Dubai the most popular location.
Outside of the region, planners also said that they had selected European destinations for their events with France, Spain, Austria, Italy and Turkey, respectively, the most popular countries. Almost 50% of respondents has also (held events in Asian countries, with Malaysia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka the top three ranked destinations.Notably, North America also made the list, favoured by 30% of surveyed planners.
“The report found that 97.5% of respondents opt for hotels in terms of venue preference, and this sends out a clear message to properties of the need to invest in state-of-the-art facilities, technology and a focus on tailoring the offering to meet the client brief in order to secure future business from this crucial market segment,” said Lois Hall, Exhibition Manager, GIBTM.