Dubai World Trade Centre in 2015 had an impressive 12% year-on-year increase in traffic to deliver 2.74 million delegates and attendees. The centre coupled with a strong 17% increase in exhibiting companies, reinforcing the entity’s regional dominance within the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector and its dynamic influence on Dubai’s wider business tourism agenda.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Board of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, announced the 2015 annual performance results of Dubai World Trade Centre.
In his address to the board, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, said, “Our 2015 results are not just a show of outstanding performance but more importantly, reflect the maturity of the DWTC portfolio in being able to deliver double digit growth with such consistency across its various business lines. Backed by a prudent long term expansion strategy with strategic diversification of the event calendar, the DWTC business has steadily grown in number of events, venue occupancy rates, visitation quality and volumes, and in building Dubai’s international attractiveness for exhibiting corporates and trade delegates.”
Over the past year, the newly established DWTC Authority has served as a strong regulatory complement to the DWTC business networking proposition, with a focus on broader ecosystem enablement, developing unique commercial real estate value and creating a holistic destination value proposition.
Sheikh Hamdan added, “DWTC is widely recognised as the most conducive international platform for businesses from the East and West to access and service emerging markets in Africa and the wider region. I congratulate the Board, the management and the employees for committing to the long-term agenda of the organisation as a core economic contributor for Dubai’s GDP and for their collective drive to continuous innovation that has enabled DWTC to stay ahead of the curve in the evolving global economic landscape.”
Last year saw 396 trade events being hosted at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) venue including 104 mega-events, delivering a total of 2.74 million MICE delegates and attendees with 53,547 exhibitors from 185 countries to Dubai. With nearly 41% international participation across its portfolio of events, DWTC contributed an incremental 1,066,865 global visitors to Dubai’s business tourism figures. The primary international source markets for visitors included: Saudi Arabia, India, United Kingdom, Pakistan, China, Qatar, Oman, Iran, Jordan and Egypt. These accelerating numbers are a further testament of its key positioning, both on a global scale and within a diversified and sustainable local economy that supports future growth, employment and prosperity.
“Over the next 3 years, our priorities are aligned to the economic diversification focus of the UAE and Dubai, so that DWTC sustainably drives long-term returns for the MICE industry and consequently builds its contribution to our GDP,” said His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
27 new shows including 8 exhibitions and 19 associations and conferences, featured as new entrants within the 2015 calendar, with many of them showcasing the latest trending topics like the Digital Health & Medical Technology Conference, and Internet of Things.
Eighty of the top tier exhibitions reaching a threshold scale of 25,000 attendees in average traffic per event during 2015, and all of DWTC’s anchor mega-events uniformly experienced year-on-year growth in volumes across visitors and exhibitors, reflecting very strong confidence in growth prospects for their respective global sectors, from healthcare, security and food, to travel, technology, and construction. Notable mentions include Arab Health that saw a 5% uplift over 2014 with more than 140,000 delegates; Gulfood that attracted a record 84,642 visitors from 170 countries and 4,800 exhibitors from 156 countries; the Arabian Travel Market that witnessed a 22% spike in exhibitors and an unprecedented 34% increase in visitor numbers; Gitex Technology Week that brought together over 146,000 industry professionals and more than 4,200 suppliers from 144 countries; and the Big 5 that delivered 3,104 exhibiting companies from 67 countries.
“DWTC’s growth will focus on expanding global commercial opportunities supporting the UAE’s strategic imperatives for further economic diversification across core sectors such as ICT, healthcare, food, bio-technology, travel and tourism, retail, and logistics. At the core of all these growth drivers are three fundamental needs - the need for unprecedented agility, the need for sustained creativity to stay ahead of the curve, and the need for a real-time 24x7 pulse on the market with the operational ability to respond dynamically,” said Almarri.
“We have been privileged to have had the lasting confidence and support from the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, Ruler of Dubai, and DWTC will strive to remain at the forefront of innovation, continuing to stimulating growth across all key pillars for Dubai’s 2021 Plan, setting a benchmark for governmental and public-private partnerships,” he concluded.