dubai cityviewDubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, announced 2016 as the most successful year to date. Dubai won a record 129 bids and proposals for upcoming conferences, meetings and incentive trips in partnership with local stakeholders. It represents a 79% increase from 2015.

The number of future business events secured by Dubai Business Events increased by 79% in 2016, compared to 2015, consolidating Dubai’s position as a leading destination for business events. The economic impact of these events is estimated at close to AED400 million and will bring in an estimated 75,000 additional visitors to Dubai over the course of the next 6 years.

Notable wins included Congress of the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology Annual Congress 2017, World Congress of Cardiology 2018 and World Down Syndrome Congress 2020. One main driver of last year’s success was the Al Safeer Ambassador Programme, through which over 350 prominent local scientists, healthcare professionals, business people and government officials assist Dubai Business Events in bringing international meetings and conferences to Dubai by leveraging their global connections and influence.

In 2016, Dubai Business Events’ Congress Ambassadors assisted in securing bids for 25 meetings and conferences, with an expected attendance of over 30,000 delegates between now and 2021.

Meanwhile, in addition to winning a record number of bids overall in 2016, Dubai also hosted several major events for the first time. In February, the Global Women’s Forum welcomed over 2,000 participants and 200 speakers who discussed the growing influence women have across the world and how to encourage greater contribution and diversity across the business world. Additionally, in March the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), an industry leading peer network of chief executives and business leaders, hosted its landmark event, YPO Edge, in Dubai. In September, the Society of Petroleum Engineers held its Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dubai, representing the first time the event has been held in the Middle East in its 92-year history. The event was attended by over 7,500 oil and gas professionals representing 91 countries and numerous industry leaders.

Looking ahead to 2017, Dubai is already preparing to host a number of major business events, including Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology Congress, International Primary Immunodeficiencies Congress as well as several incentives from major international companies.