- Özgür Töre
Dubai has consolidated its position as a leading destination for international business events in the first half of 2022, securing the rights to host 99 major conferences, congresses, incentive travel programmes and other meetings over the forthcoming years.
These wins underscore Dubai’s compelling business proposition, including its strong track record in hosting large-scale international events and as a platform for networking and knowledge-sharing.
Over the first six months of 2022, Dubai Business Events (DBE), Dubai’s official convention bureau, collaborated with stakeholders across the emirate and the wider UAE to register 99 successful bid wins. These events are set to attract more than 77,000 delegates and yield over 330,000 hotel room nights over the coming years. In line with the strategic priority placed on securing business events, these bid wins are set to boost Dubai’s events, hospitality and related tourism sectors in addition to advancing the wider economy by bringing expertise and knowledge from around the world.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, said: “Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the city of the future and the world’s best place to live, work and invest in, business events will continue to be a priority, building on the Expo 2020 Dubai legacy and Dubai’s status as a destination where the world can come together.”
DBE submitted 200 bids and proposals for international business events in H1 2022, with several bids yet to be determined. Dubai’s successful event wins in 2022 so far include the International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (2023), IFOS ENT World Congress (2023), Congress of the Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association (2024) and International Congress of Endocrinology (2024).
In addition, key corporate events and incentive travel programmes to be hosted in Dubai include Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries’ Annual Convention and Incentive (2022) and IBM Best in Tech (2023).
“The success of our bidding activity in the first half of 2022 demonstrates the strong proposition Dubai offers to associations, corporates and other organisations around the world. Our bids build on the track record the city has established in providing a respected and attractive platform for the sharing of knowledge, professional development and networking. With several international associations bringing their flagship events to Dubai, the city will be at the heart of global conversations and development around key sectors and areas of innovation,” Al Khaja added.
Bidding activity through the first six months was driven by the collaborative approach taken by DBE in working with partners across the public and private sector, including government departments, local associations and societies, universities and other institutions, as well as business events stakeholders, including venues, hotels, destination management companies and professional congress organisers. The success of Expo 2020 Dubai provided a platform to showcase the city to decision-makers, conclusively demonstrating Dubai’s ability to effectively host events of all sizes and meet the demands of an international audience.
DBE hosted several delegations during the Expo and throughout the H1 while also interacting with executives from global planners and associations. In addition, DBE undertook roadshows and networked through its presence at industry events and trade shows, such as IMEX Frankfurt.
Steen Jakobsen, Associate Vice President, Dubai Business Events, said: “The city’s success in attracting major events is driven by the collaborative approach taken by stakeholders across the sector and the wider economy. Building on the city’s strong rebound in the wake of the global pandemic, and the lead it took in resuming tourism and events, we continue to see a strong response from meeting planners and decision-makers in bringing international business events to Dubai.”
“During the rest of 2022, we will highlight the power of in-person business events and Dubai’s strong value proposition to associations executives, corporate meeting planners and other decision-makers. And we continue to welcome opportunities to work with stakeholders to identify and bid for events that align with our strategic objectives.”
DBE will build on the successful performance recorded in H1 2022 with an intense engagement period, meeting planners and association executives during the rest of the year. Sales missions across key cities in Europe, Latin America and Israel will see DBE and its stakeholders meet planners in their markets and explain Dubai’s compelling propositions. Meanwhile, inbound study missions from Japan and Korea, South East Asia, and North America will allow planners to see the destination and its capabilities first-hand. DBE will also lead strong delegations of industry partners to major trade shows – including IMEX America (Las Vegas) and IBTM World (Barcelona).
DBE continues to leverage key international partnerships and industry collaborations globally to elevate the city’s position as a global business events hub, including through its membership and activities with the BestCities Global Alliance, the International Congress and Convention Association, the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers and the Global Association Hubs Partnership. As a founding partner of the Dubai Association Centre, DBE is also engaging with associations’ executives and thought leaders through participation at the American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting & Exposition.