- Özgür Töre
Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, part of the Department of Economy and Tourism, said it won 232 bids for business events in 2022, almost twice as many as the previous year.
Set to be held over the coming years, the events will bring in an additional 135,000 visitors including scientists, thought-leaders and business executives to Dubai, enhancing the value generated by the business events and tourism ecosystem. DBE collaborated with a range of stakeholders for the successful event bids including Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors and the public and private sector entities they represent, industry partners including Dubai World Trade Centre and Emirates, and hotels and professional congress organisers (PCOs) across the city.
Beyond their direct impact, the events, which include flagship conferences and congresses organised by international associations, as well as prestigious corporate meetings held by multinationals, will contribute to Dubai’s growth as a knowledge economy hub. Dubai won bids for a record 57 association conferences in 2022, the highest achieved by DBE. The successful bids are a testament to the organisation’s efforts to raise Dubai’s profile among international associations across a wide range of sectors.
The strong performance in 2022 represented a 95% growth in the number of successful bids from 2021 and a 92% increase in the number of delegates added to the pipeline – all further accelerating the momentum of Dubai’s growth.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, said: “The remarkable growth in successful event bids contributes to the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to make the city one of the top three global destinations for tourism and business. Inspired by the Dubai leadership’s economic vision, our goal has not only been to grow the business events sector and drive further visitation to the city, but also to ensure it can feed into the development of key sectors and professions. Dubai’s success in capturing business events in 2022, especially international association conferences, will play a vital role in further propelling innovation, professional development and knowledge exchange in their respective sectors and industries, and elevate Dubai’s standing within them. As we work to further advance the objectives of the D33 agenda for the next decade, the collaborative approach taken with public and private sector entities across the city will be more important than ever before.”
“We are grateful to our stakeholders, who have shown a firm commitment to collaborating with us to drive forward Dubai’s business events sector and ensure the city it remains an unrivalled host city. Combined with Dubai’s own homegrown trade shows and conferences, as well as other meetings being brought to the city, the business events sector continues to form an important pillar of Dubai’s destination offering and tourism growth.”
The major association events captured in 2022 included the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine WorldLab Congress 2024, International Congress of Endocrinology 2024, World Sports Medicine Congress 2024, World Congress of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologies 2026, and International Symposium on Dental Hygiene 2028
Meanwhile, the corporate meetings and incentive travel programmes that Dubai won bids for include IBM India and Europe Incentives 2023, Terpel Convention 2023, Envista EMEA Summit 2023 and Mary Kay Mexico Incentive 2024.
In addition to the bidding activity, DBE kept Dubai top of mind among meeting planners and association executives through an intense, year-round calendar of almost 200 global sales activities, including study missions, roadshows and participation in major trade shows. Overall, this resulted in Dubai’s business events proposition becoming more familiar to meeting planners in 33 markets globally through face-to-face interactions – all further boosted by marketing and PR activities.
Steen Jakobsen, Associate Vice President, Dubai Business Events said: “Engaging with meeting planners globally throughout 2022, we consistently heard that they were impressed with the way in which Dubai’s business events sector rapidly rebounded in the wake of the pandemic and appreciative of the platform the city provided them to safely resume their events. This has built on many years of efforts to consistently develop Dubai’s offerings, across not only the business events sector but also the knowledge economy – and drive awareness of it among meeting planners and association executives. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with our stakeholders in 2023 and leveraging our international partnerships to further elevate Dubai as a destination of choice.”
To build on its 2022 successes, DBE is once again embarking on year-round activities in Dubai to further raise the profile of the city’s strengths and capabilities as a business events destination. These include sales missions to key target markets and participation in major trade shows including IBTM World and IMEX. DBE will also join forces with industry stakeholders to host meeting planners in Dubai for a series of study missions that will allow them to see first-hand Dubai’s business events and tourism infrastructure and its rapidly-growing knowledge economy.