Dubai Business Events at IMEX 2023

Dubai’s Business Event Bid Wins Surge by 44% in First Half of 2023

Dubai’s position as a global hub for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) has reached new heights with a remarkable year-on-year growth of 44% in business event bid wins during the first half of 2023.

This impressive surge in the number of global events being hosted in the city contributes significantly to its economic growth, aligning with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33.

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the official convention bureau of the city and part of the Department of Economy and Tourism, collaborated with various partners and stakeholders to secure 143 conferences, congresses, meetings, and incentives for the upcoming years. These events are projected to attract over 94,000 additional visitors to Dubai, including renowned global experts and leaders in their respective fields.

The substantial increase in event wins not only reflects the thriving momentum of growth within Dubai’s business events sector but also extends to the city’s broader economy. Among the events secured, 24 association conferences, congresses, and meetings are set to drive Dubai’s knowledge economy forward. The city’s success in securing 84 incentives can be attributed to the renewed growth from China and the continued momentum from India.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, attributed these achievements to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Al Khaja emphasized the city’s commitment to capturing business events that bring value to Dubai and the strong outcomes resulting from this focus. Dubai’s compelling proposition, characterized by world-class business events infrastructure, expertise across key sectors, and a growing knowledge economy, resonates effectively with meeting professionals and decision-makers worldwide.

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Al Khaja acknowledged the culture of collaboration that enabled DBE to win these bids, emphasizing the bureau’s partnerships with industry stakeholders, as well as key public and private sector entities throughout the city. This collaborative approach facilitated the identification, bidding, and capture of major business events. Al Khaja commended the commitment of DBE’s partners to engage in bidding activities, recognizing the significant impact that hosting business events can have on bringing major associations and organizations to Dubai, thereby placing the city at the forefront of global developments in various fields of expertise.

Earlier this year, the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 set ambitious targets to enhance trade, develop key sectors, and foster innovation and sustainability across the economy. Business events play a pivotal role in cementing Dubai’s status as one of the world’s top three cities. Moreover, they contribute to incremental growth in visitation and align with the agenda’s objectives of boosting innovation, establishing Dubai as a global higher education hub, and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

Al Khaja highlighted the instrumental role that Dubai’s business events sector will play in achieving the D33 targets over the next decade. He anticipates that the sector will drive economic growth, generating increased focus and expertise in the city, while creating new opportunities for business and knowledge development. As Dubai’s key sectors and industries advance, the business events sector is poised to benefit, with more international associations and organizations expected to seize the opportunity to be part of Dubai’s growth story.

The successful bids in the first half of 2023 secured several notable association events to be held in Dubai in the coming years. These include the IATA AGM 2024, World Library and Information Congress 2024, Critical Communication World 2024, Million Dollar Round Table Global Conference 2024, and International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting 2026. Key corporate meetings and incentives coming to Dubai include the Cardano Summit 2023, Perfect China Incentive 2023, WCAworld Annual Conference 2024, Brand Experience World 2024, and Nu Skin Global Team Elite Incentive 2024.

DBE’s collaborative efforts have been vital in securing these prestigious events. By working closely with a network of business events stakeholders, such as hotels, airlines, venues, professional congress organizers, and destination management companies, DBE created a compelling proposition for event organizers. DBE’s commitment to collaboration is exemplified by the Al Safeer Congress Ambassador Programme, a unique initiative that leverages the expertise and leadership of professionals and industry leaders to identify, bid for, and secure major international business events.

In the first half of the year, DBE’s year-round engagement programs, both locally and globally, significantly enhanced Dubai’s appeal among meeting planners, association executives, and industry decision-makers. The DBE team conducted sales missions in Europe, North America, and China, leveraging their offices in major source markets. Furthermore, DBE organized inbound study missions, inviting meeting planners from around the world to experience firsthand Dubai’s impressive capabilities.

With the continued success of Dubai’s business events sector and the ambitious targets set by the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, Dubai is poised to solidify its position as a global leader in the MICE industry. As the city attracts more international associations, organizations, and experts, it will further establish itself as a center of knowledge development and economic growth, ushering in a prosperous future for Dubai and its diverse sectors.

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