TTME NOV 2017_PG 19

UAE events to draw $44bn tourism value

Virtual reality concerts and matches, augmented reality apps, and immersive audio-visual will catalyse $44 billion in UAE tourism receipts by 2020, and transform the live entertainment and mega-event experience for millions of people across the Middle East and Africa.

TT BUREAU 

With the UAE enhancing its role as a global tourism and entertainment hub, it is set to welcome 25 million visitors for Expo 2020 Dubai, and draw $44 billion in international tourism receipts by 2020, or 51 per cent growth from 2016, according to BMI Research. Thanks to mega projects such as the UAE’s Bluewaters Island, Expo 2020 Dubai and the Warner Brothers theme park.
“The Middle East and North Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing live event markets. The UAE has the potential to leapfrog established European and North American markets in using the latest audio-visual innovations to transform the visitor experience,” said Dan Bolton, President of the International Live Events Association Middle East.
As a result, the Middle East’s professional audio-visual market is one of the world’s fastest growing at 15 per cent CAGR, reaching $2.8 billion in 2016, with the UAE as the region’s largest at $1.2 billion in 2016, according to a report by InfoComm International, organisers of InfoComm Middle East and Africa, the region’s largest professional audio-visual event.
InfoComm MEA 2017 will be held under the theme of “See the Future of Networked Communications,” showcasing the latest audio-visual solutions and knowledge across audio, digital signage and immersive technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. Thanks to the Middle East and North Africa’s ICT infrastructure, along with the region being the world’s second-fastest market in smartphone adoption, according to industry group GSMA. The virtual and augmented reality can transform the live event experience, a key driver for tourism as it will be an experience worth travelling for unlike any other region. The InfoComm MEA Summit expects to host more than 500 delegates to network with the world’s top audio-visual experts, exchange knowledge and share rising trends, technology updates and best practices of the industry. Three programme tracks will include the InfoComm University Seminar, Technology Forums and Industry Forums. The 7th InfoComm MEA will run from December 5-7, 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. For more information and to register for free, visit www.infocomm-mea.com.
“InfoComm MEA saw strong success on our first standalone edition in 2016, with 45 per cent visitor growth. Thanks to our expanded partnerships, conference program tracks and enhanced exhibitor and visitor experiences, Middle East and Africa entertainment leaders will be able to sign deals and exchange knowledge to support the region’s audio-visual growth,” said David Lim, Project Director of InfoComm Asia Pvt Ltd, the event’s co-organisers.
“With MENA’s strong investment and innovative mindset, Expo 2020 Dubai and Morocco’s potential hosting of the 2026 World Cup present strong opportunities to showcase how virtual and augmented reality can deliver immersive mega-event experiences. Fans can be in the front row at a match or concert, and receive geo-location offers in venues,” said Shujat Mirza, Chapter President Dubai at the global association Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Association.

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