According to Dubai Business Events (DBE), Dubai secured a total of 261 successful bids for meetings, conferences and incentives in 2018. This is set to attract an additional 153,640 delegates to the city over the coming years and further cements the emirate as an attractive global business destination.
The number of event bids won represents a 24 per cent increase from 2017 and will deliver an estimated economic impact of approximately AED 1.2 billion to Dubai. This success also marks a 62 per cent increase from the previous year in the number of delegates set to visit Dubai due to event bids won, signifying a shift towards larger-scale events. Throughout 2018, Dubai submitted 557 business event bids, up from 354 in 2017, and among the wins awarded were those for bids submitted in previous years. 2018 also marked DBE’s 15-year anniversary, and the results are testament to the efforts of stakeholders and partners across the city who worked with the bureau towards the shared aim of growing and developing the city’s business events sector.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said, “Our goal in 2019 is to attract events that leave a lasting legacy for delegates and the city. To achieve this, we will continue to engage with business events professionals globally, while working with stakeholders and partners in Dubai to pursue opportunities to bid for major business events.”
Key bid wins from 2018 include the World Congress of Gastroenterology set to take place in 2021 with a total of 6,000 delegates in attendance, the Mary Kay China Incentive in 2019 with 800 delegates in attendance, as well as the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in 2020, which will bring 1,000 delegates to Dubai. Other notable wins in 2018 include the World Chambers Congress in Dubai in 2021 with 1,500 delegates set to attend and the Congress of the Societe International D’Urologie that will bring in 2,000 delegates to Dubai in 2021.
Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President, DBE, said, “One of Dubai’s strengths when it comes creating compelling bids for major events is team work and collaborative approach by stakeholders across the city. The monumental growth in the number of delegates set to attend business events in Dubai as a result of 2018 bid wins is testimony to the emirate’s increasing appeal as a global business hub.”
In 2018, Dubai hosted the 57th edition of the ICCA Congress, that saw 1,156 meeting industry professionals from 79 countries gather in the Middle East.