Dubai ends record year with 62 per cent rise in delegates

Dubai Business Events (DBE) won a total of 261 successful bids for meetings, conferences and incentives in 2018, which are set to attract an additional 153,640 delegates to Dubai over the coming years. The number of event bids won represents a 24 per cent increase and will deliver an estimated economic impact of approximately AED 1.2 billion to the city. 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 and further cementing the Emirate as an attractive global business destination.

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. The year 2018 also marked DBE’s 15th anniversary and the results are a testament to the efforts of stakeholders and partners across the city working in tandem with DBE.

Issam Kazim, ceo of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “We look forward to hosting a number of significant events in the city over the next few years. Our strategy will continue to align with Dubai Tourism’s Vision and in 2019 our goal is to build on this momentum and 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 identify and pursue opportunities to bid for major business events.”

Key wins from bids made in 2018 include the World Congress of Gastroenterology scheduled in 2021 with a total of 6,000 delegates, the Mary Kay China Incentive set to take place in 2019 with 800 delegates and the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, set to take place in 2020, which will bring 1,000 delegates to Dubai. Other notable wins in 2018 include the World Chambers Congress, which will be held in Dubai in 2021 with 1,500 delegates, and the Congress of the Societe International D’Urologie that will attract 2,000 delegates to Dubai in 2021.

Steen Jakobsen, assistant vice president, Dubai Business Events, said: “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.  Business events hosted in the city play an important role in the development of our knowledge economy and are a crucial part of our wider tourism strategy and contribution to Dubai’s GDP growth.”