MICE events give Dubai's economy Dhs12bn boost

Events held at DWTC generated Dhs12 billion in value retained within Dubai's economy during 2015
MICE events at DWTC in 2015 contributed 3.1 per cent of Dubai's GDP.
MICE events at DWTC in 2015 contributed 3.1 per cent of Dubai's GDP.

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The latest Economic Impact Assessment report released by Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), has revealed that large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences hosted at the venue during 2015 contributed Dhs12 billion in retained value towards Dubai’s economy, equivalent to 3.1 per cent of the emirate’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

The 2015 annual report also focused on the cross-sectoral impact of such MICE events (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) on driving incremental value across tourism, travel, hospitality and entertainment industries, collectively supporting over 80,400 jobs as an immediate effect of hosting these events at DWTC.

DWTC led the region’s MICE sector activity in 2015, hosting 104 “large-scale” events (events with over 2,000 attendees) that attracted a total of 2.6 million attendees through the year, of which 1.19 million were from overseas resulting in nearly 46% international participation at these events.

HE Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, DWTC Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: "DWTC is committed to Dubai’s economic diversification strategy firmly aligned to the Dubai Plan 2021, and is working towards contributing business visitors to the tourism target of 20 million visitors by 2020."

He continued: "The value being created by attracting and hosting business events in Dubai is unmistakably impactful for our domestic economy. As evidenced by the high growth across all key MICE Sector metrics from the number of mega-events, to the overseas participation and the larger spend per attendee that we are able to drive across related sectors within Dubai, DWTC has delivered a very strong CAGR on contribution to GDP over the past 3-4 years. With our ongoing capacity investments, we expect to continue to keep the momentum going on driving both, optimal scale and quality of content across our show calendar to ultimately allow business tourism to become an even greater economic engine for Dubai."

The 2015 study estimated that DWTC events generated Dhs 20.9 billion in total sales from event participation related spends, not including any commercial deals closed at, or resulting from the events, or the value of business partnerships established during the events.

Dhs14.9 billion of this value was directly driven by event participants with the MICE and adjacent sectors relating to travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment. In fact, for every dirham spent within the MICE Sector, nearly 2-5 dirhams were consumed across related sectors, reflecting the high interdependence and value co-creation opportunity at an aggregate level.

During 2015, it was observed that international attendees to business events at DWTC stayed on average six days and spent nearly Dhs8,268 during their visit, which is nine times the average spend of UAE-based attendees.

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