Business Travel International Dubai
Dubai has a deep-rooted history at the global crossroads of trade. For centuries, the young, provincial port served as a strategic maritime hub on the iconic Silk Road – a series of cultural and economic trade routes between networking civilisations, stretching from Europe in the west to China in the east.
Although the Silk Road is more metaphorical than physical these days, Dubai’s significance on the global stage has been underlined by futuristic air and land infrastructure, developed to complement the nautical roots of the city’s trading heritage.
DWTC has built a reputation for being much more than just an events venue – it is now a destination in its own right
With close to 60 million passengers passing through its airports in 2012, Dubai is internationally recognised as a decisive player in connecting the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than for the business traveller. The emirate expects to almost double the number of business visitors entering its borders by the end of the decade; four million a year are anticipated by 2020. At the heart of this push is Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the MENASA region’s largest Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) venue operator and event organiser. In 2012 alone, DWTC’s calendar of events generated in excess of AED8bn (.22bn) for the year – a 25 percent increase on the AED6.5bn (.78bn) contributed in 2011.
As a regional event hub for global commerce and entertainment, Dubai’s business and consumer events sector is a key pillar of economic growth forecasts. In terms of economic impact, Dubai continues to rank among the global leading MICE destinations with DWTC fuelling 2.2 percent of the emirate’s GDP contribution in 2012 and more than 45, 000 jobs being supported directly and indirectly by the sector.
In terms of growing visitor attendance, international participation and spend per attendee, DWTC is working to sustainably enhance the strategic relevance of MICE, and its GDP value. Of the venue’s record 1.85 million visitors reported in 2012, 1.5 million attended large-scale MICE events and 38 percent of these were international travellers. This inbound contingent had a citywide spend 11 times greater than domestic participants.
Beyond the figures
Yet the figures, successful as they are, only tell part of the story. As one of the region’s longest-serving MICE venues, DWTC draws on more than 30 years of experience and a rich pool of expertise that many other regional players have yet to accrue.