Business tourism continues to contribute to Dubai’s economy - GulfToday

Business tourism continues to contribute to Dubai’s economy


DWTC’s large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences attracted over 2.5 million attendees in 2018.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

Dubai’s economy continues to experience sustained growth from the contribution of business tourism, thereby driving the nation’s economic diversification agenda prioritised in the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy. As such, the Dubai World Trade Centre’s (DWTC) portfolio of businesses and the activities enabled by events hosted, organised and delivered at the venue, generate high returns for ancillary industries across the MICE ecosystem, while continuing to serve as an economic catalyst for the country. The company’s latest Economic Impact Assessment report for 2018 saw a record Dhs13.1 billion, equivalent to 3.3 per cent of the emirate’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), added in incremental retained economic value by DWTC. The study estimated the total corresponding gross output of these activities at Dhs23 billion, resulting in a high 57 per cent locally retained impact – marking a 3 per cent increase over 2017.

Analysing the factors underlying DWTC’s growing contribution to the city’s GDP acceleration agenda, the report highlighted the success of the venue’s 97 large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences hosted through 2018, that attracted over 2.5 million event attendees, with over one million international visitors, reflecting the sustained return on investment (ROI) being delivered consistently for global participants. Insights further illustrated how the organisation has successfully aligned its portfolio strategy, medium and long-term investment, calendar diversification, content enrichment and visitor experience delivery programmes to effectively support the ambitious goals set out in the UAE’s Vision 2021.

“2018 was a particularly noteworthy year that marked four decades of our accelerated journey towards accomplishing the aspirational mandate laid out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the emirate the global hub for regional business networking. Our investments and strategic efforts over this period are aimed at furthering DWTC’s role as a pioneering MICE platform, optimally positioned to connect developed economies with high-growth emerging markets across continents. Consequently, thanks to the incredible and consistent support we have received from our leadership, we have been able to sustainably unlock and elevate the MICE sector’s contribution to both, the UAE’s economic diversification agenda, and Dubai’s GDP in line with the Dubai Plan 2021. Looking ahead at 2020 and beyond, DWTC seeks to build on this strong business portfolio, as we pursue the vision to incrementally aid the development of a knowledge economy and self-sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Almarri continued: “Large-scale events held in the city are critical drivers of GDP acceleration and have contributed positively to the economy year-on year. Our role, as a leading global platform for business events across the EMEASA region, has us ably support Dubai and the UAE in the diversification and sustainable growth agenda. This 2018 Economic Impact Assessment white paper sheds light on DWTC’s approach and proven ability to unlock ecosystem-wide economic value, creating even more critical wider socio-economic impact, ultimately spurring business expansion investment and leadership for Dubai as the world’s #1 hub for international business.”

The study, designed to provide data-backed intelligence on the impact of Dubai’s MICE sector to the city’s economy, analyses the performance of large-scale events, which are defined as those that host over 2,000 participants, and their contribution to the city’s economy, its growth and development. Four key metrics have been assessed: total spend at MICE events; other ‘direct’ spends in related sectors such as – hotels and restaurants, retail and recreation, air and ground transport, government, business services etc. – in addition to ‘indirect’ spends related to necessary production increases to meet increased demand; and the ‘induced’ value that results from higher employment and earnings.

The study attributed the record Dhs 13.1 billion in retained economic value for Dubai’s largely import-based economy to the performance of DWTC’s large-scale events, estimating that for every Dh1 (unit dirham) spent at these events, a further 4.4 times in sales value was generated for ancillary sectors and Dubai’s wider economy. Overall, Dubai’s MICE sector enabled Dhs16.3 billion of direct economic output in 2018 – marking a 2 per cent increase over 2017, driven by the surge in demand for goods and services. The nation’s leadership has consistently reiterated the significance of a burgeoning MICE sector, indicating that its success largely supports wider industries. Apart from direct revenue generated, the industry enables repeat visitation, industry progression through knowledge sharing, and inward investment into the economy.

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