Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) hosted 3.03 million event delegates during 2016, registering an 11% year-on-year footfall increase and attracting attendance from 185 countries with 51,711 exhibiting companies, of which nearly 70% were foreign exhibitors.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, said continued growth in international participation reaffirms the strength of its diversified calendar of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), and is an endorsement of the company’s global reputation and contribution to Dubai’s positioning as a pivotal business hub.
“Since inception, DWTC has consistently built international repute as a strategic driver of growth for the region’s MICE sector and 2016 has continued this trajectory, delivering strong double digit performance across the business. Our strategic agenda to build a highly-diversified events calendar for Dubai has been instrumental in allowing DWTC to retain undisputed regional leadership in the global MICE industry,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Through 2016, DWTC’s Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) venue hosted 298 MICE and business events, including more than 100 mega-events.
The venue welcomed more than 1.05 million foreign business travellers last year, dominated by European source markets, as well as Saudi Arabia, India, Oman, Iran, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan.
“DWTC is recognised as a world-class entity in the global exhibitions industry with the ability to sustainably deliver an international platform for businesses from the East and West to connect, access and service emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions. The foundations it has built, and the continued momentum of its delivery will allow DWTC to become an even more dynamic facilitator of international trade within a diversified local economy that supports sustainable growth, employment and prosperity,” added Sheikh Ahmed.
DWTC added 26 new event including 7 exhibitions, 6 associations and 13 conferences, of which 11 were categorised as mega-events, with more than 2,000 participants.
Noteworthy events in 2016 included:
Gulfood, the world’s largest annual gathering of food business professionals and suppliers, registered a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in visitors and a 4 per cent increase in the number of exhibitors with a record number of 93,005 attendees and 5,000 exhibitors from 181 countries.
The Big 5, the region’s largest building and construction show, witnessed an incredible 22% growth and attracted 79,500 visitors.
Gitex Technology Week, a game-changing technology and innovation event, brought together over 145,000 industry professionals and 4,473 exhibitors from 173 countries – an increase of 7% over 2015.
Intersec, the leading international platform for the security and safety industries, experienced a 14% increase of trade-only visitors with more than 1,280 exhibitors presenting their latest products and innovations – an increase of 4% from 2015
Arab Health welcomed 4,187 exhibitors (3% increase) and 115,207 medical and healthcare professionals, an 8% increase over 2015.
Newer shows such as Gulfood Manufacturing – only in its second edition – witnessed an impressive 12% increase in the number of visitors and a 4% rise in the number of exhibitors
Gitex Shopper remained immensely popular attracting around 200,000 people.
Middle East Electricity had a strong content concentration on the most pertinent future-focused global aspects of energy security and sustainable power, which resulted in a remarkable 23% increase in the number of visitors to the show.