Dubai has consolidated its reputation as one of the world’s leading MICE destinations, having played host to the world’s most prestigious meetings industry event earlier this month.
Staged from 11-14 November, the 57th ICCA Congress attracted more than 1,150 senior meetings industry professionals and association meeting planners from over 75 countries worldwide. These attendance figures marked a new record for the event outside its home market, Europe.
Congress delegates were treated to a dynamic conference programme, site visits to Dubai’s leading attractions, and a social events schedule showcasing the best of Emirati culture.
In his keynote address welcoming delegates to the congress, HE Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said: “Business events are a crucial part of not only our tourism strategy, but our wider economic development. Whether through the year-round calendar of home-grown trade shows – or major congresses like the ICCA Congress that we successfully bid for – we understand and use the power of meetings and conferences to facilitate the rapid transition to a knowledge economy, and to grow scientific advancement and key industry sectors in Dubai and the UAE.
“Dubai is at the centre of a very large footprint across the region; we cater to a 4-hour flight path to over four billion people, and within eight hours, you can reach over half the world. We are very lucky on how we are situated today. Additionally, when we look at our hotel capacity and our ability to host events such as the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, we are confident in our pipeline. We are expected to have over 160,000 rooms by that time. Events and bidding for events have become a way of life for us.”
According to Dubai World Trade Centre Authority data, MICE events staged in Dubai last year attracted 2.6 million participants, while events staged at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) attracted 1.1 million foreign business travellers.