Dubai leads regional events scene

IIA International Conference, which took place in May 2018 in Dubai

Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality management technology provider, unveiled its list of top meeting destinations in the Middle East and Africa for 2019 last month. While Dubai retains its number one position closely followed by Abu Dhabi, Beirut and Ras Al Khaimah have also made their debut on the list.

“A decade ago, Dubai wasn't what it is today. So people who were historically having their meetings, in Turkey or in Europe, they had no choice,” Bharet Malhotra, senior VP sales of hospitality Cloud, for Cvent, told TTN. “Over the last few years, Dubai has become a viable choice. So, the same meeting planners who had their meetings in Vienna last year, are now looking at Dubai. It’s a different location, a different experience, a different culture, great air lift, great infrastructure, and perfect pricing.”

Cvent opened its Dubai office last year, alongside branches in Singapore, Australia and Frankfurt. “Dubai is doing really well – our data shows that the emirate is rapidly taking over the RFPs that were going to the traditionally more mature markets in its neighbourhood.”

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has recorded exceptional results during the first half of 2019, securing 118 successful bid wins for events to be hosted in Dubai over the coming years.

These events won in H1 2019, including conferences, meetings and incentives, are set to attract 75,288 delegates from around the globe to Dubai over the coming years, representing growth of 17 per cent on the delegate impact of bid wins from the same period in 2018.

Among the events are - the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2020, which is expected to attract 8,000 delegates, Sun Hope International Incentive 2020, with 1,500 delegates, World Hospital Congress 2021, with 1,100 delegates, Geospatial Week 2021, with 750 delegates, and AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress 2025, with 3,000 delegates.

Later this year, Dubai is gearing up to host the second edition of the Dubai Associations Conference this December and prepping for Amway APAC Expo 2019, which will attract approximately 10,000 delegates, the World Congress of Neurology, with 5,000 delegates, and the World Conference on Desalination and Water Re-use, with over 1,000 delegates.

Plans are underway for the Dubai Exhibition Centre, which will be co-located at the Expo 2020 Dubai site and become a major new events venue. The 45,000 square metre facility will be a unique platform for planners, allowing them to host events during the Expo, giving delegates access to a global stage for the six-month duration of the world’s largest meeting of minds, while also being a venue option beyond Expo as part of its legacy.