Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2025 calls for the emirate to become the most visited city in the world. The target is to attract over 23m visitors a year by 2025. 

Part of that figure will be made up of business visitors and exhibitors and, of course, Dubai’s hosting Expo2020 will surely play a major role.

The Dubai Business Events (DBE) agency is reporting a strong start to 2019, securing bid wins in Q1 including: EMCO Congress 2020, Geospatial Week 2021, and AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress 2025.

One stakeholder sharing the big 2025 Vision is Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the largest exhibition space in the region.

DWTC reported a year-on-year footfall increase at its shows and 54,717 exhibiting companies from 162 countries, of which 41,147 were foreign exhibitors (5% up on 2017).

Congresses booked at DWTC between 2019 and 2022 are set to deliver an estimated AED700m (US$190m) economic boost to Dubai. The list includes two space-themed congresses in October and November 2019 hosted by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

New events introduced to DWTC in 2019 include: the Ai Everything Summit and Prime, which aims to connect private label suppliers, brand licensors and contract manufacturers with the F&B and retail industry in the MENA region.

In addition to some major events DWTC organises itself – including GITEX and Gulfood – DWTC is working with major organisers including Informa (Arab Health, Cityscape Global), Reed Exhibitions (Arabian Travel Market), and dmg events (The Big 5, The Hotel Show).

The venue’s events calendar for 2019 includes seven major exhibitions and The Arabian Travel Market which attracts 39,000 delegates.

Mega-show GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars, the region’s premier technology and start-up events, last year welcomed over 150,000 participants (4% growth year-on-year), out of which approximately 40% were foreign visitors.

Showcasing the UAE’s progress to a sustainable future, the 20th WETEX and 3rd Dubai Solar Show, a regional showcase of the latest developments in conventional energy and renewables, reported 2,100 exhibitors and 35,088 visitors, a 10% increase over 2017.

Middle East Electricity Exhibition attracted 62,567 visitors, of which nearly half were from international markets.

DEC: gearing up the global event hub for Expo 2020 

Expo 2020 has released a sneak-peak inside the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), a modern structure that is set to become leading host venue when the global event opens its doors in October 2020.

With 45,000sqm of flexible space spread across two campuses, the DEC will include a theatre, auditorium, and onsite-catering facilities.

The DEC forms a key part of Expo 2020’s legacy, where it will continue to serve District 2020, the integrated urban development that will repurpose more than 80% of Expo’s built environment.

Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The impact of such a unique space will stretch well beyond the six months of the Expo, boosting the region’s events industry… and fuelling growth in Dubai’s knowledge-based economy for many years to come.”

The DEC will be in close proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. With 25m visits expected between 20 October, 2020 and 10 April, 2021.

Expo 2020 also has an ambitious volunteer programme, which aims to include more than 30,000 volunteers. The Expo site covers a total of 4.38 sqkm.


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