Trade centre facelift to boost tourism in Dubai


Major expansion plans chalked out by Dubai World Trade Centre are expected to boost convention tourism in Dubai.

According to the expansion plans, the DWTC will add another exhibition hall, No 8, with 4,000 square metres of space, a convention centre of 7,500 square metres, a four-star hotel with 420 rooms, a lodging hotel with 205 rooms, a six-storey car park and a 14-storey office tower, a report said.

The convention centre will have additional 450 parking space in the basement.

The centre already has seven halls with 37,000 square metres of exhibition space, an auditorium, tower, hotel and apartments.

Government officials said these new facilities will boost the meetings, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) tourism.

"The MICE sector is vital to the development of Dubai's tourism industry because it attracts high-yield visitors," said Department of Tourism and Marketing director general Khalid bin Sulayem.

"Dubai is about to make a mark as a world class MICE destination by staging the World Bank/IMF conference in 2003, which will underscore the importance of the industry to the region."

Ibrahim Belselah, general coordinator of Dubai 2003, the World Bank/IMF convention, said, "The convention centre and other related facilities will add new dimensions to the economy of Dubai. The facility, once built, will allow us to host more such high-profile events and summits."

The eighth hall will be completed in September before the Index and Gitex exhibitions.

This year's Gitex will have an additional attraction with the commencement of the Science, Technology, Arts Royal Summit (Stars 2001), to be held from October 14 to 16. It will add to the existing traffic flow during the Gitex.

The new Dh350 million ($95 million) convention centre is to be built at the car park opposite halls No 5 and 6. It will be linked to Hall No 8, which is also being constructed at a car park opposite Hall No 7.

The convention centre aims primarily to host the Dubai 2003 - World Bank and IMF summit of governors - to be held in September 2003. It will eventually be used for high-profile summits and royal events.

The centre's 7,500 square metre space will be able to accommodate 6,000 people.

Together with Hall No 8, the convention centre has 11,500 square metres of space.