UAE set to dominate region’s MICE market

An artist’s impression of the new and extended DWTX

EVEN as Abu Dhabi emerges on the region’s MICE map, Dubai looks set to continue its market domination, says a new survey.

According to a report from international industry body UFI, more than half of the region’s available conference and exhibition space is located in the UAE and more than one third in Dubai.
Dubai’s market share will rise to 47 per cent when it opens its major facility, Dubai Exhibition World, for a full calendar of events in 2010, according to the report.
“A core part of our growth strategy is to aim to deliver the highest possible standard of service in every area of our operations. That way, partners can be sure of a world-class event, whether at our venues or off-site,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). “As the market leader in the region, we believe that we offer a unique blend of experience, services and advanced facilities for the global industry.”
The centre is host to such major events as The Big 5, the Index exhibition, Gulfood and the Arabian Travel Market.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi is emerging as the next MICE destination, according to results thrown up by the first Gulf Meetings and Incentive Industry Research. The UAE capital will be the region’s second top meetings industry performer over the coming 12 months – having soared into the top five destinations for the first time.
”If you look at the way the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has promoted itself over the last 12 months and created increased awareness of Abu Dhabi these results will come as no surprise,” said Paul Kennedy MBE, Group Exhibition director, Meetings and Incentive Events, Reed Travel Exhibitions, which organizes GIBTM, which ran for the first time last month at the new Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Added Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general, ADTA, “This is excellent news for Abu Dhabi which is making huge progress on the international meetings scene with ADNEC next year looking to host 50 events. Abu Dhabi has a long-term vision for the meetings industry and we are confident we can create products which will differentiate us on the international stage and attract repeat and sustainable business. We believe the meetings and business tourism segment will, by 2015, account for at least half of our projected target of three million visitors a year by 2015.”
by Clark Kelly