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DWTC events drive AED12.7bn in economic value for Dubai

June 16, 2018 Visit Middle East / Dubai No Comments Email Email

Dubai World Trade Centre, DWTC, events accounted for a record AED12.7 billion in retained value towards Dubai’s economy, equivalent to 3.3 percent of the emirate’s GDP in 2017, according to the latest Economic Impact Assessment report released by DWTC.

The study estimates the total economic output of DWTC’s large-scale events at AED22.5 billion, an increase of eight percent since 2015, of which nearly 57 percent is retained within the local economy.

Reaffirming the importance of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, MICE, sector to Dubai, the 2017 report highlighted unprecedented sales within the sector from event participation related spends generated by large-scale events, driving 4.3 times its value in overall non-trade business activity across Dubai’s economy. In other words, every AED1,000 spent at a DWTC event generated AED4,300 in value for the Dubai economy in 2017.

The multi-sector impact of events driving incremental value across tourism, hospitality, aviation and entertainment, is estimated to have supported a total of 84,226 jobs as an immediate consequence of DWTC – hosted and managed – events, generating disposable household income of AED4.1 billion. Of the figure, MICE and adjacent sectors contributed the direct impact at 71 percent of the number of jobs created, while 29 percent of the number of jobs were the result of indirect and induced employment impact across the wider domestic economy.

Out of the AED22.5 billion total value generated by large-scale events, AED16 billion was directly driven by event participants’ spend within the MICE and adjacent sectors relating to travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment, supported by a 24 percent increase in MICE business services spend – from AED 4.2 billion in 2015 to AED 5.3 billion in 2017. The growth in total value generated was further catalysed by a 13 percent increase in the number of international exhibiting companies.

“DWTC’s priorities are firmly aligned with UAE Vision 2021, the nation’s economic diversification strategy and the 2017 Economic Impact Assessment is testament to DWTC’s success as a MICE entity that enhances the value of business tourism to Dubai and makes invaluable contributions to its GDP,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

He went on to say that the value for Dubai’s economy through hosting business events is “undeniable” and “our strategy focuses on attracting maximum overseas participation, which is critical to ensuring the success and sustainability of events in the MICE sector. The strong growth not just in the gross revenues but also in the economic value added are a testament to the ability of the industry to minimise leakage and retain the contribution within our economy for continued growth.”

“Through our continued focus on increasing international business visitation to our events, we are committed to supporting the tourism target of 20 million visitors to Dubai by 2020. Furthermore, the synergistic benefit of MICE-linked spend across related sectors in the business tourism value chain has a powerful multiplier effect, allowing the sector to fuel Dubai’s economic engine,” Almarri added.

The report observed that international attendees spend nine times more on average per event than locally-based attendees, as 42 percent of the 2.6 million visitors to large-scale events in 2017 were overseas visitors and responsible for generating 75 percent of the overall direct spend. International attendees have a higher daily spend primarily driven by their accommodation, retail, entertainment and F&B spend.

In 2017, 1.1 million international attendees to business events at DWTC stayed on average five days and spent an average AED1,341 per day during their visit, which is nearly 4.5 times the average daily spend of UAE-based attendees. Delegates from Europe accounted for the highest number of international visitors at 24 percent, followed by the GCC with 22 percent and the MENA region with 18 percent.

All the top 10 source markets, which include Saudi Arabia, India, Oman, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Iran, Egypt China, Germany and Turkey, reported an increase in the average stay per event. China, which debuted as a top 10 source market in 2017, accounted for a growing number of delegates travelling to Dubai with a companion, highlighting the popularity of Dubai as a leading business and tourist destination.

“The consistent growth in international visitors attending DWTC events and their engagement in the city’s offerings beyond business, reiterates Dubai’s reputation as a leading and preferred choice for business and leisure. We continue to engage with overseas markets with the view to enhancing our portfolio and customer experience in order to increase new and repeat business travellers to Dubai, customising our offerings to be most conveniently accessible to them, with a view to facilitate greater choice, better relevance, and most importantly deliver highest levels of satisfaction with their Dubai experience. Ultimately we want every business visitor to DWTC to be a strong advocate for Dubai and revisit, not just for business but also for leisure – further amplifying our contribution to the local economy,” Almarri said.

The report also highlights that six key event sectors – Healthcare, Medical and Science; Food, Hotel and Catering; Automotive and Transport; Building Construction and Facility Management; Information Technology; and Energy and Environment – collectively contributed 68 percent of the total GVA to the economy (AED8.6 billion) or the economic output retained within the local economy. These high-performing sectors were also responsible for attracting 65 percent of total international attendees.

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