by M&C Asia | March 05, 2018

Dubai Business Events (DBE) celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, having rounded off its most successful year to date last year, which saw a marked 64% increase in event wins compared to 2016. 

Throughout last year, DBE secured a total of 212 bids and proposals, among which were wins for from bids submitted before 2017. A total of 354 bids were submitted last year, and by year-end, 104 bid submissions were still awaiting decision. 

The increased number of events will see an additional 95,000 delegates and is expected to bring in AED 715 million (US$194 million) to the city.

Issam Kazim, chief executive officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: "The exponential increase in bids won in 2017 is a direct reflection of Dubai's rapid growth as a leading business hub.

From last year, the city secured key bid wins such as the Baby Care Annual Incentive, with an expected attendance of 1,500 delegates, as well as the Amway Russia Annual Incentive, which will bring 2,700 employees to Dubai; both business events are set to take place in 2018.

Other notable wins include The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Geospatial Week, which will attract around 1,500 delegates from global markets, and is set to take place in this city in 2019. 

In 2020, the 71st edition of the International Astronautical Congress will bring in an expected attendance of 5,000 delegates. The Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, which will see 1,500 attendees gather in Dubai in 2022.

"International and regional business events not only contribute to the growth in overall visitor numbers to Dubai, they also play an important role in the development of our knowledge economy," added Kazim.

This year, Dubai is currently preparing to host key industry events, including the Institute of Internal Auditors Congress and the World Cardiology Congress. 

The city is also host city for the 57th edition of the ICCA Congress, a leading conference industry event, taking place from November 11-14. 

"Our strategy is aligned with Dubai Tourism's Vision 2020 to attract 20 million visitors to the emirate, per year, by the year 2020 and our goal is to build on this momentum," said Steen Jakobsen, director of Dubai Business Events.

  Last year, the city welcomed 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries worldwide on the US-based Forever Living Incentive Trip, making it the largest incentive programme to take place in Dubai in 2017. 

Efforts to grow the associations sector for Dubai and the region saw the launch of the first Dubai Association Conference in 2017. The two-day conference in December was a collaboration between DBE and its Dubai Association Centre partners.

  The bureau hosted nine international study-missions last year, which brought in more than 300 hosted buyers and over 20 international trade media from key markets across Europe, Asia and North America. In addition to the international study missions, DBE hosted a total of 31 site inspections for 68 clients and buyers.