As the city gathers momentum with the resumption of conferences, meetings and exhibitions, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has formed a new Business Events Stakeholders Committee, reinforcing its commitment to engaging with the industry and re-establishing its place at the heart of Dubai’s economic growth and development as a knowledge hub.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, chaired the committee’s inaugural meeting on 14 September at Dubai World Trade Centre, updating members on the latest progress in reactivating the sector in the aftermath of the global Covid-19 pandemic and facilitating discussions around opportunities and challenges.
Comprising key industry stakeholders, the committee, which will meet regularly throughout the year, provides a platform for two-way dialogue around the continuous strategic and operational development of Dubai’s competitive position as a host city for international business events. Among the participants in the inaugural session were senior officials from airlines, venues, hotels, destination management companies (DMCs) and professional congress organisers (PCOs). Organisations represented included Emirates, Dubai World Trade Centre, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Alpha Destination Management, MCI Middle East and Expo 2020 Dubai.
Enabled by clear guidelines from Dubai Tourism and an aligned approach taken by stakeholders across the public and private sectors, the industry is looking to rapidly and safely rescale, with local business events resuming on 15 September and international business events set to return from 1 October. Upcoming events in the city include The Airport Show (26-28 October), Annual Radiology Meeting (1-3 November) and Cityscape’s 2020 Real Estate Summit (16-17 November).
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, said: “Guided by the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the follow up of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, Dubai has steadily reopened key economic sectors, building on the support that was provided throughout the pandemic and the measures put in place to minimise its impact. In line with this, we have been working closely with industry stakeholders to ensure a framework is in place to resume business events that can be best-in-class while at the same time prioritising the health and safety of all participants.
“The formation of this committee underlines the collaborative approach we have sought to take across all our activities and in relation to all the tourism sub-sectors, and reinforces our commitment to supporting our stakeholders and ensuring Dubai leads the global post-pandemic recovery. Business events play a critical role in driving economic development and knowledge growth in Dubai and, with the city’s status as the Middle East’s undisputed hub for conferences, exhibitions and meetings, the resumption of activity here will have an impact on the wider region.”
Underpinning the resumption of business events this month are guidelines for organisers and venues that prioritise the health and safety of all parties involved, while at the same time facilitating the meetings, conversations, networking and learning opportunities that attendees seek. These complement the measures already in place across other touchpoints across the city, including airports, hotels, attractions and dining establishments that have already paved the way for the resumption of tourism since 7 July.
Linda Lewis, Vice President of Global Sales Middle East and Asia Pacific at Jumeirah Group, said: “It is an honour to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Business Events Stakeholders Committee. Jumeirah Group welcomes the formation of such an entity, as it reinforces the immense support that Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing provides to our industry through a diverse calendar of business events. Collaborative efforts of this scale and nature will undoubtedly support the ongoing recovery of the hospitality industry, as a platform to meet new industry players, reconnect with peers, and share insights and best practices to ensure we move forward as strongly as possible.”
Ajay Bhojwani, Managing Director, MCI Middle East, said: “As the economy continues to open, allowing the MICE and live events sector to resume activities and start holding events again, it is imperative that it is done in the best possible manner with compete health and safety regulations in place and followed by every single stakeholder in the industry. Hence, this initiative of having one voice and bringing all stakeholders together by Dubai Business Events is timely and perfect to ensure all key players are aligned and working together to build confidence that events can be run in a smooth manner with the best possible experience still being delivered. The tourism and MICE sector is an integral contributor to the economy of Dubai and to ensure this continues to grow and move forward, an aligned vision and working collectively will be a major ingredient for success as we all strive to re-build the sector.”
Samir Hamadeh, General Manager, Alpha Destination Management, said: “I’d like to thank Dubai Business Events for this initiative and for gathering these industry professionals who can work collectively as a team to promote Dubai as a safe destination that is ready to welcome meetings and business events. Conducting this face-to-face event is in itself a message to the world that Dubai is on track for recovery. We all have to start somewhere, and I believe the discussions held today and the initiatives we will all implement, can help speed up the recovery and can help us be the first winners.