In line with Dubai Economic Agenda D33's objective of solidifying the emirate's position as one of the top three global cities for business and travel, business tourism accelerated its role in fostering economic growth during 2022.
Continuing to drive Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector growth in Dubai in a post-pandemic new market, the largest operator across the wider region, Dubai World Trade Centre’s (DWTC) event calendar remained an economic catalyst for the nation - generating sustainably high returns for adjacent industries connected to the MICE ecosystem.
The latest 2022 Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) Annual Report estimates DWTC’s total economic output across 63 large-scale events at AED13 billion, of which a substantive AED7.4 billion was retained within the local economy. These business events hosted, organised and delivered at the venue, welcomed nearly 1.2 million attendees with 40% being international – an impressive 49% YOY increase in foreign participation, emphasising Dubai’s leadership as a global mega-event hub.
The study further observed that direct investments in an event at DWTC generated 7.4x in impact across the wider economy, meaning that every AED1 million spent at these MICE events, drove circa AED7.4 million of economic output for Dubai across other interlinked sectors.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DWTC Authority, said,
“Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the recently launched Dubai Economic Agenda D33, DWTC remains committed to furthering its contribution to the targets of doubling GDP over the next decade, particularly in consolidating its position as a top three global city.”
“The MICE sector has long been an integral pillar of the city’s economy, as the business ecosystem stimulator for the wider region, reflecting the emirate's commitment to GDP diversification. The latest 2022 EIA Annual Report from DWTC underscores business tourism as a key driver of economic growth and sustainable development.
Dubai continues to attract businesses and talent worldwide, with DWTC providing an effective connectivity platform to collaborate, accelerate innovation, and showcase next generation products and services to far-reaching markets. This sustained impact of in-person events clearly indicates the MICE industry’s role in supporting economic growth and achieving investment returns for all stakeholders.”
Adjacent Sectors across Dubai’s economy that benefited directly from MICE performance, driving socio-economic value
Approximately AED7.6 billion is estimated to have been generated in direct revenue through spend across adjacent sectors spanning business entertainment, accommodation, restaurants, retail trade, transport, and government services.
Events at DWTC during 2022 are estimated to have supported over 48,000 jobs representing a 110% YOY increase, yielding an increase in disposable household income of AED2.4 billion. Beyond the empowering financial implications of these statistics, a key outcome is the growing knowledge and skills economy within the city, even as the content and participation at these events represent a material shift towards a more digitalised and borderless tomorrow.
Increase in international participants directly drove ancillary sector growth in the GDP
Dubai’s evolution as a leading MICE destination and DWTC’s leadership in this sector, further endorsed by the successful Dubai Expo 2020, has cemented the sustainability of its value as a global hub for the international business community. Beyond the 49% YOY growth in international attendees at DWTC’s large-scale events - where they accounted for 40% of total event visitation in 2022 - this is particularly relevant in its implications for Dubai’s GDP, as the per-event spend per overseas traveller at AED9,921, was 6 times more than that of a domestic attendee.
The direct implications of the higher spending on adjacent sectors, like travel, hospitality, retail, food and entertainment, are further enhanced by the extended lengths of stay for leisure activities and travel companions. Collectively, the DWTC MICE performance in 2022 emphasises the significant economic acceleration provided by the MICE sector not just in reviving the sector supply chain, but also in boosting activity across travel-related sectors.
Large-scale events dominated 2022
The number of large-scale events (2,000 or more attendees) grew by 26% YOY, with the total direct economic output across all MICE business services and adjacent sectors more than doubling at 108% YOY to reach AED9.4 billion. This reinforces DWTC’s leadership on the global stage as a benchmark MICE hub and a consistent catalyst for incremental revenues benefiting other vital sectors across the GDP.
“Dubai remains committed to further enhancing its attractiveness to the global MICE Industry through continued investment in infrastructure, innovation, and human capital. With a clear focus on sustainability and accessibility, Dubai is poised to lead the way in shaping the future of business tourism and driving economic growth for years to come,”
Sector diversity at display in top performing events
DWTC’s robust portfolio and content-rich calendar featured innovative large-scale exhibitions, conventions and conferences spanning key priority verticals for Dubai’s economic agenda that are in turn synchronised with sectors that are fundamental to environmental sustainability and future-economy priorities.
The Healthcare, Medical, and Scientific sector, Information Technology (IT) sector, and Food, Hotel, and Catering sector emerged as the top 3 sectors, with a total of 14 events dominating the DWTC calendar, collectively accounting for 57% (AED4.3 billion) of the gross value added (GVA) to Dubai’s economy. Consequently, these sectors attracted 46% (535,000) of total large-scale event attendees. With over 180,000 attendees to IT events in 2022, their combined GVA of AED1.35 billion was only bettered by Healthcare events that welcomed nearly 200,000 attendees, delivering a record-breaking GVA of AED1.64 billion.
“2022 has been a particularly milestone year for global MICE, and Dubai’s ability to continue to sustain its pace of growth in this sector, that has been through a transformative period showcasing revival post-pandemic, is a testament to our ability to render sustained value to business participants. As we enter the second half of 2023, the goal is to build on DWTC’s track record of securing high-profile global events, further leveraging the MICE platform to unlock access to cutting-edge knowledge sectors and skilled talent pools across borders, to become the global hub for future business,"
News Source: Emirates News Agency