Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, recorded a total of 301 successful bids for meetings, conferences and incentives in 2019. Set to attract an expected 150,095 delegates to Dubai over the coming years, the winning bids will deliver approximately 620,000 room nights for the city and, added to wins from previous years, means the total expected hotel room night pipeline stood at 1,031,060 at the start of 2020. The city’s convention bureau also witnessed steady growth of its Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors Programme, with 342 active ambassadors in 2019, up from 316 ambassadors in 2018.
DBE submitted a total of 595 bids in 2019, marking an increase of close to 7% in comparison to 2018, making it the bureau’s most active year in terms of bid submissions. This reflected an uplift in the number of events identified in partnership with local associations, businesses and other stakeholders, and the increasing confidence in the city’s ability to host them, taking advantage of Dubai’s strong infrastructure, ease of connectivity, world-class hotels and state-of-the-art venues.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Last year was a significant one for Dubai Business Events, and the successful bid wins are a testament to the city’s rapid growth as a leading business and knowledge hub. We would like to thank our partners and stakeholders for their unwavering support in driving the contribution of business events to achieving our overall tourism ambition. With Expo 2020 Dubai approaching, this is set to be a landmark year for the city, providing an unrivalled opportunity to further demonstrate the city’s ability to host successful and impactful events of all sizes. Our aim is to build on the momentum we have already gathered and continue to partner with stakeholders and business events professionals globally to pursue opportunities to bid for and secure key events for the city.’’
DBE’s notable wins in 2019 included: the Million Dollar Round Table Global Conference set to take place in 2020 with a total of 10,000 delegates in attendance, the 45th World Hospital Congress taking place in 2021 with 1,100 delegates in attendance, and the Geospatial Week being hosted in 2021 which is set to attract 1,500 delegates. Additionally, the city’s official convention bureau secured the Asian Congress of Emergency Medicine set to take place in 2025, welcoming 1,300 delegates, as well as the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property World Congress in 2025, that will bring 1,300 delegates to Dubai.
Major incentive travel programmes secured in 2019 included: the Amway Europe Annual Incentive with 3,200 delegates expected, the Sun Hope International Annual Incentive with 2,000 delegates in attendance, and the SAS EMEA Sales Kick Off, which is set to welcome 1,300 delegates, all taking place this year. DBE also won the Amway China Leadership Seminar, which saw 8,000 delegates gather in Dubai last month, and the Enersys Phoenix XL Annual Incentive that is set to welcome 1,000 delegates in 2021.
Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President of Dubai Business Events, said: “Dubai has grown from strength to strength each year to emerge as a premier destination for business events. The bid wins secured in 2019 are testament to the city’s status as a global knowledge hub and the strong events infrastructure that enables it to attract and host a diverse range of meetings, conferences and incentive travel programmes. To build on this momentum, we are looking forward to hosting a number of in-depth study missions and sales missions over the course of 2020, providing DBE and our stakeholders the opportunity to engage with meeting planners in both their home markets and here in Dubai. Our network of global offices will continue to maintain year-round contact with planners around the world and we will also showcase the city’s offerings at major trade shows including IMEX, The Meetings Show, IMEX America and IBTM World.”