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World-class MICE facilities fuel Dubai’s tourism growth

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, September 29 - 2004 @ 09:02

Dubai’s hotels have posted increased occupancy rates as the ‘exhibitions season’ is in full swing.

Dubai hosts an average of 85 major international exhibitions every year. In the next few months, the emirate is geared to host large events such GITEX, the largest IT exhibition in the region and the Big 5 for the construction industry. Apart from these major exhibitions, Dubai’s hotels and the DCCI (Dubai Chamber of Commerce) will also play host to several seminars, conferences and meetings.

Commenting on the effect of Dubai’s MICE sector on tourism, the Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Khalid A. bin Sulayem said, “DTCM’s efforts to develop Dubai into a year-round MICE destination has paid off. We have aggressively promoted Dubai’s conference facilities not just in the regional market, but also in international circles. Helped by its strategic location and proximity to the Indian Sub-continent, Iran and CIS countries, Dubai’s exhibitions industry has grown by leaps and bounds and now plays a major role in attracting business and leisure tourists from key markets.”
“Over the past decade, Dubai has made huge investments in its infrastructure and facilities to position itself as a world-class conference venue. With a well-equipped airport, numerous conference facilities and high-tech security measures, combined with year-round sunshine and a pro-business climate, Dubai has secured its position as the preferred international MICE destination. In terms of exhibitions alone, the state-of-the-art Dubai International Exhibitions Centre (DIEC) plays host to over 60 exhibitions annually. The 56,000 square metres Dubai Airport Exhibitions Centre also plays host to important exhibitions such as the biennial Dubai Air Show and Computer Shopper, the retail arm of GITEX Dubai,” he added.

According to market figures, the exhibitions industry generates nearly US$ 1.5 billion of Dubai’s total GDP. This figure represents the direct expenditure of trade visitors and exhibitors attending exhibitions and conferences in Dubai. Hundreds of thousands of visitors and exhibitors fuel demand for hotel accommodations, restaurant services, transportation and other related services.

“The booming exhibition sector is a major factor in achieving the ambitious growth levels set for the emirate’s tourism industry, bringing thousands of visitors per year. The aggressive marketing drive by the DTCM and its Dubai Convention Bureau has also resulted in Dubai hosting several prestigious events including the 58th annual IMF/World Bank Conference in 2003.

As part of it marketing strategy, DTCM participates in several international exhibitions, including the recently held IMEX-2004 in Frankfurt to showcase Dubai’s MICE facilities. The Department also maintains a dedicated website to promote Dubai’s conference facilities.

Dubai was recently voted World’s best conference venue in the Business Travel World Awards. Some of the major events held in Dubai include Dubai Air show, Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), Dubai Air show, INDEX, the Motor Show and GITEX. The emirate was also recently selected to host 12 high-profile international conventions and three regional gatherings this year, which are expected to attract between 15,000 and 20,000 high-spending visitors.

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Wednesday, September 29- 2004 @ 9:02 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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