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Dubai World Trade Centre events drive record AED13.1bn in economic value

Events at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) generated total economic value of AED23bn (US$6.26bn) last year, with AED13.1bn retained within Dubai’s GDP.

The new figures come from the company’s latest Economic Impact Assessment report for 2018, which also says that for every dirham spent by attendees at DWTC MICE sector services, over 4.4 times as much is spent on ancillary sectors in the wider Dubai economy.

International business visitors make the biggest contribution, contributing 79% of total direct spend - approximately seven times that of domestic participants.

DWTC claims its activities support 88,000 jobs, generating an aggregate of AED4.2 bn in disposable household income for residents.

Analysing the factors underlying DWTC’s growing contribution to the city’s GDP acceleration agenda, the report highlighted the success of the venue’s 97 large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences hosted through 2018, that attracted over 2.5m event attendees, with over one million international visitors.

“2018 was a particularly noteworthy year that marked four decades of our accelerated journey towards accomplishing the aspirational mandate laid out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the emirate the global hub for regional business networking. Our investments and strategic efforts over this period are aimed at furthering DWTC’s role as a pioneering MICE platform,” said His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DWTC Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

His Excellency Almarri continued: “Large-scale events held in the city are critical drivers of GDP acceleration and have contributed positively to the economy year-on year. Our role, as a leading global platform for business events across the EMEASA region, has us ably support Dubai and the UAE in the diversification and sustainable growth agenda. This 2018 Economic Impact Assessment White Paper sheds light on DWTC’s approach and proven ability to unlock ecosystem-wide economic value, creating even more critical wider socio-economic impact, ultimately spurring business expansion investment and leadership for Dubai as the world’s #1 hub for international business.”

The study analyses the performance of large-scale events, which are defined as those that host over 2,000 participants, and their contribution to the city’s economy. Four key metrics have been assessed: total spend at MICE events; other ‘direct’ spends in related sectors such as – hotels and restaurants, retail and recreation, air and ground transport, government, business services etc. – in addition to ‘indirect’ spends related to necessary production increases to meet increased demand; and the ‘induced’ value that results from higher employment and earnings.

Europe accounted for the highest number of international business event visitors (25%), followed by the GCC (21%), and the MENA region (17%). The top 10 source markets are: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India, Oman, China, Egypt, Turkey, the UK, Germany, Italy and Kuwait.

Five key industry sectors dominated in 2018 – Food, Hotel and Catering; Healthcare, Medical and Science; Information Technology (IT), Business and Finance; Energy and Environment; and Industrial Manufacturing – accounting for 66% (AED 8.6 billion) of the Gross Value Added (GVA) to Dubai’s economy.

The report estimates that these five sectors attracted 62% (1.6m) of all attendees to DWTC’s 97 large-scale events in 2018, with 66% of all international participants similarly being drawn from the same sectors.

Food, Hotel and Catering remained the top performing sector with 46% international participation and AED 2.7 billion in GVA representing a 41% growth over 2017; followed by the Healthcare, Medical and Science sector.

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