DWTC posts steady growth

DUBAI — Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), region’s leading venue operator and events organiser, maintained a steady growth in first half despite a downturn in global financial markets.

The DWTC recorded 13 per cent rise in event attendance during the first half as it hosted nearly 22,000 companies from over 85 countries as part of the 59 exhibitions and conferences held in January-June period. The increase in attendance is a buoyant indicator of renewed global confidence in Dubai as the international destination for regional trade, the DWTC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The sustained pace of growth of our events and exhibitions business portfolio is evidence of the ‘real’ value that international businesses and regional buyers derive from participating at tradeshows in Dubai. Our venues have continued to attract the ideal profile and scale of top-tier visitors from the Middle East, North Africa, CIS and the Indian Sub-Continent, driving tangible returns on investment for exhibiting companies — consequently enabling our organisers to grow their shows into truly global sector leaders,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, DWTC.

January through June 2010 saw DWTC attract an overwhelming 639,170 visitors to events at its venues, making it well positioned to exceed last year’s annual 1.2 million turnout by year-end despite continuing pressure in global markets. As part of its strategic mandate to support sectors vital to Dubai’s economy, DWTC’s calendar of events in the first half of the year delivered large scale and niche events within healthcare, food, trade manufacturing, tourism, education, leisure and maritime among others.

“DWTC’s promising half-year performance is a robust indicator of the growing confidence that world-renowned organisers and leading international associations have in Dubai’s proposition as the platform for trade with the region,” Almarri said.

Growth has been consistent across several key sectors as exhibitions across diverse industry profiles have demonstrated strong performance compared to the same period last year, the statement said.

In healthcare alone, DWTC has hosted a total of 12 major shows in 2010 so far, attracting over 133,000 visitors and over 5,000 of the world’s leading healthcare manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to Dubai.

Gulfood 2010 re-affirmed its position as the region’s mega event for the food and hospitality sector, recording an impressive 22 per cent growth in visitor traffic over 2009. A total of 55,379 trade visitors from the food and beverage manufacturing and catering service industries from over 153 countries attended the four-day culinary showcase, making Gulfood one of the world’s most successful food shows, delivering a must-attend regional platform for the 3,500 participating companies to network and exhibit the latest innovations within this sector.

The 18th Dubai International Boat Show, held in March 2010, saw 15 global launches and 25 regional premiers, highlighting the importance of the Show to the global leisure marine industry. Over 700 companies participated and the event enabled multi-million dollars in sales, indicating rising consumer confidence and improved outlook for luxury consumption within the region.

To drive increased regional investment opportunities in line with sector specific trends, DWTC has continuously sought to bring in new show profiles to Dubai. New additions to the first half of 2010 calendar included exhibitions and congresses within aviation, ICT, trade and healthcare, drawing over 90,000 new visitors.

Among the new shows hosted so far this year were the Aerospace Defence and Training Show (ADTS), the China Homelife Show, Commercial Vehicles Middle East Show, the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Exhibition and Conference, the Dubai International Peace Convention and Microsoft Tech-Ed.

The outlook for the exhibitions and events industry in Dubai for the remainder of 2010 and heading into 2011 continues to stay positive, as DWTC moves forward with a strong calendar line up led by the 30th Anniversary of GITEX Technology Week, anticipated to be the largest and most influential edition in the show’s history.

In addition, Dubai’s recently announced wins of eight new global congresses will be hosted by DWTC during 2011 and 2012, including the International Public Transport Congress, the International Bar Association Congress, the World Diabetes Congress and the World Cardiology Congress — the last of which was against powerhouses like Singapore, Kyoto and Capetown — establishing DWTC as a leading international congress venue and asserting Dubai’s reputation as a global business tourism destination.

“One of our key priorities as DWTC has been to steadily increase the event industry’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP and to play an enabling role in stimulating regional investment,” Almarri said.


More news from Business