DWTC records 40pc rise in visitors for first half of 2008

DUBAI - More than 500,000 visitors attended a record number of events at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) in the first six months of 2008 - an increase of 40 per cent over the same period last year.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Thu 28 Aug 2008, 11:42 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:00 PM

Visitors at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.With the number of exhibitions and meetings at the venue surging significantly, the figures demonstrate the strong progress that the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is making towards positioning Dubai as the world's leading destination for exhibitions, conferences and events, according to senior executives.

DWTC recorded 551,056 visitors to DICEC between January and June 2008, compared to 393,665 in the first six months of 2007.

Entering into the busy autumn period -which includes blockbuster shows such as Cityscape Exhibition & Conference, GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK, Index, and Big 5 - DWTC executives are confident that they are on track to beat the records set in 2007, officially the Group's 'busiest year ever.'

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DWTC, said: 'Dubai continues to expand its reach and influence as a premier global destination for meetings, exhibitions and events. The ongoing strong growth of DWTC-hosted events - which target some of the most strategically-important industry sectors such as aviation, banking and finance, and biotech - demonstrates both the current expansion of the region's economy as well as the excellent platform offered by DWTC venues and services.'

Among the significant exhibitions that debuted this season included Aircraft Interiors Middle East, an event that targets the high-growth aviation sector in the region, with organisers expecting the next edition to more than double in size. Another big success was the inaugural event for banking and finance, MEFX, organised in partnership with Dubai International Financial Centre, which attracted attendees from over 40 countries.

The China Sourcing Fair, the premier commercial event for traders and volume buyers from the MENA region and suppliers and manufacturers from Greater China, reported record responses. Organisers Global Sources reported a 60 percent growth compared to the last edition, aligned with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed's efforts to strengthen bilateral trade between the two regions.

DICEC hosted 20,316 exhibitors during the first six months of 2008, an increase of 14 per cent over last year, while the total number of delegates for meetings and conferences also recorded a substantial increase.

DWTC's Hospitality Division reported impressive half-yearly figures, serving over 172,000 covers in their outlets, an increase of over 50,000 covers from the same period last year, while off-site catering orders have almost doubled over the same period of time.

As part of its long-term vision for success, DWTC is enabling ongoing growth in the exhibitions sector with its flagship 7 Sq. Km. development aimed at creating a dynamic and integrated commercial destination, anchored by one of the world's largest, state-of-the art exhibition centres (Dubai Exhibition Centre) dedicated to major trade fairs.

Construction is also well underway on the first phase of the Dubai Trade Centre District project - the high-end commercial development that will create a new central business quarter at the heart of Dubai.

Both projects are designed to be provide unique lifestyle environments that promote global business tourism with networking opportunities and world-class infrastructure, enabling Dubai to host the most prestigious conferences, exhibitions and events.

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