Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) events accounted for a record AED 12.7 billion in retained value towards Dubai’s economy, equivalent to 3.3 percent of the emirate’s GDP in 2017, according to the latest Economic Impact Assessment report released by DWTC.
The study estimates the total economic output of DWTC’s large-scale events at AED 22.5 billion, an increase of 8% since 2015, of which nearly 57% is retained within the local economy.
Reaffirming the importance of the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) sector to Dubai, the 2017 report highlighted unprecedented sales within the sector from event participation related spends generated by large-scale events, driving 4.3 times its value in overall non-trade business activity across Dubai’s economy. In other words, every AED 1,000 spent at a DWTC event generated AED 4,300 in value for the Dubai economy in 2017.
The multi-sector impact of events driving incremental value across tourism, hospitality, aviation and entertainment, is estimated to have supported a total of 84,226 jobs as an immediate consequence of DWTC – hosted and managed – events, generating disposable household income of AED 4.1 billion. Of the figure, MICE and adjacent sectors contributed the direct impact at 71% of the number of jobs created, while 29% of the number of jobs were the result of indirect and induced employment impact across the wider domestic economy.
DWTC continued to lead the region’s MICE sector activity in 2017, hosting 103 large-scale events and attracting 2.63 million attendees, of which 1.1 million were overseas visitors. Large-scale events, defined as events hosting more than 2,000 attendees, form the focus of the report and emphasise the importance of sustainable scalability through their ability to attract a diverse audience from local and international markets, and are hence instrumental to driving higher-impact economic value and growth.
Out of the AED 22.5 billion total value generated by large-scale events, AED 16 billion was directly driven by event participants’ spend within the MICE and adjacent sectors relating to travel, tourism, hospitality and entertainment, supported by a 24% increase in MICE business services spend, from AED 4.2 billion in 2015 to AED 5.3 billion in 2017.
The growth in total value generated was further catalysed by a 13% increase in the number of international exhibiting companies, since 2015.
Three new halls, Zabeel Hall 4, 5 and 6, were opened by DWTC in the last quarter of 2015 to meet the increasing demand and number of exhibitors.
“DWTC’s priorities are firmly aligned with UAE Vision 2021, the nation’s economic diversification strategy and the 2017 Economic Impact Assessment is testament to DWTC’s success as a MICE entity that enhances the value of business tourism to Dubai and makes invaluable contributions to its GDP. The value for Dubai’s economy through hosting business events is undeniable and our strategy focuses on attracting maximum overseas participation, which is critical to ensuring the success and sustainability of events in the MICE sector.
The strong growth not just in the gross revenues but also in the economic value added are a testament to the ability of the industry to minimise leakage and retain the contribution within our economy for continued growth. Through our continued focus on increasing international business visitation to our events, we are committed to supporting the tourism target of 20 million visitors to Dubai by 2020.
“Furthermore, the synergistic benefit of MICE-linked spend across related sectors in the business tourism value chain has a powerful multiplier effect, allowing the sector to fuel Dubai’s economic engine,” Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DWTC Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said.