Dubai World Trade Centre Authority has announced a 10 percent year-on-year growth in visitor volumes in 2014 over the previous year to deliver a new high of 2.45 million in annual traffic.
The Middle East's largest venue operator said it continued to spur growth across the meetings-incentives-conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector in 2014, attracting a record number of regional and international trade visitors, conference delegates, business tourists and domestic and leisure attendees.
“DWTC has delivered consistent year-on-year growth in the scale of our MICE calendar, not only in the number of events we host, but also in the variety and the quality of traffic we attract," said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), and CEO of DWTC.
"Moving forward, we have invested in venue expansion to allow for the continued growth of our high-performer events as well as provide opportunity for new entrants into our calendar,” he added.
With a total of 93 exhibitions - delivering on average 23,000 visitors per event - the venue also witnessed a substantial increase in the mid-sized exhibition segment, signalling strong future growth potential.
To support growth, DWTC recently announced plans to build customised and flexible event space adding a 15,500 square metre extension to its current indoor complex space, taking the available multipurpose indoor event and exhibition capacity to over 121,984 square metres, when it becomes operational from Q1 2016.
Showcasing over 435 trade events - including 49 new additions across international conferences and exhibitions – DWTC's MICE portfolio in 2014 reflected a 16 percent growth in number of exhibitions and a 40 percent year-on-year increase in number of association meetings and congresses, in addition to double digit growth in the live entertainment and consumer events portfolio.
Almarri said: “The impressive 2014 results are a consequence of steadfast and unwavering progress on implementing against our planned strategic programme in close collaboration with industry organisers and government partners."
Across all business event types, DWTC welcomed more than 901,000 foreign attendees in 2014, representing 39 percent of the overall trade participant numbers.
Key international source markets for trade visitors during 2014 included Saudi Arabia, India, Oman, United Kingdom, China, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Jordan, closely mirroring the top 10 markets for wider business tourism traffic into Dubai as well.
Commenting on future plans, Almarri said: “We expect 2015 to further accelerate growth in our established shows and new-to-market events, ultimately delivering returns for our clients, increasing attractiveness to domestic and international organisers and attendees, and amplifying economic value for Dubai.”
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