Dubai ranked 44th in hosting conventions, jumps 19 places


dubai dedDubai’s ongoing efforts to position itself as a premier destination for international business events are bearing fruit, with the city retaining its top ranking in the Middle East region and climbing 19 places globally to 44th position in the 2014 International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) World Rankings - up from 63rd place in 2013.



ICCA registered 56 international association meetings as being held in Dubai in 2014, an increase of 51 per cent over the 19 meetings that were held in 2013. The current statistics make Dubai the uncontested regional hub for international business events.

The ICCA rankings are considered the most dependable and consistent benchmark on how individual destinations which host international business events are performing, and are compiled based on the number of regional and international association meetings that are held every year. Corporations and international associations regularly use ICCA rankings to gauge the event hosting capacity of a city they may wish to host events in.

Commenting on Dubai’s sharp rise in the rankings at IMEX 2015, the world’s largest exhibition for the incentive travel, meetings and events industry, Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, said: “Dubai has not only witnessed a dramatic shift in the ICCA rankings, but also in terms of perceptions as a destination within the global meetings industry. As more and more major corporations and associations host events in the city, misconceptions are being dispelled, and the message about Dubai’s premier standards, service level and excellent value for money are becoming clear to all.”

Also at Imex this week, ICCA became the 13th international association to be accredited by the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) to operate from the emirate and tap the region's enormous potential for meetings industry growth.   

As a gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies, DAC was established by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) with the view that associations play a vital role in the development of the economy, and can support and evolve a vast range of professions and academic fields throughout the Middle East.

As such, the centre is also a part of a long term plan to attract international associations to set up shop in the region, and consequently strengthen Dubai’s role as a knowledge hub across all economic sectors.

Expanded airport, hotel capacity to drive growth

As international meetings in the city continue to rise, so do the number of international travellers who are choosing to visit Dubai. The city welcomed 13.2 million international overnight travellers in 2014, an 8.4 per cent increase over 2013. The purpose of visits, although dominated by leisure at 59 per cent, saw over 21 per cent visiting for business, and another 17 per cent visiting friends and/or relatives.

Dubai’s hotel and hotel apartment portfolio also grew by 7.5 per cent last year, with a total of 657 establishments based in the city at the end of 2014. Total available rooms have also increased by 9.2 per cent to reach 92,333, and the airlift to and from the city has grown dramatically.

As a hub between East and West, and a gateway to emerging markets across the world, Dubai International Airport (DXB) has become the world’s number one airport in terms of international passengers, with over 70.47 million passengers using DXB in 2014.

Construction is also expected to begin later this year on the expansion of Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC). The existing six million passengers per year capacity terminal is set to be to be increased to 26 million passengers per year by Q1 in 2017, as part of a US$32 billion expansion project announced in September 2014 to create the world’s biggest airport, with an ultimate capacity in excess of 200 million passengers per year.

“As Dubai prepares to host the World Expo in 2020, the city’s tourism stakeholders are ramping up their efforts to hit ambitious growth targets that have been set as part of the Tourism Vision 2020 - to attract 20 million visitors per annum up from 10 million in 2012. Our growing airlift, hotel capacity and destination offer will continue to offer excellent value to visitors, and we expect that our numbers will continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years,” Jakobsen added.




Source: Emirates 24/7