Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) announced on Monday that it generated a total economic output of Dh18.28 billion from 76 large-scale exhibitions, international association conventions, and industry conferences (of the total 301 exhibitions and events) in 2023.

The gross value added (GVA) to Dubai’s GDP by these large-scale events amounted to Dh10.53 billion, representing 58 per cent of the total economic output being retained within the local economy, fostering 69,281 jobs and generating Dh3.36 billion in disposable income.

The 76 large-scale business events hosted, organised and delivered by DWTC attracted 1.54 million attendees, with 46 per cent being international attendees. This reflects a 53 per cent year-on-year increase in foreign attendance, further cementing Dubai’s growing dominance and heightened relevance in the increasingly borderless world of business. Beyond the impressive domestic economic implications of these statistics, activities at DWTC not only provided a platform for businesses and individuals to connect, collaborate, and innovate, but also facilitated wider trade and business output for the global business community.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, DWTC Authority, said: “Dubai’s MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions] sector, driven by DWTC, remains a vital pillar of financial resilience and growth underscoring our accelerated strides towards sustainable socio-economic development. The increase in international participation, along with the significant economic impact generated across diverse sectors such as travel, accommodation and retail, highlights the city’s steadfast commitment to propelling business tourism.”

2023’s results resulted in remarkable growth and higher spending across MICE business services and adjacent industry sectors. Direct revenue generated through expenditure in adjacent sectors reached over Dh10.81 billion. The key sectors in the domestic economy that benefited were hotel accommodation (Dh2.96 billion, 54 per cent year-on-year growth), air travel and local transport (Dh2.64 billion, 20 per cent YoY growth), retail (Dh1.97 billion, 71 per cent YoY growth), restaurants (Dh1.71 billion, 51 per cent YoY growth), and business entertainment (Dh1.31 billion, 27 per cent YoY growth).

Rise in international participation at DWTC events

Dubai’s status as a premier international MICE destination, coupled with DWTC’s robust events calendar, has been instrumental in drawing the global business community in record numbers to the city. International participants deliver a higher ‘tourism’ related direct economic impact, linked to their increased daily spends with local businesses, longer stays in hotels, and by travelling with colleagues or family members (companions). The notable 53 per cent YoY increase in international participants yielded significant contribution to Dubai’s GDP, with an average participant spend of Dh10,313 per event, which is 6.2 times higher than that of local participants.

DWTC’s large-scale events boost economic impact

A total 76 large-scale events (2,000 or more attendees) generated sales of approximately Dh2.33 billion within the MICE sector, resulting in nearly eight times that value in economic output. This means that for every dirham invested by an organiser or attendee at a DWTC event, it generates eight times in sales value for the broader Dubai economy.

The success of DWTC’s own events and exhibitions such as GITEX Global and Gulfood, which generated Dh7.22 billion in economic output and Dh4.15 billion in GVA – a 53 per cent increase over 2022 – reflects DWTC’s unparalleled expertise in delivering world-class events that resonate with global audiences.

“Moving forward, DWTC remains dedicated to shaping the future of Dubai’s business tourism and trade. We are unwavering in our commitment in ensuring Dubai remains a front-runner in the global events and exhibitions landscape, fostering new avenues for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and sustainable development,” Almarri said.

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