Dubai, the tourism and commercial centre of the Middle East, has won bids to host 99 major conferences and meetings in the coming years as the emirate’s economy rebounds from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The emirate secured the rights to host these events in the first half of 2022, with several bids yet to be finalised, the Dubai Media Office said on Tuesday.
These events are set to attract more than 77,000 delegates and yield about 330,000 hotel room nights over the coming years.
“In line with the strategic priority placed on securing business events, these bid wins are set to boost Dubai’s events, hospitality and related tourism sectors, in addition to advancing the wider economy by bringing expertise and knowledge from around the world,” the emirate's media office said.
The successful event wins so far include the International Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, scheduled to be held in 2023, and IFOS ENT World Congress, also set to be held in the same year.
It will also host the Congress of the Asia-Pacific Orthopaedic Association and the International Congress of Endocrinology in 2024.
Dubai will also host Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries’ Annual Convention and Incentive in 2022 and IBM Best in Tech in 2023.
“The success of our bidding activity in the first half of 2022 demonstrates the strong proposition Dubai offers to associations, corporates and other organisations around the world,” said Ahmed Al Khaja, chief executive of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.
“Our bids build on the track record the city has established in providing a respected and attractive platform for the sharing of knowledge, professional development and networking.”
Dubai’s economy, which made a strong rebound from the coronavirus-induced slowdown last year, has carried the growth momentum into this year, supported by the resurgent travel and tourism sector and its rapidly improving property market.
The emirate’s economy grew by 6.2 per cent in 2021, according to preliminary data from the Dubai Statistics Centre. In the first three months of this year, Dubai’s gross domestic product expanded 5.9 per cent, according to government data.
Dubai also hosted 7.12 million international visitors in the first half of 2022, about three times the 2.52 million tourists recorded in the same period last year, as it pursues its goal to become the world's most visited destination.
The visitor numbers bring the emirate closer to its pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels of 8.36 million arrivals in the first six months of 2019, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism said earlier this month.
“The city’s success in attracting major events is driven by the collaborative approach taken by stakeholders across the sector and the wider economy,” said Steen Jakobsen, associate vice president of Dubai Business Events, which is the emirate's official convention bureau.
“Building on the city’s strong rebound in the wake of the pandemic, and the lead it took in resuming tourism and events, we continue to see a strong response from meeting planners and decision-makers in bringing international business events to Dubai.”
Dubai submitted 200 bids and proposals for international business events in the first half of 2022.
“The success of Expo 2020 Dubai provided a platform to showcase the city to decision-makers, conclusively demonstrating Dubai’s ability to effectively host events of all sizes and meet the demands of an international audience,” the media office said.