The leadership of the UAE has continually underlined and supported the importance of the development of the MICE and special events industry in the Emirates, recognising that congress development is key to atourism success. MICExchange asked Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Convention and Events Bureau(DCEB) how the promotional strategy was unfolding.
Mr Jakobsen said. “Tourism accounts for approximately 20% of the total GDP in Dubai, so obviously tourism is a very important key sector for Dubai. Last year a very ambitious strategy for 2020 was announced, setting out to double the number of visitors into Dubai between 2012 and 2020. We have a target of welcoming 20 million visitors into Dubai. Lat year the growth was almost 10%, so we are well on our way to achieving our target.”
“We are pursuing a strategy that rest on three pillars, the first is to grow Dubai’s markets here of the rotating international business events like association and corporate meetings, the second part of our strategy is to grow new regional conferences and meetings that can take place in Dubai year after year, and the third area is to grow the number of visitors coming into business events taking place in Dubai.“
“In terms of incentive markets which is becoming more and more important for us, we are seeing some growth. Only recently, Dubai hosted a very large group from China, ..Nu-Skin brought . 14500 visitors to Dubai on a ten day program – An event that obviously had a huge economic impact.”
Mr Jakobsen pointed out that during IMEX 2014, “We launched our new Dubai Brand and logo, which is not only a tourism brand but also a destination brand …. to send a much stronger and more united, clear message about Dubai as a destination.”
Dubai is ranked as one of the major international meeting destinations globally,and is a top contender amongst well established meetings destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Melbourne. The DCEB’s aim is to further develop and increase Dubai’s share of the international MICE and special events markets, whilst maximizing the economic prospects of Dubai.