The DWTC venue reported high occupancy levels as it expanded even further on the breadth and depth of its varied events calendar to incorporate new exhibitions, international conferences, consumer and live events. 27 new shows including 8 exhibitions and 19 associations and conferences, featured as new entrants within the 2015 calendar, with many of them showcasing the latest trending topics like the Digital Health and Medical Technology Conference, and Internet of Things.
“The sectors we cover within our calendar have always been very closely aligned with the industries that the government of Dubai seeks to invest in and develop over the medium to long term. Over the years, we have steadily worked on compressing the lead times to attract the right profile shows, curate the content and build the scale to attract quality participation, so that today, even the newest events in the calendar have the relevance and gravitas to drive thought leadership and global debate within the sector. Optimal scale is a critical success factor as we review our portfolio performance, as it is a self-fulfilling cycle for attracting the largest international exhibitors and the biggest regional buyers, ultimately driving trade volumes at the shows and consequently higher return on event investment for all our customers,” continued Almarri.
Eighty of the top tier exhibitions reaching a threshold scale of 25,000 attendees in average traffic per event during 2015, and all of DWTC ‘s anchor mega-events uniformly experienced year-on-year growth in volumes across visitors and exhibitors, reflecting very strong confidence in growth prospects for their respective global sectors, from healthcare, security and food, to travel, technology, and construction. Notable mentions include Arab Health that saw a 5per cent uplift over 2014 with more than 140,000 delegates; Gulfood that attracted a record 84,642 visitors from 170 countries and 4,800 exhibitors from 156 countries; the Arabian Travel Market that witnessed a 22per cent spike in exhibitors and an unprecedented 34per cent increase in visitor numbers; Gitex Technology Week that brought together over 146,000 industry professionals and more than 4,200 suppliers from 144 countries; and the Big 5 that delivered 3,104 exhibiting companies from 67 countries.
“Building on several decades of brand recognition as a mega-business event venue, we have been equally invested in ensuring that we are just as effective in driving the choice for Dubai as the destination for leisure events with a stronger repertoire of consumer shows, entertainment, sporting and lifestyle events. Through 2015, we have grown our venue capacity, expanded our facilities to provide more customised solutions for specialised event types, and built in even more versatility and flexibility into the state-of-the-art hosting infrastructure we offer our clients”, explained Almarri when discussing the new Zabeel Hall extension that opened its doors in the last quarter of 2015. To cater to the expanding and more diversified events calendar, DWTC added 15,500 square metres of further covered exhibition space to the venue in the form of 3 new halls, taking the available multipurpose indoor event and exhibition capacity to over 121,984 square metres. This expansion is expected to support 2016 growth expectations.
The 2015 report reinforces DWTC ‘s reputation as a global venue operator that hosts and delivers world-class mega-events across industries and segments. In its expanded role as an Authority, it remains a strategic component in the master plan of Dubai as a business travel and destination proposition, which has contributed to the UAE’s rise in competitiveness as a global business destination.
“DWTC ‘s growth will focus on expanding global commercial opportunities supporting the UAE’s strategic imperatives for further economic diversification across core sectors such as ICT, healthcare, food, bio-technology, travel and tourism, retail, and logistics. At the core of all these growth drivers are three fundamental needs – the need for unprecedented agility, the need for sustained creativity to stay ahead of the curve, and the need for a real-time 24×7 pulse on the market with the operational ability to respond dynamically,” said Almarri.
“DWTC will strive to remain at the forefront of innovation, continuing to stimulating growth across all key pillars for Dubai’s 2021 Plan, setting a benchmark for governmental and public-private partnerships,” he concluded.