Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), is showcasing Dubai’s dynamic business events offering and services to international meetings, events, and incentives industry professionals at IMEX Frankfurt, which is taking place at Messe Frankfurt from 15-17 May. (Stand E500)

Alongside its co-exhibitors, DBE is showcasing the latest developments in Dubai’s world-class offerings which include state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure and the city’s renowned hospitality sector, further cementing the city’s status as a major business events destination. The bureau is also previewing key plans and activities currently in the pipeline for the year ahead, demonstrating a strong focus on transforming Dubai into a global knowledge hub.

DBE has brought 24 stakeholders and partners to the global trade show as co-exhibitors, including Emirates Airline, Expo 2020 Dubai and Jumeirah Group, offering a holistic view of Dubai’s business events infrastructure as the city engages with the industry on the international stage.

Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “IMEX offers an invaluable opportunity for the city and its stakeholders to communicate directly with meeting planners and business events organisers from Europe and around the world. With such a wide reach, the industry event acts as an ideal platform to support our ambitious Tourism Vision 2020 of bringing 20 million visitors a year to the city by 2020. Business events also play a crucial role in our city’s transformation into a global knowledge hub and, through our participation at events such as IMEX, we are focused on strengthening Dubai’s reputation as a leading business events destination and further increasing business visitation to the city.”

Expanding on these efforts, DBE continues to successfully host global activities, including immersive roadshows hosted in markets around the world, which create a unique platform to meet and engage with decision makers and executives in the meetings, associations and events industry. So far, DBE conducted roadshows across Europe, China, Southeast Asia and North America, while a number of future missions are planned to take place across India, Northeast Asia, the UK, Scandinavia and Russia over the course of the year. The roadshows strengthen Dubai’s visibility, as well as educate attendees on the city’s resources, opportunities for knowledge sharing, and the strong bidding assistance that Dubai Business Events offers to organisations and associations alike. DBE will also participate in other major trade shows in 2018, including The Meetings Show in London and IBTM World in Barcelona.

Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events said: “We’ve had another strong start to the year following on from our successes and milestone achievements in 2017. As the city continues to progress towards becoming a global knowledge hub, the business events industry is playing a crucial role to support Dubai’s journey in this direction. This year, Dubai is hosting the ICCA Congress for the first time in the Middle East, a testament to the growth this city has experienced and its emergence as a business events leader. Through a steady programme of activities, including our participation at IMEX Frankfurt, we look forward to creating abundant opportunities for our stakeholders to communicate with industry players from around the globe and achieving new heights of success in the business events industry.”

The 57th edition of the ICCA Congress, a leading conference industry event, is set to take place in Dubai from 11-14 November. It will see the gathering of meeting industry professionals from all over the world to discuss key challenges and opportunities within the business events industry. Dubai is also set to host a number of other significant business events this year, including; the World Cardiology Congress, the Baby Care Annual Incentive, as well as the Amway Russia Annual Incentive.

The biggest event ever to be held in Dubai, or the region, is also fast approaching: Expo 2020 Dubai. The six-month event is a global destination for everyone; a celebration of human ingenuity.  Expo 2020 expects to welcome 25 million visits, with 70 per cent of visitors coming from outside the UAE. It will be a hive of activity from 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021, offering a diverse range of experiences, as well as hosting summits, business events, seminars, new product launches, networking opportunities and meetings. A 45,000 square metres conference and exhibition centre is being built at the doorstep of Expo 2020, providing visitors with access to 180 nations participating in Expo and some of the world’s greatest innovators, scientists, artists, world leaders, entrepreneurs and thinkers.

Gillian Hamburger, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and we expect the MICE industry to capitalise on this unique opportunity to host their conferences and events with access to 180 participating nations and millions of visitors. Expo 2020, which promises to be a spectacular global meeting of minds, also presents a huge opportunity for travel and MICE companies to sell tickets with value-added travel and visitor services, develop their own travel packages and create one-of-a-kind, exceptional travel experiences for leisure and business travellers.”

Professionals in the travel and MICE trade who would like to explore business opportunities with Expo 2020 Dubai can meet and engage with the Expo team at the DBE stand (Stand E500) at IMEX Frankfurt.

Recent developments in Dubai



Dubai’s tourism sector rallied strongly, steadily picking up pace through the first three months of 2018 in light of growing currency pressures as it continued to retain and grow share across global markets. Welcoming 4.7 million international overnight tourists from January-March 2018, the emirate posted a stable 2 per cent increase in traffic versus the same period last year. Leading source markets continued to highlight their affinity for Dubai as the top three retained their positions versus 2017.

Recording an impressive 7 per cent year-on-year increase to deliver 617,000 visitors, India helped level out the relatively stable second-placed KSA (-1%) and the steeper decline in visitation from third-placed UK (-8%). Russia ended the quarter in fourth place, continuing its upward trajectory by topping the growth charts with a stellar 106 per cent increase over Q1 2017, delivering 259,000 tourists, benefiting from availability of visa-on-arrival facilities for Russian citizens from early last year. Similarly, fifth-placed China also continued to leverage its visa-on-arrival status, delivering 258,000 Chinese visitors, up a strong 12 per cent. Posting double-digit increases in most countries, Europe made particularly strong contributions in the first three months of the year, with Germany in seventh place up 13 per cent with 194,000 visitors, France up 17 per cent with 103,000 in 12th place, and 14th-placed Italy up 20 per cent with 80,000. In a record first appearance, Sweden featured among Dubai’s top 20 source markets, delivering 42,000 visitors, up 9 per cent.


Dubai’s diverse and vibrant hospitality sector is forecast to experience strong, sustained growth over the coming years, with occupied room nights set to reach 35.5 million annually in 2019, representing a robust 10.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 24 months.

According to a comprehensive study of the market by Dubai Tourism, the emirate’s room supply is set to reach 132,000 by the end of 2019, growing at a 2-year (2017-2019) CAGR of 11.1%. Meanwhile, occupancy levels are forecast to remain at an extremely healthy 76-78% despite growth in capacity, maintaining the attractiveness of the sector to hotel investors and developers. The strong competitiveness of the sector is set to continue to be fuelled by increases in Dubai’s growing international overnight visitation and targeted increases in length of stays [LOS], supported further by recent and upcoming tourism attractions and experiences. With concerted efforts to raise awareness in both established and emerging source markets, the duration of travel from new and existing segments are expected to see further growth in the medium term, positively impacting demand for room nights, which is in turn expected to outpace visitor growth over the coming 24-48 months.


Dubai Business Events (DBE) secured a total of 212 bids throughout 2017, representing its most successful year to date. As a result of secured bids and proposals in 2017, Dubai is set to welcome an additional 95,000 delegates, delivering an economic impact of approximately AED 715 million. Dubai submitted a total of 354 bids throughout 2017, and among the wins were those for bids submitted before 2017. At the end of the year, 104 bid submissions were still awaiting decision. The bids and proposals secured in 2017 mark an increase of 64% over 2016 when a total of 129 bids were won, further cementing the Emirate’s leading position as a global business events destination.


Dubai Tourism continues to promote its Dubai Sustainable Tourism (DST) initiative, which aims to position Dubai as one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism destinations, primarily through an ongoing programme dedicated to improving and encouraging conservation of the emirate’s resources and reducing the carbon footprint of Dubai’s tourism industry in line with Dubai’s Carbon Abatement Strategy, issued by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

As part of DST, Dubai Tourism has successfully launched the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards, introduced 19 new standards to support effective resource management across various hotel classifications, and developed new tools including the Hospitality Sustainability Board Game and the Carbon Calculator, as well as the ‘12 Steps to Sustainability’ toolkit to help promote energy conservation, create energy efficient services, and encourage environmentally sustainable practices in the local tourism and hospitality sector.


The Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), which is a part of Dubai Tourism, is looking ahead to another busy year, as it continues its work as the primary enabler of human capital in Dubai’s tourism and hospitality industries. DCT will continue the roll-out of its training tools – Dubai Expert and Dubai Way – over the next year, with updates to the Dubai Way programme being initiated by Q4 of 2018. One such update will be an advanced Level 3 module on ‘Inclusive Service’. This focuses on how to provide the best customer service to People of Determination, highlighting the role that empathy plays in achieving this goal, as well as providing advice on how to appropriately handle customer service scenarios for customers with such disabilities.

DCT has also launched a vocational training college, providing courses designed to bridge the gap between in-house training and a diploma to ensure a steady pipeline of highly-trained tourism professionals for the city. The practical and flexible vocational courses are focused around five core faculties – Tourism, Events, Hospitality, Retail and Culinary Arts – and have been designed to help young people to learn various trade and soft skills from established professionals in the industry.


Dubai Tourism is launching a new way for visitors to enjoy the city’s exciting range of attractions, experiences and tours. Dubai Pass, an all-inclusive pre-paid card, grants cash-free access to 33 key events and venues across Dubai, making it the perfect way for tourists to explore the city’s world-class destination proposition. It will be available to redeem from 16 May 2018.

Starting at AED399, the pass offers ‘Select’ and ‘Unlimited’ packages, with a specially-curated list of popular attractions and experiences. These include Burj Khalifa, Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Ski Dubai, Desert Safari Tours, and many more. With every purchase, visitors will also receive a 50% discount on tickets to La Perle – the city’s one-of-a-kind live entertainment show with acrobatics and aerial stunts – by simply presenting their Dubai Pass when buying a ticket to the show.