Watch: Dubai shares recovery model for business events sector


Senior officials and key leaders in the events sector have shared Dubai’s experiences of restarting trade shows and conferences over the last six months.

They recounted their experiences during the Dubai Global Events Re-Opening Forum, which was held on March 18, against the backdrop of the Museum of The Future.

The Forum featured leaders from Dubai Tourism, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Dubai Airports, Emirates, dmg events and Accor.

UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) supported the event.

Since the official resumption of local events on September 15, 2020 in the emirate, followed by international events on October 1, Dubai has played host to a number of major trade shows and exhibitions, including Gitex Technology Week and Gulfood.

It’s the only city in the world to successfully host two large scale international events in the last three months, each recording more than 50,000 attendees from more than 100 countries.

According to independent research commissioned by DWTC, conducted by GRS Explori, Dubai scored extremely high in key safety and satisfaction ratings:

  • 96-98% of attendees consistently rated these events as providing a safe or very safe experience
  • 92% of attendees (both exhibitors and visitors) rated Dubai as offering the best experience in the world owing to its high safety standards, access to business opportunities and overall business experience
  • 89% considered Dubai as “the safest destination in the world”
  • Over 90% of attendees felt safe consistently across their journey – travelling on Emirates (90%), arrival and departure at Dubai Airport (94%), using local transportation (96%) and their accommodation (96%)

Dubai also played host to a number of association conferences and congresses such as the Arab Association of Urology Annual Congress and MEIDAM Conference, and a strong pipeline of future events has already been confirmed.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism and Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, said: “Driven by the city’s strong, decisive leadership and prudent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai was not only able to reopen for international tourism ahead of its peers, but also restart the business events sector that plays a vital role in economic and knowledge development locally, regionally and globally.”

“Working with stakeholders across the public and private sectors, we were able to create a framework that clearly demonstrated it was possible to both prioritise the health and safety of all participants and delegates, while at the same time provide platforms for showcasing new products and innovation, networking, professional development and knowledge sharing,” he added.