Expo 2020 win to boost Dubai's MICE business

DCEB head says if Dubai can host an Expo, it can host a meeting

GIBTM exhibition manager Lois Hall.
GIBTM exhibition manager Lois Hall.

Dubai’s success in winning the World Expo 2020 bid is expected to have a significant positive impact on the emirate’s MICE business in the run-up to the event.

Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB) director of convention and business tourism Steen Jakobsen said the Expo would “position Dubai in the minds of so many people involved in the decision-making process for congresses and meetings”.

He pointed out: “They will look on Dubai and know it’s hosting the Expo, which will give them confidence; if they believe Dubai is capable of hosting an Expo they will know it is capable hosting their meeting”.

Accor director of development Middle East Olivier Granet agreed, telling Hotelier: “As well as diversification in terms of the type of hotels needed, Expo is also likely to impact the type of business done in Dubai. In the next two years, the sector will witness a minor shift in market segmentation, from its present state towards the individual corporate and meeting segments.

“Beginning 2016, the hotel industry will also experience a major boost, as corporate clients focus more on conducting business in Dubai, in preparation for the World Expo 2020, and this trend will continue well after the Expo. In view of this the leisure segment in Dubai may witness a significant increase,” said Granet.

The team behind Gulf Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings (GIBTM) showcase, being held in Abu Dhabi from 24-26 March, said the win provided renewed stimulus to the meetings and incentives sector.

GIBTM exhibition manager Lois Hall commented: “If you then consider Alpen Capital’s estimate that UAE tourism receipts will increase by 67% over the next five years, it puts the meetings industry in pole position to capitalise on this historic opportunity”.

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