Dubai: The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is set to kick off 2013 with a busy calendar of events starting Monday (January 7). Building on the momentum of 2012, which has been one of its busiest years, this month DWTC will host leading events and global exhibiting companies from some of the fastest-growing industries in the world, including health care, petrochemicals, aviation, security and digital design.
Over 150,000 international trade visitors and 5,000 exhibitors from over 150 countries are expected in January in line with what is anticipated to be a busy first quarter for the DWTC. Leveraging Dubai’s geographically central location, the high-profile shows are expected to yield beneficial results for exhibitors by attracting quality visitors and providing increased return on investment.
According to a recent ‘Economic Impact Assessment’ report prepared by Oxford Economics, DWTC contributed Dh6.5 billion to the Dubai economy in 2011, equivalent of 2.1 per cent of the emirate’s GDP. This reinforces the role of DWTC as a key driver of value for Dubai, particularly with the strength of its position as a regional hub, attracting a high volume of international visitor traffic and consequently driving significant foreign spend within the local economy.
Helal Saeed Al Merri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre said: “DWTC’s strong calendar of events highlights significant growth industries, not only for the UAE, but also for the region and the rest of the world. Our focus remains on attracting high-profile sector-specific events to the region, reinforcing our commitment to attract key international exhibitors, visitors and delegates, while driving business tourism and fuelling economic growth to the region.”
The programme of events scheduled for January includes the world’s second largest health care exhibition, Arab Health, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions. Commencing its 38th year, this mega show has grown to become the world’s longest-running health care congress and is viewed as a must-attend global event in the health care calendar.
Platform for health care professionals
According to business research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, medical tourism is growing exponentially around the world and is expected to reach US$100 billion (Dh367.3 billion) this year, with approximately 20 per cent of health care seekers worldwide originating from the Gulf and Arab states. With UAE patients estimated to be spending over US$2 billion on health each year, Arab Health serves as a fundamental centre of information and trade and continues to grow and build on providing the ultimate platform for all health care professionals to network, gain new industry knowledge and meet leading international health care companies from across the globe. The show is anticipated to welcome 3,500 exhibitors and more than 83,000 visitors from 142 countries. It will run from January 28 to 31.
Simon Page, managing director, Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the organisers of Arab Health, said: “The continued success of Arab Health highlights the UAE’s ranking as a leading regional commercial hub, nurturing continued growth and injecting substantial capital into the region’s health care, events and tourism industries. Many of the attendees are specifically flying in to Dubai for the show, providing the hospitality industry with a huge boost in trade. Regionally, the market is picking up as you see more packed calendars at established venues such as DWTC. This venue continues to be the preferred location for Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions’ events as the infrastructure and facilities onsite continue to impress our clients year after year.”
Kicking off the 2013 exhibition calendar will be Arabplast, the leading rubber and plastics industry trade show in the region, and Tekno Tube Arabia, the tube and machine tools industry trade show from January 7–10, organised by Al Fajer Information and Services.
Forming a main component to the petrochemical sector, the rubber and plastics industry has far-reaching implications for the region, which is projected to become the world’s second largest per-capita consumer of plastics by 2020. The GCC is also expected to become the world’s largest provider of raw materials for the production of plastics. The international tube and machine tool industries are registering rising interest from the construction sector in the Gulf. To address these needs, 260 exhibitors from 21 countries will present their products at Tekno Tube Arabia, including everything from the steel, tube and welding and cutting industries.
Following this will be Intersec, the region’s leading trade event in security and protection. Covering all areas of safety, security and fire protection for the past 15 years, Intersec 2013 is expected to draw more than 1,000 international exhibitors from 50 countries. Organised by Messe Frankfurt, the show is held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, covering four vertical sectors: commercial and information security, homeland security and policing, safety and health, and fire and rescue. Intersec will run from January 15–17.
The 16th installment of Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East will run from January 20–22. Billed as a staple to the outdoor media and digital printing industries, this popular show, which is organised by International Expo Consults (IEC), attracts exhibitors and buyers from some of the leading emerging markets in the world, including India, Egypt and East Africa.
The aviation industry will be treated to a double-header as co-located shows Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Middle East (MRO), both organised by F&E Aerospace and Aviation Week, will run simultaneously on January 22 and 23. With the aviation industry contributing about $22 billion or 28 per cent to Dubai’s GDP, these are key exhibitions that will provide unique networking opportunities for professionals within the aviation industry. AIME will enable interiors suppliers, providers and buyers to network and establish new relationships in the Middle East, and MRO will provide the latest information from the industry’s leading experts, sharing insights on growth opportunities, cost reduction and management strategies to cut expenses and maximise efficiency.
January’s theme of high-profile shows will be continued through another busy first quarter at DWTC. The world’s largest food and beverage trade exhibition, Gulfood will be held at DWTC in February and has expanded by 13 per cent in size this year, offering 113,398 square metres in exhibition space, with two temporary halls being built due to overwhelming demand, both regionally and globally.
Furthermore, a staggering 13 exhibitions and conferences are scheduled to be held in March. Some highlights include Dubai International Boat Show, which is celebrating its 21st edition this year, and is one of the most anticipated marine events in the region, CABSAT, an established and respected trade platform for the digital media and satellite sectors across the Middle East, Africa and Southern Asian regions, Dubai International Horse Fair and Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship, which is the most prestigious competition of its kind in the Arabian equine world.