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DEPE receives a bigger mandate

Panel representing 24 dubai agencies to help retail and events sectors tap growth

  • Shaikh Ahmad and Laila Suhail
    Shaikh Ahmad and Laila SuhailImage Credit: Supplied
  • Shaikh Ahmad and Laila Suhail
    The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment has been given a more prominent role in the success of the retaiImage Credit: Supplied
Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Government has widened the mandate and scope of the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment's (DEPE) activities, a statement said.

DEPE's role is to streamline, rationalise and promote the numerous events and festivals held in Dubai each year. The agency will simplify and improve current systems by developing a structure which provides year-round attractions and reasons to visit the emirate, its malls and festivals.

"The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, an agency of the Dubai Economic Department (DED), yesterday officially announced its new strategy to grow the retail and events sectors in Dubai, fulfilling the government agency's mandate to maximise the contribution of these two industry sectors to Dubai's economy," the statement said.

First reference point

To coordinate activity across the public sector, an organising committee representing 24 government bodies and agencies has been established to help DEPE fulfill its mandate. Similarly, the establishment has secured 12 strategic private sector partners to ensure the needs of business are understood and met.

"DEPE will become the first reference point for any event in Dubai throughout the year — for event organisers and for the public," Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of DEPE, said in a statement. "We have a critical role to play in supporting event management companies — providing guidance, facilitating operations, and communicating the full calendar of Dubai events locally, regionally and globally."

DEPE was formally established on October 28, 2009 under the authority of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Formerly operating as the Dubai Shopping Festival Office — an entity responsible for the organisation and management of some of the biggest festivals in the region, namely Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises, and recently Eid in Dubai Celebrations — DEPE now expands its remit to take a more comprehensive role in the management of Dubai's events and festivals industry, as well as supporting corresponding growth across the retail sector.

"The events and festivals sector has played a critical role in Dubai's growth, particularly the Dubai Shopping Festival, which helped to put Dubai on the map as a world-class tourist destination and an international retail hub," said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group. "Now, the sector — through DEPE — has a critical role to play in the emirate's future by directly contributing to our economic growth, and by providing indirect contributions to a host of other industry sectors and business, whilst highlighting and celebrating our culture and heritage."

Regional benchmark

Shaikh Ahmad welcomed the fact that DEPE had been entrusted to grow the events sector, adding that the time was now right to announce its purpose and strategy, saying that "Dubai has set the benchmark for the festival industry across the region, DEPE's enhanced mandate aims at cementing Dubai's leadership and further raising the bar of organising quality events, which positions the emirate as a sector leader on local, regional and international levels."

Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development, outlined the role the agency will play in the government's drive to grow the ‘real economy' of Dubai — supporting the government aim to encourage growth among the traditional industries of trade and commerce which have provided the foundation for the emirate's economy over generations. "We have come to a critical juncture in Dubai's growth," said Al Qamzi.

"Building our economy demands increased focus on the retail and events sectors. Through its mandate, DEPE will work as a catalyst to grow and develop these sectors to ensure they provide even greater stimulus to Dubai's economy. By working in tandem with private and public sector partners, DEPE will effectively contribute to GDP growth, build the SME sector which is critical to Dubai's sustained and sustainable future, and reinforce Dubai Government's role in contributing to the long-term economic prosperity of the Emirate."

Laila Suhail said, "With the new enhanced mandate, DEPE has reached a milestone point in its history. Working collectively with the major private and public entities in Dubai whilst being under the umbrella of DED will surely pave the way for DEPE to successfully rise to meet its new challenges and responsibilities, thus contributing significantly in achieving Dubai's economic sustainability."

Continuing success

Established in 1996, the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has attracted the interest of tens of millions of local, regional and international consumers. The success of DSF led to the launch of other initiatives by the Dubai Shopping Festival Office (now DEPE), including Dubai Summer Surprises in 1998 and Eid in Dubai in 2008.