Dubai: The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has reported a 12 per cent increase in visitor volumes for exhibitions, conventions and conferences at its venues in 2009. Exhibitor numbers also topped 2008 figures by 2.5 per cent at 31,197 companies.
DWTC's year-end results clearly demonstrate the continued growth of the region's events industry, as well as an increase in business confidence, with many leading shows across a range of sectors reporting growth in exhibitor and visitor numbers in 2009, DWTC said in a press release yesterday.
Despite global economic uncertainties, the DWTC venues Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) and Airport Expo Dubai received about 1.24 million visitors last year.
"The 12 per cent annual growth in visitor traffic at our venues during a particularly challenging year for business across the globe has been a monumental achievement for DWTC and underlines the confidence of the international business community in Dubai as a hub for regional trade.
"These figures clearly demonstrate our effectiveness in positioning Dubai as a business destination to regional and global markets, and is a testimony to our capabilities in hosting world class business and networking events," Helal Saeed Al Merri, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Centre, said in a statement. DWTC-organised exhibitions posted positive results over 2008.
Gulfood, once again re-affirming its position as the foremost event for the food and hospitality sector, boasted 16 per cent growth in visitor traffic and a 20 per cent increase in show space. A total of 45,735 visitors from over 152 countries attended the four-day culinary showcase event.
In addition, DWTC's Dubai International Boat Show attracted over 730 exhibitors despite the sharp drop in demand across the global luxury goods sector. Gitex received 133,780 visitors, and its consumer counterpart at Airport Expo, Gitex Shopper, 150,019 buyers, a 13 per cent increase over 2008, emphasising their leadership roles as key business drivers for the region's ICT sector. The 10th anniversary edition of the Dubai International Motor Show ended the year on a high note with over 13 global launches, 40 regional launches and close to 100,000 visitors,
Another notable show in DWTC's 2009 calendar included Arab Health, which attracted 55,000 visitors and 2,205 exhibitors from 50 countries. Intersec 2009, the second largest security exhibition in the world, boasted a 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers and a 23 per cent increase in show space.