Everyone was turning up in Dubai and its shows and exhibitions. According to DWTC, a substantial 5% of the economic value generated was retained in the emirate.

Dubai: The Dubai economy saw in Dh7.68 billion in direct revenues from hosting trade shows, industry conferences and more during 2022.

The Dh7.68 billion came by way of visitors booking hotels, spending on F&B and shopping, as well as on their transport needs.

What's more, these events created their own boost to job creation. Events at DWTC last year could have 'supported over 48,000 jobs' and representing a 110 per cent from 2021, which in turn yielded an increase in disposable household income of Dh2.4 billion.

"A key outcome is the growing knowledge and skills economy within the city even as the content and participation at these events, represent a material shift towards a more digitalised and borderless tomorrow," said DWTC in a statement. In fact, with 2022 proving one of the biggest years for Dubai’s MICE sector, the Dubai World Trade Centre saw an overall incremental economic output of Dh13 billion from hosting and organising events last year.

Of the Dh13 billion, 57 per cent was ‘retained with Dubai’s GDP’.

There were 63 major events hosted at DWTC last year, which brought in around 1.2 million attendees and with 40 per cent being those from overseas.

“Direct investments in an event at DWTC generated 7.4x in impact across the wider (Dubai) economy, meaning that every Dh1 million spent at these MICE events drove Dh7.4 million of economic output for Dubai across other inter-linked sectors,” the DWTC statement said.

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The 2022 numbers add more foundation to Dubai's wider goal - of being among the Top 3 cities in the world for business and travel. This is as part of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33).

“Dubai continues to attract businesses and talent from around the world, with DWTC providing an effective connectivity platform to collaborate, accelerate innovation, and showcase next generation products and services to far-reaching markets,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, DWTC Authority.

“This sustained impact of in-person events is a clear indicator of the MICE industry’s role in supporting economic growth and achieving investment returns for all stakeholders.”

Dubai's trade and exhibition hosting footprint has widened further, with Expo City and Dubai South bringing its own gravitas. And recently, the owner of the Coca-Cola Arena said it was looking at ways to play host to events other than high-profile concerts.

Biggest hitters show-wise
The healthcare and scientific sector, tech, and the food, hotel, and catering sector emerged as the Top 3, by hosting 14 events across the DWTC calendar.
These collectively brought on Dh4.3 billion of the gross value added (GVA) to Dubai’s economy. These sectors attracted 535,000 of the total large-scale event attendees.

With over 180,000 attendees to IT events in 2022, their combined GVA of Dh1.35 billion was 'only bettered by healthcare events', which welcomed nearly 200,000 attendees and delivering a GVA of Dh1.64 billion.

“Dubai remains committed to further enhancing its attractiveness to the global MICE Industry through continued investment in infrastructure, innovation, and human capital," said Almarri. "With a clear focus on sustainability and accessibility, Dubai is poised to lead the way in shaping the future of business tourism, and driving economic growth for years to come.”