Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the regional epicentre of trade and business, hosted 1.98 million delegates in 2022, reflecting a robust visitation growth of 29 per cent.
Home to an iconic portfolio of influential business and trade events, DWTC The results were driven by 244 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), business and consumer events. Of these, 97 Exhibitions and Conferences attracted 1.18 million attendees of which 38 per cent were from overseas, reflecting Dubai’s position as the destination of choice for business and tourism.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, said: “DWTC’s 2022 results are an unequivocal endorsement of the emirate’s efforts in driving post-pandemic economic recovery and leveraging opportunity, delivered through strategic collaborative stakeholder commitment, across all sectors of the economy.
“An unprecedented year for the MICE industry, 2022 underlined Dubai’s leadership, with its dynamic events sector, an acknowledged global platform for impactful knowledge sharing, effective networking and game-changing innovation. We will build on this momentum by reinforcing Dubai’s position as the capital of the MICE industry, and continue our contribution towards achieving Dubai Economic Agenda D33 goals.”
The dynamic return to form for the MICE industry in 2022, is reflective of DWTC’s strong business portfolio and its ability to attract over 37,000 exhibiting companies (50 per cent increase from 2021), of which 72 per cent were international.
Top performing sectors in 2022
Healthcare, Medical and Scientific was the top-performing sector with 17 events (compared to 12 events in 2021) and attracted 202,000 participants, led by a duo of region-leading healthcare exhibitions: Arab Health and AEEDC.
Information Technology sector, grew from six events in 2021 to 10 events in 2022, attracting 184,000 attendees, which represented a 22 per cent YoY growth, led by GITEX Global and its co-located events.
The Food and Beverage Trade sector, led by Gulfood, hosted a total of eight events and registered 160,000 participants, an increase of 18 per cent over 2021.
Driven by Automechanika, the Automotive and Transport sector saw seven events attracting 69,000 participants, while the Big 5 was the top performing exhibition within the Building, Construction and Facility Management sector, welcoming over 66,000 visitors.
Consumer and Leisure events bounce back with over 790,000 visitors
DWTC hosted a total of 47 exciting entertainment, live, and leisure events, welcoming back over 790,000 visitors, led by Dubai Sports World with a record attendance of 308,000 representing a 53 per cent increase over 2021 and Dubai Run with 193,000 participants in 2022.
DXB Live records impressive business growth
DXB Live, DWTC’s experiential agency, witnessed record growth in 2022, marking its foray into new regional and international markets including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Germany. DXB Live provided services to over 400 events and was the main contractor for over 50 exhibitions including mega events such as GITEX Global, Light Middle East, Beauty world and Gulfood.
In addition, DXB Live, in partnership with World of Coffee Association, organised and delivered the World of Coffee exhibition. The event achieved unprecedented success in its second edition with 1000 exhibitors and brands from 44 countries, generating significant interest from coffee manufacturers and businesses across the globe.
DWTC Free Zone witnesses strong growth
Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) Free Zone doubled in size, issuing 926 new licences in 2022, while grade-A commercial One Central, marked its highest occupancy at 75 per cent since opening. 2022 also saw the successful opening of the 5-star flagship 25 Hours Hotel at One Central with its highly successful F&B concepts complementing the lively mix of new restaurants and cafes in the community.
Almarri said: “Ongoing recalibration, both for the global events industry and for DWTC, was our focus in 2022, and our year-end results are especially significant given its wide-ranging economic impact. In 2023, we will build on our position as a MICE sector leader, both locally and beyond UAE borders, as we venture into Saudi Arabia and Morocco, with KOAUN International.
“In parallel, we march ahead with the development of our expanding portfolio of real estate and free zone activities to ensure that we remain an attractive, future-forward hub for emerging industries and technologies as well as business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators looking to shape the future of business from Dubai.”