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Dubai World Trade Centre drives impact with economic output surging to Dh18.3Bn in 2023

Dubai World Trade Centre drives impact with economic output surging to Dh18.3Bn in 2023
20 May 2024 21:57


Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the global events and exhibitions industry leader and business enabler, has continued its trajectory of driving substantial impact for Dubai’s economy.

Against the backdrop of the ambitious Dubai Economic Agenda D33 - aiming to secure the city’s status as one of the top three global destinations for business and travel by 2033, DWTC’s international leadership in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector continues to play a pivotal role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a powerhouse of economic activity and innovation.

DWTC’s 2023 Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) Annual Report underscores the company’s sustained contribution to the city’s GDP, especially highlighting the remarkable surge in Total Economic Output of Dh18.28 billion from 76 large-scale Exhibitions, International Association Conventions, and Industry Conferences (of the total 301 exhibitions and events in 2023).

Notably, the Gross Value Added (GVA) to Dubai’s GDP by these large-scale events amounted to Dh10.53 billion, representing 58 percent of the total economic output being retained within the local economy, fostering 69,281 jobs and generating Dh 3.36 billion in disposable income. 

The 76 large-scale business events hosted, organised and delivered by DWTC attracted 1.54 million attendees, with 46 percent being international attendees.

In absolute terms, this reflects a remarkable 53 percent year-on-year increase in foreign attendance, further cementing Dubai’s growing dominance and heightened relevance in the increasingly borderless world of business.

Beyond the impressive domestic economic implications of these statistics, activities at DWTC not only provided a platform for businesses and individuals to connect, collaborate, and innovate, but also facilitated wider trade and business output for the global business community.

Director General, DWTC Authority, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, commented, “Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai World Trade Centre stands as a symbol of innovation and economic advancement. Aligned with Dubai's Economic Agenda D33, we continue to spearhead sector diversification efforts, reinforcing the city’s stature as a leading global business hub”. 

“The remarkable accomplishments of 2023, presented in the ‘DWTC Economic Impact Report’ demonstrate that Dubai’s MICE sector, driven by DWTC, remains a vital pillar of financial resilience and growth underscoring our accelerated strides towards sustainable socio-economic development. The increase in international participation, along with the significant economic impact generated across diverse sectors such as travel, accommodation and retail, highlights the city’s steadfast commitment to propelling business tourism," he continued. 

Adjacent Sectors Drive Increased GDP Impact
2023’s unprecedented results, attributed to the increased number of large-scale events and international business visitors, resulted in remarkable growth and higher spending across MICE business services and adjacent industry sectors. Direct revenue generated through expenditure in adjacent sectors reached over Dh10.81 billion. The key sectors in the domestic economy that benefited were Hotel Accommodation (Dh2.96 billion, 54% YOY growth), Air Travel and Local Transport (Dh2.64 billion, 20 percent YOY growth), Retail (Dh1.97 billion, 71 percent YOY growth), Restaurants (Dh1.71 billion, 51 percent YOY growth), and Business Entertainment (Dh1.31 billion, 27 percent YOY growth).

According to the Economic Impact Report, the large-scale events at DWTC supported a total of 69,281 jobs and generated an aggregate Dh3.36 billion in disposable household income, demonstrating the significant impact of high value- adding sectors, like Dubai’s MICE industry, to the local economy. 

Rise in International Participation at DWTC Events 
Dubai's status as a premier international MICE destination, coupled with DWTC's robust events calendar, has been instrumental in drawing the global business community in record numbers to the city.

International participants deliver a higher ‘tourism’ related direct economic impact, linked to their increased daily spends with local businesses, longer stays in hotels, and by travelling with colleagues or family members (companions).

The notable 53 percent YOY increase in international participants yielded significant contribution to Dubai’s GDP, with an average participant spend of Dh10,313 per event, which is 6.2 times higher than that of local participants.

This reflects the value beyond the MICE sector, as DWTC's performance in 2023 directly contributed to increased economic activity across Air Travel and Local Transport; Hotel Accommodation; Retail; Restaurants and Business Entertainment.

DWTC's Large-Scale Events Boost Economic Impact
76 large-scale events (2,000 or more attendees), generated sales of approximately Dh2.33 billion within the MICE sector, resulting in nearly eight times that value in economic output. This means that for every dirham invested by an organiser or attendee at a DWTC event, it generates eight times in sales value for the broader Dubai economy. 
The success of DWTC’s own events and exhibitions such as GITEX Global and Gulfood, which generated Dh7.22 billion in economic output and Dh4.15 billion in GVA – a 53 percent increase over 2022 – reflects DWTC’s unparalleled expertise in delivering world-class events that resonate with global audiences. 

Top Performing Events Highlight Dubai’s Sector Diversity
Sector diversity was evident in the top-performing events hosted at DWTC, with a robust portfolio featuring innovative large-scale exhibitions, conventions, and conferences aligned with Dubai economic agenda’s key priority verticals.

‘Healthcare, Medical, and Scientific’, ‘Information Communications Technology (ICT)’, and ‘Food, Hotel, and Catering’ stood out as the top three sectors, collectively accounting for 59 percent (Dh6.27 billion) of the GVA to Dubai’s economy.

These three sectors combined attracted 49 percent (747,468) of total event attendees and 60 percent (430,122) of all international visitors, underscoring their significance.

In 2023, the ICT events welcomed 259,837 visitors and generated a GVA of Dh2.22 billion, while Healthcare, Medical, and Scientific events attracted 261,348 attendees, contributing to a combined GVA of Dh2.17 billion whereas the Food, Hotel and Catering events attracted 226,283 attendees and generated a GVA of Dh1.87billion. 

"Moving forward, DWTC remains dedicated to shaping the future of Dubai’s business tourism and trade. We are unwavering in our commitment in ensuring Dubai remains a front-runner in the global events and exhibitions landscape, fostering new avenues for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and sustainable development," concluded His Excellency Almarri.

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