Dubai’s economy continues to experience sustained growth from the contribution of business tourism, thereby driving the nation’s economic diversification agenda.
Dubai World Trade Centre’s (DWTC) latest Economic Impact Assessment report for 2018 saw a record AED13.1 billion (US$3.5 million), equivalent to 3.3% of the emirate’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, added in incremental retained economic value by the DWTC.
Data from the report confirms that international business traffic to events has continuously proven to be significant in driving economic development. The impact goes far beyond the economy, extending to residents, trade professionals and businesses alike.
The study attributed the record AED13.1 billion in retained economic value for Dubai’s economy to the performance of the DWTC’s large-scale events, estimating that for every AED1 ($0.27) spent at these events, a further 4.4 times in sales value was generated for ancillary sectors and Dubai’s wider economy.
Analysing the factors underlying the DWTC’s growing contribution to the city’s GDP acceleration agenda, the report highlighted the success of the venue’s 97 large-scale exhibitions, trade events, conventions and conferences hosted through 2018.
“2018 was a particularly noteworthy year that marked four decades of our accelerated journey towards accomplishing the aspirational mandate laid out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to make the emirate the global hub for regional business networking," said Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Europe accounted for the highest number of international business event visitors at 25%, followed by the GCC (21%), and the MENA region (17%). Five key industry sectors dominated in 2018, including food, hotel and catering; healthcare, medical and science; information technology, business and finance; energy and environment; and industrial manufacturing, accounting for 66% (AED8.6 billion) of the Gross Value Added to Dubai’s economy. The report estimates that these five sectors attracted 62% (1.6 million) of all attendees to the DWTC’s 97 large-scale events in 2018.
According to the Economic Impact report, a total of 87,861 jobs were attributable to the DWTC’s business events sector in 2018, and generated an aggregate AED4.2 billion ($1.1 million) in disposable household income.