DUBAI: Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Board of Dubai World Trade Centre, announced a record performance for Dubai World Trade Centre in 2012, with more than 1.85 million visitors and circa 37,000 companies using the events as a trading, promotional and sales platform for the MENASA region.
The announcement followed Sheikh Hamdan’s chairmanship of Dubai World Trade Centre’s Annual Board Meeting on Thursday. The meeting included detailed reviews of the organisation’s 2012 performance results, the historic performance from 2008 to 2012 and plans for DWTC’s future growth.
The Board Members in attendance included Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Deputy Chairman; Butti Saeed Al Ghandi; Ziad Abdulla Galadari; Abdulla Mohammed Rafia; Khalifa Saeed Al Zaffin; Saoud Ibrahim Obaidalla; Abdulrahman Mohammed Rashid Al Sharid; and Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre.
Addressing the Board, Sheikh Hamdan said: “Dubai World Trade Centre continues to be a pillar of prosperity and growth for Dubai. It is highly encouraging to see that the strategy to grow the scale and diversity of events on the annual calendar has had the desired impact on substantially increasing the number of visitors and exhibitors.
“Even more positive is the strong performance throughout the last five years. During a period when the global exhibitions industry experienced difficulty prior to its more recent stabilisation, Dubai World Trade Centre has delivered year-on-year growth. The 2012 results affirm DWTC’s position as the Middle East’s premier platform for business networking and international trade. I commend the Board, the management and the staff for the organisation’s fundamental role in positioning Dubai as a business and trading hub of the region, and its contribution to the Dubai economy. Our strategic priority is to continue to grow this contribution.” A 2011 study showed that Dubai World Trade Centre generated more than Dhs6.5 billion for Dubai’s economy - a contribution of 2.1 per cent of the Emirate’s total GDP. The 2012 results represent a 12.5 per cent increase in the number of visitors and a 5.5 per cent rise in exhibitors on 2011 figures.
The swell in exhibitor numbers saw 36,996 companies from over 130 countries participate in events at DWTC during the year, while the record visitor numbers were drawn from 186 countries. 38 per cent of the total attendance to DWTC’s major exhibitions and conventions in 2012 was comprised of foreign visitors, who, per person, contributed 11 times the economic value to Dubai compared to locally based visitors.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, commented: “Dubai is a place where the world comes to network, trade and grow, and DWTC is integral to this. But it is not just the number of events we stage and the volume of visitors we attract we bring top tier decision makers to Dubai, cultivating partnerships, transactions and sustained economic activity. The rise in visitor and exhibitor numbers combined with their geographical diversity demonstrates the increasing global recognition for Dubai as an engine for business growth not just for the Middle East, but for the wider Middle East, North Africa and South Asian region.
“Estimates show that over the next five years city’s trade traffic will grow by an average of 5-7 per cent per annum, with a substantial amount of business coming by virtue of being on the arterial routes linking growth economies across Latin America, Africa and the East. DWTC will continue to play a major role in stimulating trade, as we remain focused on delivering not just a world-class trade event and destination experience, but also a world-leading one.”
DWTC delivered a strong calendar of events in 2012 with more than 150 trade and exhibition-related events including 106 mega-events, covering sectors such as healthcare, education, ICT, construction, food, trade, security and logistics.