Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, is celebrating a record year for business events with more than 153,000 delegates set to visit Dubai as a result of business event wins in 2018.

DBE has seen 13 per cent growth in winning bids for the city’s official convention bureau, with a shift towards larger-scale events. 2018 business event wins are estimated to result in an economic impact of approximately AED 1.2 billion over coming years. Throughout 2018, Dubai submitted 557 business event bids, up from 354 in 2017, and among the wins awarded were those for bids submitted in previous years, 2018 also marked DBE’s 15-year anniversary.

Issam Kazim, chief executive officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “We look forward to hosting a number of significant events in the city over the next few years as a result of the outstanding performance in bid wins we have secured in 2018. Driven by the city’s visionary leadership, Dubai has become a flourishing business events destination and knowledge hub which caters to a range of event types and sizes.

“Our strategy will continue to align with Dubai Tourism’s Vision and in 2019 our goal is to build on this momentum and attract events that leave a lasting legacy for delegates and the city. To achieve this, we will continue to engage with business events professionals globally, while working with stakeholders and partners in Dubai to identify and pursue opportunities to bid for major business events.”

Key bid wins from 2018 include the World Congress of Gastroenterology set to take place in 2021 with a total of 6,000 delegates in attendance, the Mary Kay China Incentive set to take place in 2019 with 800 delegates in attendance as well as the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, set to take place in 2020, which will bring 1,000 delegates to Dubai.

Steen Jakobsen, assistant vice president of Dubai Business Events, added: “One of Dubai’s strengths when it comes to reaching out to event planners and creating compelling bids for major events is the close team work and collaborative approach taken by stakeholders across the city.

“The monumental growth in the number of delegates set to attend business events in Dubai as a result of 2018 bid wins is testimony to the Emirate’s increasing appeal as a global business hub. Business events hosted in the city play an important role in the development of our knowledge economy and are a crucial part of our wider tourism strategy and contribution to Dubai’s GDP growth.”