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Dubai’s hosting of international meeting planners showcases growing business events credentials
A large delegation of approximately 100 influential meeting planners and business events journalists from around the world are in Dubai September 20-22, 2014 as part of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing’s (DTCM) ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the city’s offering as a leading destination for business events.

The trip, believed to be one of the largest in the emirate’s history, has been organised by Dubai Business Events – the Official Convention Bureau (DBE), a division of DTCM which promotes Dubai as a dynamic host city for incentive travel, meetings and conferences.

Working closely with Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Emirates Airline, Dubai Airports and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), the visiting group, which comprises delegates from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, is the first of many that will visit Dubai in the coming years to experience the destination first-hand. The visit is also part of ongoing efforts to increase business visitors to the emirate by 50 to 75 per cent under Tourism Vision for 2020.

“Dubai’s business events and incentive industry continues to go from strength to strength,” said Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events (DBE). “Our hosting of almost 100 influential meeting planners who have descended upon Dubai from all corners of the world, is one of many initiatives being undertaken by DBE to both maintain and increase this momentum as we showcase to key industry partners the world over that Dubai is the place for business, and business events.”

Under Dubai’s ‘Tourism Vision for 2020’ roadmap, government and private sector partners are working together to double the number of tourists visiting Dubai in 2020 to 20 million people, up from the 10 million people who visited in 2012. The aims of the strategy are to double leisure visitors to the emirate to 17 million by 2020 while increasing business visitors by 50% to 75% to around 3.5 million people.

Through comprehensive familiarisation trips to experience both business and leisure touch points across Dubai, DBE is building long-term relationships between leading international meeting planners and local business event suppliers such as hotels, venues, destination management companies and professional conference organisers. This will result in increased global events being hosted in the city, which will bring greater numbers of international business delegates to Dubai.

During their first-hand introduction and immersion in Dubai’s business events industry and infrastructure, the delegation is touring a number of Dubai venues and landmarks including Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which hosts 50% of the regions exhibitions and conferences and the iconic Burj Khalifa. Delegates will also be taken to visit a number of Dubai’s leading hotels and meetings venues, as well as treated to a slice of Dubai’s history and culture through various tours of Dubai Creek alongside some of the emirate’s newer districts.

“We believe that there’s no better way of promoting Dubai than having business events’ decision-makers and influencers experience the destination first-hand,” added Jakobsen. “Our infrastructure, connectivity and growing events and cultural credentials speak for themselves and we are confident that this trip, and the others that will follow will pay long-term dividends for both our business and tourism sectors.”

Jakobsen went on to thank the local tourism partners who are helping make the fam trip possible, including The Address Dubai Mall, The Address Downtown, The Atlantis Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, the Meydan Hotel, the JW Marriot Marquis and the Sofitel Downtown. Transport and logistics for the trip are being provided by Arabian Adventures, Alpha Tours and 24 Degrees, while activity partners include Al Sahra Desert Resort and Burj Khalifa’s At The Top.