Dubai exhibition industry draws quarter-million visitors in two months
More than a 250,000 visitors participated in exhibitions held at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) Exhibition Complex and Airport Expo Dubai between mid-September and mid-November, with Gitex and Computer Shopper both luring more than 50,000 visitors each, during their respective runs in October. The DWTC hosted 12 exhibitions between September 15 and November 15, 2001 at the two facilities it manages.
“We’ve had a remarkable season when one considers how precarious the situation seemed in mid-September… we are confident that the spring season, which peaks between March and May will demonstrate a similar trend,” said Ibrahim Al-Hashemi, Corporate Manager, Exhibitions at DWTC.
Hotel occupancy in Dubai soared during the exhibition season, with many hotels reporting they were booked to capacity during Gitex 2001, according to a DWTC press release. The DWTC’s own Hotel Apartments also improved its occupancy rates during the peak exhibition season.
“During September 2001 the DWTC Hotel Apartments’ occupancy rate was 12 percent higher than in September 2000, at more than 85 percent. Similarly, the occupancy rate in October 2001 improved when compared to October 2000, with occupancy at more than 90 percent, and 100 percent during the Gitex period,” said Sherif Mekhemer, Corporate Manager, Hospitality at DWTC.
A successful exhibitions season also impacted on airline activity positively. In relation to cargo shipments, DWTC records indicate that Airlink shipped more than 29,000 kilograms of cargo for the Gitex/Computer Shopper exhibitions and it transported more than 13,000 kilograms of cargo for the Index exhibition.
The exhibition activity undertaken by the DWTC drew broad international support from both visitors and exhibitors. Between September and November 2001, more than 4,600 exhibitors in total participated in exhibitions held in Dubai.
The range of countries represented at the exhibitions reflected a broad international spectrum. The Index exhibition had representation from 53 countries, while the Big 5 exhibition had representation from 46, Gitex had representation from 35, Arab Oil & Gas had representation from 34 and Motexha Autumn had representation from 31.
On average, each exhibition held, ran for four days, however, the larger events had a five-day duration—Index, Gitex, Big 5, Dubai Airshow, Motor Show) and Gitex Computer Shopper ran for a full seven days. During its 2001 peak exhibition season, the DWTC hired some 228 temporary staff, with Gitex requiring the majority of temporary help, at 108. In total, more than 185,000 square meters of exhibition space was used during the peak season, excluding the space occupied by the Dubai Air Show. Of that total, Gitex, the DWTC’s largest and most successful exhibition occupied more than 40,000 square meters of space.
The spin-off effects of a successful exhibition season for the catering industry are also substantial, which is reflected it DWTC’s own catering records. “During September, DWTC’s Food and Beverage Department catered to 115 events within and outside, including some social events hosting more than 2000 guests. In October it serviced 171 events ranging in size from 15 to more than 2000 guests. Demand for outside catering generally increases during this period, and this year was no exception. We hosted a variety of outdoor events at several locations including Dubai Internet City and Emaar and several private residences,” said Mekhemer, adding that demand for the Center’s video-conferencing facilities, located at the World Trade Club, also increased between September and November.
Looking forward, the DWTC will be hosting the second annual Careers UAE exhibition at Airport Expo Dubai December 24-27, 2001 and it anticipates a range of new opportunities in 2002 as it gears up in its preparations for entering the international convention market with the impending opening of new convention centre facilities in 2003.
The Dubai World Trade Centre is the largest exhibition organizer and venue in the Middle East. The two other core activities of the DWTC include property leasing and catering services. The DWTC has more than 59,000 square meters of exhibition space under its management, including the 23,000 square meters at Airport Expo Dubai. The DWTC hosts more than 45 exhibitions annually and organizes over 15 in Dubai (UAE) itself. The DWTC is a semi-government enterprise committed to promoting trade and commerce in the Middle East. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)