DWTC begins construction of new exhibition hall, adding 15,000 sq. m. of available space for booming conference sector
Under the directive of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Minister for Finance and Industry, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), DWTC has begun the initial phases of construction of a new exhibition hall for the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).
Construction of the hall will begin in February 2006 and will take eight months to complete. The project will add 15,000 square metres of exhibition space to the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), thus increasing the available space by 30 percent.
“Dubai’s Conference and Exhibition sector is undergoing massive growth and, as a result, demand for space is outstripping supply significantly. In 2005, shows at the DICEC grew in terms of exhibition space at levels ranging from 10 percent through to 58 percent, and we are looking to ensure that the facilities are available to support such growth rates and enable organisers to continue to provide the world class standard of events that visitors have come to expect,” said DWTC Director General Helal Saeed Al Marri.
“We are confident that this increase in exhibition space will be welcomed by local, regional and international exhibition organizers as an important facility which will help them to grow their business, and will also provide us with a competitive edge as we look to attract the world’s biggest and most prestigious events to Dubai,” he added.
In recent years there has been a surge in demand for exhibition space as Dubai’s MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) industry expands in both scope and scale. DWTC has played a major role in supporting the growth and development of this important industry through the provision of high level facilities, and sees the expansion as an important step in securing the long-term growth of the sector.
Al Marri continued: “Recognizing the developing needs of the sector and the important growth opportunities that lie ahead, we have put two major stages of a strategic development plan in place to provide sufficient exhibition space for the future. The first stage is based upon expanding and enhancing the current exhibition space and facilities at DICEC to support the growth of the industry over the next three years.”
“The second stage will enable us to meet the exciting demands of the future, through the construction of Dubai Exhibition City, part of the Jebel Ali Airport City, which will offer a staggering 120,000 sqm of exhibition space by the year 2009.”
The new hall will enable further growth of the major events held at DICEC, such as GITEX, Gulfood, Arab Health, Middle East International Motor Show, Arabian Travel Market and Big 5.
These events have already recorded staggering growth rates in 2005. GITEX 2005, for example, attracted 1163 exhibitors, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year; Gulfood 2005 saw an increase of 58 percent in the number of exhibitors over the previous event; while Big Five welcomed 2000 exhibitors, an increase of 25%.
The construction of the exhibition hall is the first phase of a longer-term plan involving a major redevelopment and enhancement of the present DWTC complex to include a state-of-the-art convention centre, office and residential towers, hotels and hotel apartments and shopping facilities over a period of seven to 10 years. The cost of the project will be AED 16 billion.