Following a strong start to 2011, the region’s leading venue operator and event organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has kicked off a robust March calendar, hosting 20 of the Middle East’s leading exhibitions and conferences – a record number of events held in one month in the 2011 exhibition calendar. These events are expected to draw approximately 230,000 visitors from over 150 countries, confirming DWTC’s position as a critical driver to regional business growth.
CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, Helal Saeed Almarri said, “Based on the quality and diversity of events running in March and the volume in trade these represent, the month will close Q1 on a strong footing. Dubai’s ongoing success in attracting international and regional trade exhibitions and global congresses highlights the dynamism and positive market outlook of the industry. In our quest to be a seamless facilitator of opportunities, DWTC strives to provide real business and networking platforms to a breadth of sectors from across the world.”
Events held in March include the world’s largest food and drink exhibition, Gulfood, that closed on March 2nd to record numbers. Boasting an impressive 3,800 exhibitors from over 100 countries, representing a 10% increase over 2010, Gulfood was a clear indicator of the world’s view of Dubai as the leading regional trade hub. Running simultaneously with Gulfood, was the highly successful Dubai International Boat Show that kicked off on March 1st at the Dubai International Marine Club. The undisputed event leader for the sector, the show brought together high-end buyers and world-class suppliers from the most lucrative regions in the world, announcing a 100 million dirham sale of a superyacht on day one of the show. Two events ran in parallel from the 7th March – 9th March, setting the pace for an event packed month. Paperworld Middle East is a vitally important business platform offering ideal overview of current market themes and trends in paper and office products sector; Playworld Middle East is a new trade exhibition dedicated to the entire range of kids’ products.
Technology and production will feature strongly this month with six sector related, vertically diverse world-class shows, promising to result in lucrative commercial gains. ARABLAB, which concluded yesterday, served as a dynamic sales platform to global markets, with 55% of business generated from outside the Arab world. The Water, Energy, Environment and Technology Exhibition (WETEX) is an important regional resourcing platform for national and international companies to access a wide range of latest technology and management solutions. After the resounding success of its debut, Microsoft Tech Ed Middle East 2010, Microsoft Gulf hosted the second edition from the 8th – 10th March. The three day event offered IT professionals and developers a chance to explore Microsoft’s latest products and technologies with a strong focus on Cloud Computing.
Mid March will see DWTC host a set of events from sectors as diverse as business development, automotive and equestrian goods. Franchise Middle East (FME), running from 14th – 16th March, is the largest international franchise show in the MENA region and will not only bring opportunities in the Middle East, but will also showcase the investment and business avenues available to entrepreneurs. Commercial Vehicles Middle East, running on the same dates, will gather all vehicle types including buses, trucks, trailers and motorcycles, as well as products and services for the automotive industry. This will be followed by Gulf Pack & Gulf Print, the Middle East’s premier print & pack show that offers an excellent platform from which to introduce the latest machinery and product developments. From March 14th – 17th, international scientists and regional clinicians will get together to generate new ideas in genetics at the Human Genome Meeting 2011. Equestrian enthusiasts will look forward to the fifth edition of the Dubai International Horse Fair (DIHF), running from the 17th – 19th March. With a growth in net exhibition space of over 250% since its inauguration four years ago, DIHF has established itself as the region’s largest exhibition for equestrian equipment, services and care products. The prestigious Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship will be held during the same period.
Continuing the flow of diverse industries, the last ten days of March will conclude with an exciting mix of commercial activity from the fields of human resources; oil & gas; textiles; and agriculture. Organised by DWTC, Careers UAE enables talented UAE nationals in all fields to come face-to-face with recruiters from leading employers. On the 22nd of March, DWTC will host Dubai International Pharmaceutical and Technologies (DUPHAT), a two day event which has run since 1995 which provides innovation and education worldwide and is closely aligned with Dubai’s strategic goals within healthcare as a whole, which looks to propel the industry through dedicated research and development. Offshore Arabia Exhibition and Conference which runs from the 28th – 30th March, plans to create opportunities for challenging and enhancing the potential for the future of the oil & gas industry. Presenting $100 million worth of business opportunities with over 100 exhibitors from 23 countries, it is one of the region’s key sector specific events.
The themes of technology and production conclude with the 8th edition of Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD). The conference which runs from 28th – 30th March, will look at the manner in which new technologies are affecting and changing the way humanitarian and development organisations collectively operate and how these changes are benefitting populations in need of assistance. Ongoing from the 29th – 31st March are Motexha and Agra Middle East. Running for 33 years, Motexha is the Middle East’s premier event for garments, textiles, leather and fashion. Closing the month, the annual Bride Show, will see more than 300 local and international exhibitors participate, showcasing everything a bride-to-be needs to plan and organise for that special day. Her Highness Sheikha Bint Saif, Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation UAE and wife of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Advisor to the President of the UAE, will open the four day event in a ribbon cutting ceremony on the 30th March.
The strong line up of events for March support DWTC’s commitment to contribute between 1.5 – 2% to the Emirate’s GDP in line with Dubai’s strategic agenda. Year on year, DWTC is proving to be a increasing force within the global MICE industry, attracting the sector’s leading players and promoting growth in all business verticals.