Helal Al Marri, CEO of DWTC and Peter Rigby, CEO of Informa group during recent meeting in Dubai
Dubai-based event organiser IIR Middle East (part of the Informa Group) has enjoyed a strong start to 2011 with its exhibitions, conference and training business exceeding initial forecasts. IIR Middle East events as well as the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the region’s leading venue operator and preferred location for IIR Middle East events, saw sustained and consolidated growth in visitor numbers across the board as the UAE reaffirmed its position as one of the Middle East’s prime exhibition destinations.
The largest ever Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition, took place on 24 – 27 January and sold out the entire Dubai World Trade Centre for the fifth year running. According to the organisers, 93% of exhibitors signed up for Arab Health 2012 onsite and a waiting list is expected. Currently running at DWTC, Middle East Electricity is 15% larger than in 2010 and first day visitor numbers are indicative of a 12% increase from last year.
Arab Health and Middle East Electricity combined bring in an estimated 110,000 attendees, of which an estimated 40,000 fly into Dubai specifically to come to the shows, which provides the hospitality industry with a huge boost in trade. Between the two events an estimated 132,000 hotel nights are generated worth some $33 million in revenue. The success of the exhibitions and events industry highlights the UAE’s ranking as a leading regional commercial hub, nurturing continued growth and injecting substantial capital in various local industries.
Delighted with the renewed success of events running at the venue, DTWC continues to provide an ideal networking platform for the regions exhibitions, conferences and training industry. New developments at the venue such as the RTA Metro transport link and additional world-class catering facilities have received lavish praise from IIR Middle East clients.
“Our exhibition business in the region remains very strong and with record numbers on the shows so far in 2011, we are very positive on the outlook for the rest of the year,” said Peter Rigby, Chief Executive Officer, Informa Group, who visited Dubai this week to discuss future plans with the DWTC. “We have also seen a significant pick-up in our conference and training portfolio which, like many other operators, was hit in the recent economic crisis. Our Middle East business is the largest events organiser in the region, operating over 450 conferences and training courses, plus 34 exhibitions across all industries, this scale coupled with the wider resources of the Informa group, is a significant asset.”
Commenting on the on-going partnership between DWTC and IIR Middle East, Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, DWTC, said: “IIR Middle East and DWTC have worked in close partnership for nearly 20 years now and through this special relationship we look forward to growing the UAE’s events industry by continuing to foster a pro-business attitude that encourages trade and investment in the region.”
According to Will Morris, CEO of Informa Exhibitions and General Manager of IIR Middle East, the future for the regional business and its portfolio of events looks promising. “We have successfully negotiated the economic downturn and through the diversification and launch of new events throughout the region, we are well placed to continue delivering positive results,” he added.