17 April، 2024

News from Emirates

Dubai’s MICE sector grows 25% while events industry clocks Dh165 billion in 2023 as Alltech Events doubles turnover

Dubai, UAE; March 18, 2024

Dubai’s exhibitions, conferences, seminars and business events sector has recorded a 25 percent growth last year as Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the global events and exhibitions industry powerhouse and a leading business enabler, said it has attracted 2.47 million participants in 2023.

“[The] 2023 results with outstanding performance offer an insight into Dubai’s unprecedented economic growth and its position as a powerful international convening platform for business and trade enablement,” DWTC says. “The results were driven by 301 Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), business and consumer events, a notable 23 percent rise year-on-year.”

These results come as Dubai-based Alltech Events Group announces a game-changing expansion plan that will see the company expand its capabilities to boost the emirate’s events industry that generated Dh165 billion turnover last year. It is hiring 30 percent more professionals to manage the growth in business, reflecting what the DWTC said about the industry.

DWTC held 107 Exhibitions and International Association Conventions and Industry Conferences last year, collectively attracting 1.56 million attendees, marking a substantial 33 percent increase compared to the previous year. Of these, over 722,000 were international attendees, representing an unprecedented 60 percent growth year-on-year.

“The event industry in Dubai is estimated to be worth Dh165.15 billion (US$44.7 billion) in 2023, that is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 25 percent per year between 2023 to 2027, according to a report by Dubai Pulse published on Linked-In. “The events industry supports 100,000 jobs in Dubai while it will create a further 10,000 more in the next five years.”

However, there is an even bigger events market in the GCC and the Middle East region where events are getting bigger and better. Middle East Event Services Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1 percent from 2023 to 2033 to US$144.2 billion in 2033, according to Market Decipher, a research entity.

Alltech Events is planning to expand beyond the UAE to become a regional player in the next few years.

“We have invested more than Dh5.5 million to acquire new and technologically advanced audio-visual products that will help us to raise the bar in events production while expand our capacity in handling more events,” Rinu Basheer, CEO and Managing Partner of Alltech Events Group that includes Udaya Sound (US) Creations, says.

“Our turnover doubled to Dh15 million in 2023, growing from Dh7.5 million in 2022. We currently produce or handled between 250 to 300 events per year with a team of 72 professionals and sound engineers – which is very high in number compared to others.

“We are going to see a higher turnover this year and the years to come due to the increasing number of business and corporate events and our ability to deliver them on time, professionally and with the intended outcome by the clients. Due to the steep growth in business, we are hiring new professionals in order to expand our capabilities in the UAE and beyond. By the end of this year, we expect the number of our employees to grow by 30 percent to exceed 100 on direct payroll.”

The company currently has a huge events inventory of technical gadgets, including sound and vision equipment, LED screens, heavy-duty sound system and other accessories that are spread over six large warehouses, while his team is looking for more storage facilities to keep and maintain Dh100 million worth of equipment.

Alltech Event Group’s growth somewhat mirrors the growth of the events industry – one of the fastest-growing economic sectors – in Dubai and the UAE.

Events – corporate events, business events, seminars, conferences, channel partners meeting, exhibitions that are also collectively known as Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) sector – are a growing industry in the UAE and Dubai is the events hub of the Middle East and North Africa region. Directly and indirectly, they all contribute to the UAE’s tourism and hospitality industry as these events attract a large pool of foreign visitors who pay for air tickets, hotel stay, restaurants for food and local transport agencies, taxis and tour operators for local transport and site-seeing activities.

Last year, Dubai’s 821 hotels and hotel apartment complexes with 150,000 rooms, suites and service apartments together served 17.15 million tourists – a large number of them came to attend business events, exhibitions and conferences in the emirate. Average occupancy for the hotel sector in 2023 stood at 77.4 per cent in Dubai, while occupied room nights also set a new record with 41.70 million.

Tourism is set to be a major contributor to the Dubai Economic Agenda D33’s goal of doubling the size of Dubai’s economy in the next 10 years, according to Dubai Government’s vision. Dubai’s ambitious tourism plans also support the national strategy to attract Dh100 billion in additional tourism investments and receive 40 million hotel guests in 2031. Events and MICE tourism will play a great role in future.

The MICE industry in the UAE will continue its exponential growth and sustain significant contribution to the national economy in coming years, according to industry reports that indicate that the UAE MICE market is expected to grow at 8.5 per cent during the 2023-30 from US$5.21 billion to US$9.22 billion by 2030 due to increasing business events, exhibitions and conferences in the country.

The UAE dominates the MICE market in the Middle East due to world-class infrastructure and facilities for hosting global events. Dubai World Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and Expo Centre Sharjah are some of the leading players in the MICE industry and contributing significantly to national economy.

ADNEC group announced recently that the direct and indirect economic contributions of the group’s seven business sectors to the economy of the emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general will double to reach Dh7.37 billion in 2023, an increase of 107 per cent compared to 2022, which amounted to Dh3.56 billion, to be the largest in the group’s history since its establishment in 2005.

The region’s leading destination for business events, Dubai attracts a wide range of business travellers through its calendar of annual exhibitions and trade shows that are among the largest in the world. Major business and leisure events held in 2023 included Gulfood that attracted 134,000 visitors and 5,000 exhibitors, Gitex Global Dubai attracted 170,000 visitors and 6,000 exhibitors, the Dubai International Boat Show saw 30,000 visitors while the Arabian Travel Market saw a footfall of 40,000 visitors.

Dubai Business Events, part of DET and the city’s official convention bureau, said, it won a record 349 bids to host international conferences and congresses, over the coming years.

In 2024, the projected revenue in the event tickets market in the UAE is expected to reach US$249.90 million (Dh910 million), according to Statista.com, a global market intelligence provider. The market is projected to generate annual revenue of US$267.10 million (Dh1 billion) by 2028. Furthermore, the music events market in the UAE is projected to have a market volume of US$140.40 million in 2024.

By far, the United States is the largest events and entertainment market in the world. When compared globally, in the United States is expected to generate the highest revenue, amounting to US$36.26 billion in the same year.

Rinu Basheer doesn’t have a sales or marketing team to secure business or to develop business further. Then how does his company generate business leads – something that other businesses spend hundreds of thousands of UAE Dirhams spend – to get.

“Most event organisers and event management companies know our name. We have a very good track record in event production and they keep giving us businesses,” Rinu Basheer says. “We get repeated businesses from the existing clients while others hear about us through the word of mouth. I sometimes receive phone calls from people I had never met and they tell us if we could handle their upcoming events. Depending on the credibility of the event organisers, I either will take the assignment, or reject it.”

Established in India at 1950 and UAE at 2006, US Creations is a leading Dubai-based event production company specialising in design and technical production. Providing the full spectrum of event production services – from design, lighting and audio visual, to set and staging, decor and styling.

Established UAE at 2019, Alltech Events is a leading Dubai-based in-house event production company specialising in design and technical production. Whether it’s large-scale awards shows, banquets, conferences, exhibitions, experiential events and brand activations, or more intimate media launches, fashion shows, weddings and receptions.