DWTC welcomed visitors in 2022 to the tune of...
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Here’s how many visitors Dubai’s DWTC welcomed in 2022

Here’s how many visitors Dubai’s DWTC welcomed in 2022

Dubai World Trade Centre hosted 244 exhibitions and events in 2022, growing by 39 per cent over the previous year

Neesha Salian
DUBai World Trade Centre DWTC photo courtesy Dubai Media Office twitter

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) hosted 1.98 million delegates in 2022, reflecting a strong growth of 29 per cent in visits over the previous year, it recently announced.

Visitor growth was boosted by 244 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), business and consumer events.

Of this number, 97 exhibitions and conferences welcomed 1.18 million attendees; 38 per cent of these came in from overseas.

An unprecedented year

Helal Saeed Almarri - Director General DTCM

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DWTC, said: “An unprecedented year for the MICE industry, 2022 underlined Dubai’s leadership, with its dynamic events sector, an acknowledged global platform for impactful knowledge sharing, effective networking and game-changing innovation. We will build on this momentum by reinforcing Dubai’s position as the capital of the MICE industry, and continue our contribution towards achieving Dubai Economic Agenda D33 goals.”

The MICE segment saw robust growth with DWTC attracting over 37,000 exhibiting companies (50 per cent increase from 2021), of which 72 per cent were international.

Almarri added: “Ongoing recalibration, both for the global events industry and for DWTC, was our focus in 2022, and our year-end results are especially significant given its wide-ranging economic impact. In 2023, we will build on our position as a MICE sector leader, both locally and beyond UAE borders, as we venture into Saudi Arabia and Morocco, with KOAUN International.

“In parallel, we march ahead with the development of our expanding portfolio of real estate and free zone activities to ensure that we remain an attractive, future-forward hub for emerging industries and technologies as well as business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators looking to shape the future of business from Dubai.”

Growth for DWTC owned exhibition and events

DWTC’s own portfolio of exhibitions and events, which includes flagship events GITEX Global and Gulfood, attracted 337,000 visitors, registering 20 per cent annual growth while the combined portfolio of events attracted twelve thousand exhibiting companies, an impressive increase of 35 per cent.

DWTC also launched KAOUN International. The overseas market-focused international events company is set to deliver the inaugural editions of Saudi Food Show and GITEX Africa in 2023.

Read: Gitex to launch Africa edition in 2023

GITEX Global 2022 attracted more than 170,000 attendees, 40 per cent of which were international.

The event generated Dhs2.6bn worth of total economic output, with 57 per cent retained within the local economy, according to DWTC’s GITEX Global 2022 Economic Impact Assessment Report, released in December 2022.

The 27th edition of Gulfood saw a 50 per cent increase in participation and once again connected food and beverage producers and buyers from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region with several countries expanding their national pavilions, including Turkey, Italy and Estonia.

Top performing sectors in 2022

The healthcare, medical and scientific sector was the top-performing one with 17 events (compared to 12 events in 2021) and attracted 202,000 participants, led by a duo of region-leading healthcare exhibitions: Arab Health and AEEDC.

The information technology sector, grew from six events in 2021 to 10 events in 2022, attracting 184,000 attendees, which represented a 22% YoY growth, led by GITEX Global and its co-located events.

The food and beverage trade sector, led by Gulfood, hosted a total of eight events and registered 160,000 participants, an increase of 18 per cent over 2021.

Driven by Automechanika, the Automotive and Transport sector saw seven events attracting 69,000 participants, while the Big 5 was the top performing exhibition within the Building, Construction and Facility Management sector, welcoming over 66,000 visitors.

Gulfood 2022 in progress
Gulfood 2022

Key exhibitions and events in 2022

Some of the key events and shows held by DWTC included Medlab Exhibition & Conference, Dubai International Pharmaceuticals and Technologies Conference and Exhibition (DUPHAT), Dubai World Dermatology and Laser Conference and Exhibition (Dubai Derma), Middle East Energy, Arabian Travel Market Exhibition, Index Exhibition, Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX), Dubai Muscle Show & Dubai Active 2022, Beauty World Middle East and Wellness & Spa Exhibition and Gulfood Manufacturing.

It hosted a total of 47 exciting entertainment, live, and leisure events, welcoming back over 790,000 visitors, led by Dubai Sports World with a record attendance of 308,000 representing a 53 per cent increase over 2021 and Dubai Run with 193,000 participants in 2022.

DXB Live, DWTC’s experiential agency, witnessed record growth in 2022, marking its foray into new regional and international markets including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Germany.

DXB Live provided services to over 400 events and was the main contractor for over 50 exhibitions including mega events such as GITEX Global, Light Middle East, Beauty world and Gulfood.

In addition, DXB Live, in partnership with World of Coffee Association, organised and delivered the World of Coffee exhibition.

The event achieved unprecedented success in its second edition with 1000 exhibitors and brands from 44 countries, generating significant interest from coffee manufacturers and businesses across the globe.

DWTC Free Zone witnesses strong growth

Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) Free Zone doubled in size, issuing 926 new licences in 2022, while grade-A commercial One Central, marked its highest occupancy at 75 per cent since opening.

The year also witnessed the successful opening of the five-star flagship 25 Hours Hotel at One Central with its highly successful F&B concepts complementing the lively mix of new restaurants and cafes in the community.

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