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The Dubai Business Events pavilion at IMEX Frankfurt 20 The Dubai Business Events pavilion at IMEX Frankfurt 20

DUBAI: Location Benefits (Part 2)

James Britchford, vice president, sales and marketing, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, noted 2017 had been a great year for the general travel and tourism industry in Dubai, with close to 12 million visitors up to September, reflecting a 7.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016.

Also mentioning major investments in events infrastructure as an incentive to hold meetings in Dubai, Britchford suggested that MICE sector growth was also due to the city’s strategic location on the world map.

This is something Al Naboodah Travel & Tourism Agencies agrees with, noting that Dubai’s hub status appealed to highly diverse markets.

Greg D Souza, director, sales and marketing, Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai, also concurred that location was crucial.

Au Yeung noted Dubai also provides an increasing range and quality of leisure offerings while, putting Dubai’s infrastructure on the table, Mahir Julfar, senior vice president, venue services management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), suggested his organisation had established itself as the Middle East’s leading venue in terms of the size, diversity of events and economic impact.

Nobbs, meanwhile, commented on the government’s role in making it easier to conduct business in Dubai, improving city infrastructure and approving the development of more event space.

“Dubai has established itself as a market leader in the region for travel, hospitality and tourism. It is only natural that people want to have their exhibition in the city.

The government continuously works to make processes easier to conduct business in the emirate, with more countries having visa on arrival, improvements on the city’s infrastructure, and the approval for development of more event space.”

Philip Jones, general manager, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach and Simon Moore, general manager, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai both noted Dubai’s easy connection to air transportation as one of the factors helping to maintain the destination’s MICE sector prominence. Moore elaborated, “Dubai has easy connection to air transportation connecting many international destinations and also to public and private transportations that link to different state-of-the-art venues.”