Other stakeholders have also agreed that Dubai can develop its MICE offering even further.
Britchford suggested building local capability was key in view of increasing demand for a skilled workforce in the hospitality industry, while Au Yeung noted that preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai are further lending traction to the sector.
Kazim also referred to Expo 2020 when noting work was already under way to enable Dubai to host even larger conferences.
Expo 2020, Dubai’s legacy programme, for example, will see around 80 percent of the site used for other purposes after the events, with a dedicated conference and exhibition centre being among the permanent facilities left behind, added Kazim.
Looking ahead, Moore is optimistic for Dubai’s MICE industry future, noting, “Dubai has retained its crown as the most popular destination for trade shows and exhibitions in the Middle East, and no doubt it will continue throughout the years.”
PLAYING THEIR PART
Those involved in the MICE sector are also conscious of the role their businesses and organisations have to play in keeping Dubai at the top of its game.
Julfar commented, “With over 35 years of experience, DWTC will continue to build on its success as a leading destination for business and leisure events […].
We will also continue to offer a diverse events calendar that adapts easily to the rapid changes the world is witnessing, and deliver unsurpassed customer service and unique experiences.”
Julfar also noted that DWTC would pursue real estate development aligned with capacity requirements for exhibition business, and harness the regulatory status of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA), with the view of catering for the planned up scaling of strategic events within its calendar.
Noting more and more business travellers tend to combine participation in events with leisure wherever they go, Loiseau outlined that facilities like Dubai Parks and Resorts played a vital role in redefining MICE destinations and introducing innovative, entertaining and interesting propositions to the mass business travel segment. “Our customised MICE packages will prove to be one of the most preferred options for business audiences looking for that wow factor,” stated Loiseau.
Jones, meanwhile noted, along with the importance of attractive accommodation, the significance of venues investing in the right technology.
He said the past few years had seen a change in trends and business needs along with the rapidly evolving advances with technology. Indicating the importance that should be paid to such needs, Jones gave the example of Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach’s plans to invest a large amount of money on audio visual systems in its ballroom to ensure that they provide the best possible audio and visual quality that the modern business traveller has come to expect.
Yeung underlined the importance of teamwork between MICE sector participants, noting that Emaar Hospitality Group works closely with DTCM to underline Dubai’s service and culinary experiences by hosting international media and high-profile guests at is hotels and restaurants.
Some MICE sector members also regularly attend popular international trade shows around the world to promote the destination as a year-round MICE tourism hub. Yeung mentioned China, Russia, India, UK, Germany, US and Australia as destinations where this message has been delivered.
Moore agreed, noting that Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai would continue participating at various MICE events such as MICE Middle East Forum, MICE Arabia Luxury Travel Congress, Middle East Special Event & Exhibition Show, Bridal Fair and more, to ensure that the hotel was up-to-date with the latest trends.