Remarkable Business events destination, easy accessibility, state-of-the-art infrastructure, modern venues and hotels as well as unique partnerships between the government and the meetings industry have placed Dubai as the leading business events destination in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Dubai brings together the highest standards of comfort and convenience intertwined with the traditional adventure of Arabia. From bustling souks to breath-taking skyscrapers to the world-class restaurants and attractions Dubai is an ideal location for any business event.
In an exclusive conversation with Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President, Dubai Business Events
1. How important is India as a source market for MICE and Weddings?
As our number one overall source for international visitors to Dubai, India is an incredibly important market, and this certainly applies to weddings and business events. The historic economic, trade and cultural links between India and Dubai, as well as the wider UAE, means there is a strong affinity among the Indian audience for Dubai.
For business events, we continue to see strong interest from organisers and planners in India, with Dubai proving to a be an attractive option to drive incentive programmes, or for corporate meetings of all sizes.
When it comes to international business events, including association meetings and congresses, part of Dubai’s appeal and host city is its ability to attract a significant number of delegates from India. Dubai’s year-round calendar of homegrown business events, including major trade shoes such as Gitex, Gulfood and Arab Health, also attract strong attendance from India.
For wedding planners and couples, Dubai is seen as a destination where anything is possible, and where they can truly celebrate their special occasions in style. Sitting at the crossroads of East and West, it is also the ideal location to gather family and friends from around the world.
2. Please share top features of your destination for hosting events?
One of the main features of Dubai as a business events and wedding destination is the wide range of venues planners can choose from, from boardrooms and ballrooms in luxury hotels, to vast halls within Dubai World Trade Centre for larger ceremonies and events. With the favourable weather for most of the year, this can also include outdoor venues in spectacular settings, such as on the beach by the Arabian Gulf.
With over 111,000 hotel rooms across more than 700 properties in the city, there is also a wide choice of hospitality to choose from. Crucially, this can encompass both large groups within a single property – with a number of hotels with more than 1,000 rooms – or hotels across a variety of different price points within close proximity to each other.
Matching that diversity of venues is the wide range of culinary options available in Dubai, an important consideration for wedding planners in particular. As a melting pot of over 200 nationalities, there are cuisines – and crucially expert chefs – from around the world, able to cater to any needs.
Connectivity through Dubai’s two international airports also means the emirate is easily accessible from across India.
Beyond all of this, Dubai also offers unrivalled opportunities for knowledge exchange especially across key sectors such as renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space. Planners can tap into local expertise in these fields and also ensure their events leave a lasting legacy.
3. Please suggest a must try experience in your destination.
Whether it is for socialising and networking during a business event, or to celebrate during a destination wedding, one experience we always suggest planners try to incorporate into their itineraries is an evening out in the desert. This provides an opportunity not only to see a different side to Dubai, away from the vibrant heart of the city, but also to appreciate Emirati and Arabian culture through local food and entertainment.