Middle East

Dubai WTC records surge in international attendance to 2.47m visitors in 2023

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has unveiled its 2023 results that show the venue welcomed 2.47 million visitors in 2023, a 25% increase compared to the previous yearThe results were driven by 301 MICE and consumer events, a 23% rise year-on-year.

The increase in visitors reflects the strength of DWTC’s diversified calendar, led by 107 exhibitions and international association conventions and industry conferences. These events collectively attracted 1.56 million attendees, marking a 33% increase compared to the previous yearOf these722,000 were international attendees, representing 60% growth year-on-year. These events and exhibitions drew 53,789 exhibiting companies, 78% of which were international (41,864).

The surge in foreign business attendees is a boost to the aspirations of the emirate’s D33 Agenda, designed to propel Dubai to be a top three global economic city by 2033.

Last year DWTC also hosted 35 entertainment, live, and leisure events collectively attracting over 850,000 visitors.

Commenting on the results, H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, said: “Our results underscore the robust dynamics of the emirate’s thriving economy and strategic focus on key industry sectors, reinforcing Dubai’s leading status as a global hub for knowledge, innovation and business. The past year has been shaped by extraordinary momentum across the entire business and trade ecosystem. Culminated by successful hosting of COP28, Dubai remains a frontrunner in the global events and exhibitions landscape.”

DWTC also welcomed 33 new entrants to its events calendar, including 17 exhibitions, nine international associations conventions and seven conferences. These events collectively attracted nearly 95,000 participants and over 2,000 exhibiting companies. Prominent new additions included: World of Coffee, World Police Summit, International Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies – IFOS 2023, Seatrade Maritime Logistics Middle East, and Asia Baby Children Maternity Exhibition.

In 2023, flagship events such as GITEX Global and Gulfood maintained their leadership positions in their respective sectors, experiencing notable growth in visitors by 44% and 31% respectively.

GITEX Global expanded to a city-wide scale, with Expand North Star serving as a satellite event, held at Dubai Harbour, a strategic move to accommodate the event’s growth. The world’s largest tech showcase attracted a remarkable 245,000 attendees and hosted over 7,200 exhibitors.

Gulfood, renowned as a crucial platform for food and beverage producers, welcomed more than 134,000 trade visitors, while boasting an impressive showcase of 5,200 exhibitors.

DWTC’s global expansion endeavours, through KAOUN International, saw the successful launch of the GITEX Africa and Saudi Food Show in 2023. GITEX Africa held in Morocco made a ground-breaking debut as the largest tech and start-up show in Africa, attracting attendees from 128 countries, including representatives from 46 African nations.

The Healthcare, Medical, and Scientific sector emerged as the top performing industry at DWTC, with 24 events that attracted 275,000 attendees, representing one fifth of all exhibitions and conventions held at the venue. The number of events in this sector grew from 18 in 2022, with total participation increasing by 29%. Key highlights included major events such as AEEDC and Arab Health.

The Information Technology sector came in second, attracting 260,000 attendees, a 17% share of the MICE category. This sector was dominated by GITEX Global and its associated events, with participation up by 41% Y-o-Y.

The Food, Hotel, and Catering sector followed closely, attracting 226,000 attendees, a 14% share of MICE events. Led by Gulfood and Gulfood Manufacturing, this sector experienced a substantial 42% increase in participation compared to 2022. 

In 2023, DXB LIVE, the experiential agency of DWTC, expanded, managing 500 events, including exhibitions, conferences, public entertainment events, concerts, weddings, graduation ceremonies, and more.

Source: www.exhibitionworld.co.uk

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