The direct economic impact of business events on the emirate of Abu Dhabi is expected to grow seven per cent annually over the next eight years to reach AED5.1 billion (US$1.4 billion) by 2020, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
The figures, culled from a survey the authority commissioned from a leading consulting house, say that in 2010 – the latest year for which business events impact figures are available – the total economic impact of business events to the emirate was AED2.4 billion.
The authority has set keen targets for its meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) business for the coming eight years.
By 2015 it hopes to see the emirate viewed as the region’s leading meetings destination and ranked among the world’s top 100 meeting destinations with a four-fold increase in the number of MICE events currently held and double the number of MICE visitor arrivals and yield.
Five years later it anticipates the emirate being viewed as a leading regional meetings destination with ten times the number of MICE events as now with the number of MICE visitors and yield quadrupling.
The forecasts have been unveiled as Abu Dhabi rolls out its expanded meetings infrastructure and services at the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) running at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Some 80 meetings and incentive providers are exhibiting in an Abu Dhabi pavilion mounted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
“The destination has much more to offer the industry than it did a year ago in terms of MICE facilities and options – and this is reflected in the number of stakeholders now joining Abu Dhabi’s pavilion at GIBTM.
“This year we have 75 participants sharing a pavilion of 529 square metres – as opposed to 72 participants last year sharing a 500 square metre stand,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, international promotions manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.