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The most common cause of having a meeting is to have a formal discussion face to face for a particular purpose. It could be a fresh proposal, a new opportunity, a challenge, a brainstorm session to conclude on different factors. Find out how the meeting industry operates within the UAE.

COVID-19 Influence

The COVID-19 crisis has required all industries to reorganize their business models, however, the effect has greatly impacted the meetings sector. A study performed by PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) shows that 7 out of 10 businesses have shifted their meetings to a virtual platform. 

Organisation of Meetings in 2021

Discovering the right location for your next meeting is crucial and the resources available will need to match your precise requirements. A word-of-mouth suggestion from a co-worker or a business associate who has recently organised a meeting can prove to be invaluable.

A large percentage of people will only attend meetings that are of genuine significance to them and present an experiential feeling. Many meetings will also include a virtual component, acknowledging those who cannot be present to join. 

UAE Meeting Technology Hub

With Dubai returning to its calendar of conferences, meetings and exhibitions, a recent study by Messe Frankfurt including more than 4,000 business professionals from 130 countries, selected Dubai as the safest city to host international meetings. 

Expo 2020 (scheduled for October 2021) Dubai is set to display new inventions and technologies. Technology is critical to the success of meetings as it’s the core of the development happening across the Middle East’s emergence as a business meeting hub. Technology is being used to make existing procedures better, adding value and proficiencies to enhance the meeting experience. 

Did you know?

  • The meetings industry supported 2.5 million jobs.
  • The money spent on face-to-face meetings and business events generated an extra AED 5.87 million for the Middle Eastern economy.
  • 93% of senior-level managers mentioned that face to face meetings enhanced their capability to closing deals. 

Omar Khan, Director of International Offices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reveals that the reopening of Dubai’s meeting industry is an essential development that will propel business tourism and boost self-confidence in the Emirate on a global level.

New Regions Open for MICE business

MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) industry offers tourism services in which coordinators and providers that oversee and produce meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and other connected events, arranged to attain a range of professional, business, cultural, and academic objectives.

The MICE trade was estimated at $805 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Rate of +7.6% to reach $1,439.3 billion by 2025.

According to the Dubai Annual Visitor Report, in 2019, Dubai held 301 meetings, conferences and incentives coordinated by Dubai Business Events.

Across the Middle East, there’s an indication that the region is gearing up for business meetings. Saudi Arabia is experiencing widespread transformation across all aspects of life from entertainment to the economy and a key part of the country’s approach is to become a driving force in meetings.


Percent increase in overall concert head count


Billion - MICE Trade Value Estimation for 2025


Conferences coordinated by Dubai Business Events


In 2019, the meeting segment reported the highest share in the MICE industry. Although things can be done virtually, many people believe that nothing replaces the authenticity of a face-to-face meeting. Imaginably this will signal an evolution towards significance rather than numbers. Considering the ongoing pandemic, companies may consider recording meetings undertaken during this crucial situation and digitally store them as proof of sufficient documentation. Current trends of organizing hybrid meetings, use of social media and meeting apps is projected to boost the market growth in the near future.

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