MENA – Development of Events in Middle East & North Africa

Lee FordeMENAMENA – Development of Events in Middle East & North Africa

The MENA region has undergone a major change towards the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events (“MICE”) industry.

The development of Events in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region are a key element inr changing the shape of the economy. An important step no doubt by moving away from a strictly fossil fuels based economy.

Dubai is leading the way! And, has established itself as ‘the’ destination in the Gulf region. Its economic rebirth since the financial crash has focused on attracting visitors through various festivals, events, exhibitions, theme parks, 5 star Hospitality and through excellent marketing and promotional activity.

Perceived as the most liberal of the emirates; Dubai has perched high on the list of must visit global destinations. Careful marketing and encouragement of Hollywood blockbuster films (including; Mission Impossible and Sex in The City), has gone a long way to remove perceptions of the gulf. Achieving an increase in visitor numbers even during the troubles in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; Dubai has demonstrated that it provides safety; excellent hospitality and very good value. The Mystic of the East can be enjoyed in great style.

Development of Events MENA (Middle East & North Africa) - Lee Forde

Dubai is firmly established as a prominent global destination. It is open to all aspects of MICE industry; including the lucrative incentives business.

Its location and transport connections enable global companies to offer global incentives. This is highly appreciated beacuse it provides easy access in terms of location and affordable travel. On offer is amazing accommodation, excellent hospitality, and a wide variety of off-site activity; which is a staple of any incentives event. These include: Ferrari driving, skiing, dune bashing, desert camping, powerboats, sailing to name just a few.

Dubai is the regional leader in exhibitions and B2B events. However, it has been challenged by the number and variety of venues available. The main venue in Dubai (the World Trade Centre) is the government owned and operated. The Centre has served Dubai well for approximately 30 years.

However venues in Dubai are rather limited and the need for a additional venues is being addressed. The private sector is using open spaces and alternative venues such as museums, and small theatres etc. to create new unique meeting spaces.

Dubai is the regional leader in exhibitions and B2B events - Lee Forde

Dubai Opera House

The government is responding with the newly opened Dubai Opera house and the planning of new venues and conference centres not least the newly planned Dubai arena, which will house approximately 17,000 people in a venue capable of staging concerts and large scale sporting events

Dubai Opera House artists impression - Lee Forde
Dubai Opera House under construction - Lee Forde
Dubai Expo 2020 - Lee Forde

Dubai is ramping-up for serious global business event venues. Rewarded with the milestone event DUBAI EXPO 2020, it has a timeline for infrastructure development. This is required to stage such a huge events; whilst supporting smaller but nonetheless lucrative events.

Expo 2020 will see amazing infrastructure developments and venue creation through the legacy of the Expo 2020 site.

Dubai will reappear from 2020 as a world leader in MICE business. A title it will likely hold for many years to come.

Dubai Expo 2020 - Lee Forde
Dubai Expo 2020 - Lee Forde
Dubai Expo 2020 - Lee Forde
Dubai Expo 2020 - Lee Forde

In future blogs we will look at the other countries within the MENA. And, how they are planning to adapt and adopt the MICE industry within their country and culture. In the meantime, take a look at our ‘services

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