The IIA International Conference held in May 2018 The IIA International Conference held in May 2018

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, secured a total of 261 successful bids for meetings, conferences and incentives in 2018, which are set to attract an additional 153,640 delegates to Dubai over the coming years.

An official statement revealed that the number of event bids won represents a 24% increase from 2017 and will deliver an estimated economic impact of approximately AED 1.2 billion (US$326.75m) to the city.

This also marks a 62% increase from the previous year in the number of delegates set to visit Dubai due to event bids won, signifying a shift towards larger-scale events.

Throughout 2018, Dubai submitted 557 business event bids, up from 354 in 2017, and among the wins awarded were those for bids submitted in previous years.

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Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing CEO Issam Kazim said in a statement: "We look forward to hosting a number of significant events in the city over the next few years as a result of the outstanding performance in bid wins we have secured in 2018.”

Key bid wins from 2018 include the World Congress of Gastroenterology set to take place in 2021 with a total of 6,000 delegates in attendance, the Mary Kay China Incentive set to take place in 2019 with 800 delegates in attendance, as well as the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, set to take place in 2020, which will bring 1,000 delegates to Dubai. Other \wins in 2018 include the World Chambers Congress, which will take place in Dubai in 2021 with 1,500 delegates set to attend and the Congress of the Societe International D’Urologie that will bring in 2,000 delegates to Dubai in 2021.

DBE also hosted nine international study-missions, bringing in more than 302 hosted buyers and over 15 international trade media from key markets across Southeast Asia, India and Europe. In addition to the international study missions, DBE hosted a total of 26 site inspections for 63 clients and buyers in 2018.