Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted its inaugural Dubai China Conference on September 19-20 at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai. The two-day event, which welcomed over 900 attendees, featured integrated workshops and informative guest speakers offering valuable insights from both Chinese and local industry experts. With panel discussions strongly attended throughout the event, guests were invited to deep dive into Dubai’s China-readiness strategy, along with engaging into presentations led by industry partners. Breakout periods were also built into the two-day schedule to allow industry players to share knowledge during networking opportunities alongside partners such as Huawei, Ctrip and Tencent. There was also a series of engaging workshops hosted by Mafwengo, Fliggy and Alipay enabling attendees to meet the teams for discussing further potential collaborations, as well as Meituan and DaZhongDianPing which delved into the digital cooperation trends in Dubai. With exponential growth in overnight visitors from China, the event offered a clear indication of the market’s rising prominence as one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets, after closing the first eight months of 2018 with a record 578,000 visitors – a growth of nine per cent over the same period in 2017. While demand from Chinese travellers is increasing at a quicker rate than capacity, visitation growth is supported by a 9.5 per cent increase in air capacity over the last five years, and increasingly competitive ticket pricing. Furthermore, the percentage of those on China-Dubai flights who stay in Dubai has increased by 29.2 per cent highlighting the increase in demand for elongated stopovers for Chinese tourists.