Dubai recaptures events momentum

Key industry leaders shared their comments on Dubai opening up the events sector over the past six months which has set an example to the world. It was no easy feat to handle as there are so many different areas both in the public and private sector partnered and followed through the tough times. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, summarised the city’s handling of the pandemic and the platform is created for a business events restart, “The leadership shown by the Dubai Government in managing the pandemic was outstanding and we maintained a very strong position against the pandemic right from day one. We expect to have a very strong rebound and we’re very grateful for the strength of leadership and collaboration we have seen across the sector that has enabled us to weather the pandemic probably better than any other nation.”

Mohammad Al Hashimi, Vice President, Commercial Products Dubai, Emirates Airline, highlighted the dynamic approach the city has taken, “Visionary leadership and strong public-private sector collaboration have driven the successful re-start of travel and tourism operations. From airlines and airports to conference organisers and hoteliers, every partner in the Dubai ecosystem is working together to deliver strong visitor experiences and travel confidence. The results are quite evident in the data and the two recent big events that have taken place in Dubai. We are looking forward to the Arabian Travel Market in May, and a long list of events are set to be held from now to 1 October when we will see Expo 2020 go live.”

Mark Willis, CEO Middle East & Africa, Accor, spoke about Dubai’s ability to deliver high levels of safety and exceptional visitor experiences: “It’s an absolute must to put in place strong preventive protocols and ensure they are observed 100% at all times. You also want to continue to offer a positive guest experience as a hotelier. That is something that Dubai has been able to do. As everybody knows, Dubai is one of the top destinations of the world and has retained that position despite the challenges brought by the pandemic. What’s wonderful to see is that we’ve come through the pandemic maintaining the same ranking thanks to the efforts and leadership of the government, and its collaboration with other stakeholders. This is what makes Dubai a special place.”

Matt Denton, President MEAA, dmg events, emphasised the strong appetite globally to resume live in-person events, “Watching what DWTC has done has been fantastic for us and even in different industries and subjects, people seeing those live shows taking place are realising what they’re missing more and more. We are seeking to leverage this growing demand for all of our shows in May and June and as we move into September.”