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DWTC records 25% jump in visitors

A record 2.47 million attendees flocked to Dubai World Trade Centre events in 2023, marking a 25% jump from the previous year. 

The organiser’s annual report reveals figures which underscore its support for Dubai’s global business and trade prominence. Get the complete details below.

Here are the full headlines of this week’s event news updates:

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DWTC visitor numbers surge 25% to 2.47m

DWTC saw a 25% increase in visitors to 2.47 million in 2023, according to new figures.

The venue’s flagship event GITEX Global 2023 – dubbed the “world’s largest tech showcase” – welcomed more than 245,000 attendees and over 7,200 exhibitors.

H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DWTC Authority, said: “DWTC’s increasingly diverse exhibitions and events portfolio, along with its allied businesses, continue to go from strength to strength.

“Our results underscore the robust dynamics of the emirate’s thriving economy and strategic focus on key industry sectors, reinforcing Dubai’s leading status as a global hub for knowledge, innovation and business.”

He added: “The past year has been shaped by extraordinary momentum across the entire business and trade ecosystem, with DWTC emerging as a catalyst for agenda-shaping discussions and actionable agreements.

“Culminated by successful hosting of COP28, Dubai remains a frontrunner in the global events and exhibitions landscape, supported by DWTC’s leading role on the international stage in alignment with the government’s 2033 strategic economic goals.”

Here are the highlights from the organiser’s annual results:

  • A 23% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in MICE, business and consumer events (total 301).
  • Exhibitions and conferences (107 events) drove attendee growth by 33% y-o-y to 1.56m attendees.
  • International attendees surged 60% yearly to more than 722,000.
  • The events boasted a record-breaking 45% jump in the participation of exhibiting companies to total 53,789.
  • International exhibiting companies reached an all-time high of 78% (41,864), showcasing DWTC’s global reach.

ExpoPlatform was the official event tech provider for GITEX GLOBAL – talk to our event expert to learn how we helped DWTC.

ExCeL London boosts leadership with new venue operations director 

ExCeL London has beefed up its venue operations with a new addition to its leadership team.

Events industry veteran Kerrie Kemp joins as Director of Venue Operations to sharpen ExCeL’s operational readiness ahead of its scheduled 25,000 square metre expansion completion in late October.

At ExCeL, Kerrie primary responsibilities include overseeing daily operations, driving process improvements and managing Event Management, Traffic, Parking and Cleaning & Waste teams.

ExCeL’s COO Roger Hooker said: “We’re delighted to welcome Kerrie to our operations team, leadership team and the wider ExCeL family.

“2024 is set to be a game changer for ExCeL with the opening of our major expansion programme, our new waterfront development and, of course, our usual packed schedule of world-class events.

“Kerrie’s experience and knowledge will prove invaluable in delivering these, as well as to utilise her organiser insight to ensure we continue to deliver the very best experience for our clients.”

With over two decades in the events industry, Kerrie has executed major events globally for top organisers like UBM and Informa, where she notably managed the Better Stands project to minimise disposable stands.

Her experience spans B2B, B2C and includes roles within the UK, Europe and MENA regions.

UFI 2025 APAC Conference to be hosted in Melbourne

UFI has announced its 2025 Asia-Pacific Conference will be held in Australia.

The event in February will be hosted by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and supported by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB).

It will follow the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME). In the same week, the country’s leading industry Australian Business Events Association (ABEA) will also convene at the MCEC.

UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf said:We are thrilled to be bringing this flagship event to Australia for the first time, and look forward to connecting the Australian expo professionals with their international peers in the thriving city of Melbourne.

“By bundling AIME, UFI, and ABEA activities within one week, we will create an international industry hot spot, and a not to be missed opportunity for everyone in the sector to come together to network, learn, and do business.”

MCEC chief executive Natalie O’Brien added: “As the premier event destination in the region, we’re thrilled to be the principal partner for the 2025 UFI Asia Pacific Conference at MCEC during what will now be a momentous week for the business events industry in the Asia Pacific region.

“Coordinating these three events to be held in the same week and in the same location is an incredible outcome achieved through outstanding collaboration and partnership.

“I thank the teams at UFI, MCB, AIME, and ABEA for their cooperation and commitment to making this happen.”

Messe Basel and Zurich gets new director of guest events

Christian Ortlepp has been appointed as the new director of guest events for Messe and Congress Center Basel and Messe Zürich.

In his new role, Christian is tasked with the responsibility of expanding the offerings at both Basel and Zurich locations.

christian ortlepp

He replaces Jonas Scharf, who is the new COO of the Exhibitions & Events division.

Scharf’s new position includes leading the Technical Office, Building & Operations team.

He will also oversee quality management and technical services to enhance the service offerings and upgrade MCH Group’s Swiss infrastructure.

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