Trade fairs critical as Dubai re-starts events

Trade fairs will play a critical role in Dubai’s post-covid “restart”, with the Emirate seen as the safest location to host international exhibitions and conferences, according to new research.

A recent market survey commissioned by Messe Frankfurt Middle East (MFME) of more than 4000 professionals from 130 countries showed that respondents viewed Dubai and Germany as the safest destinations to attend exhibitions post Covid-19.

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) agreed that as Covid-19 recedes and a semblance of normality returns, exhibitions will be more important for business (31 per cent), or just as important (38 per cent), compared to the past.

A further 64 per cent plan to attend exhibitions in the next eight months, while 36 per cent have been given the green light to do so before the end of this year.

The UAE has begun to welcome international travellers for the first time in nearly four months, while in July the Dubai World Trade Centre hosted the AI Everything conference, the first face-to face event at the venue since March.

“As with many business sectors, the trade fair industry felt the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, particularly in Dubai, which has a thriving exhibition sector at the Dubai World Trade Centre,” said Simon Mellor, Messe Frankfurt Middle East’s CEO.

“The good news for the exhibitions industry is it’s still a critical component for business success, as this research has indicated. Clearly there is an appetite for the events sector to pick up in Dubai, with this evident during the AI Everything conference at DWTC, which marked the return of physical events in Dubai.

“Globally, Messe Frankfurt has ‘restarted’ exhibitions with the opening of Intertextile Shenzhen Apparel Fabrics on 15 July 2020 in China, and we’re on track to deliver two of our most important shows in Dubai. These will take place with stringent health and safety measures to help keep our attendees safe.”