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13 April 2024

Dubai World Trade Centre welcomes 1.98 million visitors as the region’s epicentre for business and trade returns to form

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By E247

Dubai World Trade Centre welcomes 1.98 million visitors as the region’s epicentre for business and trade returns to form


●    DWTC hosts 244 exhibitions and events in 2022, growing by a stellar 39%
●    Exhibitions attracted over 37,000 companies of which 72% were international
●    DWTC’s own industry-leading exhibitions deliver 20% visitor growth, driven by Gulfood and GITEX Global
●    DWTC makes international foray with KAOUN International; launches Saudi Food Show and GITEX Africa
●    Experiential agency DXB Live records impressive increase in business, delivers services for over 400 events
●    DWTC’s Free Zone doubles with over 900 new licenses issued in 2022 with its commercial real estate marking highest occupancy to date


Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the regional epicentre of trade and business has announced 2022 annual results with strong performances across its businesses.

Home to an iconic portfolio of influential business and trade events, DWTC hosted 1.98 million delegates with a robust visitation growth of 29%. The results were driven by 244 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), business and consumer events. Of these, 97 Exhibitions and Conferences attracted 1.18 million attendees of which 38% were from overseas, reflecting Dubai’s position as the destination of choice for business and tourism. 

Commenting on the results, H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, said: “DWTC’s 2022 results are an unequivocal endorsement of the emirate’s efforts in driving post-pandemic economic recovery and leveraging opportunity, delivered through strategic collaborative stakeholder commitment, across all sectors of the economy. An unprecedented year for the MICE industry, 2022 underlined Dubai’s leadership, with its dynamic events sector, an acknowledged global platform for impactful knowledge sharing, effective networking and game-changing innovation. We will build on this momentum by reinforcing Dubai’s position as the capital of the MICE industry, and continue our contribution towards achieving Dubai Economic Agenda D33 goals,”

The dynamic return to form for the MICE industry in 2022, is reflective of DWTC’s strong business portfolio and its ability to attract over 37,000 exhibiting companies (50% increase from 2021), of which 72% were international. 

  • Solid Growth for DWTC owned Exhibition and Events

DWTC’s own portfolio of exhibitions and events, which includes flagship events GITEX Global and Gulfood, attracted 337,000 visitors, registering 20% annual growth while the combined portfolio of events attracted twelve thousand exhibiting companies, an impressive increase of 35%.

Building on its formidable record of organising industry-leading events that have helped position both the UAE and the region as a top-ranked global destination for major international business events, DWTC also launched KAOUN International. The overseas market-focused international events company is set to deliver the inaugural editions of Saudi Food Show and GITEX Africa in 2023.

  • GITEX Global generates AED2.6 billion total economic output

GITEX Global, the world’s largest tech show, once again positioned Dubai and the UAE at the forefront of future technologies, by achieving record-breaking results in 2022, attracting more than 170,000 attendees, 40% of which were international. The event generated AED2.6 billion worth of total economic output, with 57% retained within the local economy, according to DWTC’s GITEX GLOBAL 2022 Economic Impact Assessment Report, released in December 2022.

  • Gulfood sees significant visitor growth

Underlining Dubai’s reputation as a strategic gateway for global food and beverage trade, the 27th edition of Gulfood saw a 50% increase in participation and once again connected food and beverage producers and buyers from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region with several countries expanding their national pavilions, including Turkey, Italy and Estonia.

  • Top performing sectors in 2022

Healthcare, Medical and Scientific was the top-performing sector with 17 events (compared to 12 events in 2021) and attracted 202,000 participants, led by a duo of region-leading healthcare exhibitions: Arab Health and AEEDC.
Information Technology sector, grew from six events in 2021 to 10 events in 2022, attracting 184,000 attendees, which represented a 22% YoY growth, led by GITEX Global and its co-located events.

The Food and Beverage Trade sector, led by Gulfood, hosted a total of eight events and registered 160,000 participants, an increase of 18% over 2021.

Driven by Automechanika, the Automotive and Transport sector saw seven events attracting 69,000 participants, while the Big 5 was the top performing exhibition within the Building, Construction and Facility Management sector, welcoming over 66,000 visitors.

  • Key Exhibitions and Events in 2022

Other widely attended exhibitions of 2022 included Medlab Exhibition & Conference, Dubai International Pharmaceuticals and Technologies Conference and Exhibition (DUPHAT), Dubai World Dermatology and Laser Conference and Exhibition (Dubai Derma), Middle East Energy, Arabian Travel Market Exhibition, Index Exhibition, Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX), Dubai Muscle Show & Dubai Active 2022, Beauty World Middle East and Wellness & Spa Exhibition and Gulfood Manufacturing.

  • Consumer and Leisure events bounce back with over 790,000 visitors

DWTC hosted a total of 47 exciting entertainment, live, and leisure events, welcoming back over 790,000 visitors, led by Dubai Sports World with a record attendance of 308,000 representing a 53% increase over 2021 and Dubai Run with 193,000 participants in 2022. 

  • DXB Live records impressive business growth

DXB Live, DWTC’s experiential agency, witnessed record growth in 2022, marking its foray into new regional and international markets including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Germany.

DXB Live provided services to over 400 events and was the main contractor for over 50 exhibitions including mega events such as GITEX Global, Light Middle East, Beauty world and Gulfood.

In addition, DXB Live, in partnership with World of Coffee Association, organised and delivered the World of Coffee exhibition. The event achieved unprecedented success in its second edition with 1000 exhibitors and brands from 44 countries, generating significant interest from coffee manufacturers and businesses across the globe.

  • DWTC Free Zone witnesses strong growth

Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) Free Zone doubled in size, issuing 926 new licences in 2022, while grade-A commercial One Central, marked its highest occupancy at 75% since opening. 2022 also saw the successful opening of the 5-star flagship 25 Hours Hotel at One Central with its highly successful F&B concepts complementing the lively mix of new restaurants and cafes in the community.

  • H.E. Almarri: MICE sector delivers growth for Dubai

“Ongoing recalibration, both for the global events industry and for DWTC, was our focus in 2022, and our year-end results are especially significant given its wide-ranging economic impact. In 2023, we will build on our position as a MICE sector leader, both locally and beyond UAE borders, as we venture into Saudi Arabia and Morocco, with KOAUN International. In parallel, we march ahead with the development of our expanding portfolio of real estate and free zone activities to ensure that we remain an attractive, future-forward hub for emerging industries and technologies as well as business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators looking to shape the future of business from Dubai.” concluded H.E. Almarri.