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Growth of the UAE Exhibition Industry

Growth of the UAE Exhibition Industry
The UAE is a true force to be reckoned with in the world of exhibitions and events. With the Dubai World Trade Centre exhibitions contributing to $3.28 billion in Dubai’s economy alone - this dynamic country is thriving and resilient. The UAE industry’s willingness to embrace fresh concepts has ensured its position as a global destination - for all things expo-related.
From Future Technology Week and Cityscape Global  to Expo 2020, there is quite literally something for everyone. And whilst some may describe it as somewhat saturated, we believe there is always room for growth.

Here are some of the major growth opportunities in the UAE Exhibitions industry:


As a result of the industry’s growth, organisers and exhibitors are exploring the world of ‘geo-cloning’ as a way of reaching out to audiences both regionally and globally. In this regard, exhibitors reproduce successful exhibits and events outside of their local markets, hoping to increase brand awareness and sales.
GITEX 2017 is an example of Geo-Cloning localization event
Geo-cloning relies on both delivery and localization and when done right, it opens the door to new markets and fantastic franchise opportunities. It’s important to note that whilst it would be ideal to simply pick up your business and replicate it in the Middle East, you will need to take the time to immerse yourself in the cultural differences; anything from lead time to price differences. Finding the right  local events and exhibition partner is critical for success. 

Specialization and Niche Markets

Further industry growth and development requires a focus on increased specialisation. This can be achieved by way of providing more niche events as a platform to showcase products and services to the relevant audience. 
Industry events such as Middle East Electricity and Gulfood Manufacturing are ways to embrace this type of specialisation. Alongside the encouragement of growth, it can also provide exhibitors and organisers with a targeted platform for a specific, committed market. Niche is totally where it’s at.
Specialization Markets -- Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC)
(Image: Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference)

Venue Choices 

The venue choice to host a tradeshow in the UAE can be somewhat daunting with the endless options available, with over 450 hotels currently equipped and available for events in Dubai alone, this gives the organiser an added advantage. When selecting a venue, capacity and weather is key to narrowing down the options, hotter months in the UAE sees a surge in indoor venues bookings whereas the cooler months are open to more fun and creative venue options such as the beach or rooftop locations.


(Image: Poken Data Intelligence)
Technology is the driving force for evolutionary change within the exhibition industry. As we move further into the ‘smart age’ it only makes sense that exhibitors want more than just to meet potential customers at their stand. Things like data intelligence, interaction and engagement tools are helping both organisers and exhibitors measure the value and success of a show.
Tetra Pak interactive display
(Image: Interactive Panel in the Booth)

The Future 

The future of the exhibition industry in the UAE is extremely optimistic. Over the next eight years, it is projected that there will be 500,000 new jobs and over 2,000 new civil structures built in Dubai to support the Exhibitions Industry. 
With these dedicated efforts and investments to grow the Hospitality and Exhibition Industries in Dubai - the UAE will continue to build it's undeniable reputation for standout exhibitions and events.
Interested in planning a conference, exhibition or event in Dubai? Talk to an expert at GES to help you get started.

About the Author

Amy is the Global Digital Content Marketing Editor at GES. With a strong background in content marketing, social media, and communications, she is a passionate writer and self-confessed word geek. She is also the founder of a non-profit and a health and wellness online community.

Profile Photo of Amy Kelley