Dubai as first choice for exhibitors and visitors: it is not a utopian scenario if you see the incredible growth of the most popular city of UAE. Not just glamour and luxury, but also quality and technology are some of the reasons why the future of the Exhibition industry will be right here.
Before service provider GES entered the market in 2007, Dubai events were traditionally run with manual processes and even faxes. There were no call centres or digitised ticketing systems. Instead, queues outside venues were commonplace, and build quality and health and safety standards left much to be desired. “There were exhibition service providers using cabinets with paper files, and digitisation was in its infancy,” GES Middle East managing director Yasser Al Maaytah tells EW.
Informa’s managing director Peter Hall says a series of acquisitions have cemented the organiser’s presence in the region, but economic fluctuations have made the business climate more challenging. “We’ve become adept at running a business here, with great people who know what they’re doing but we’re always learning. The challenges have been running a business in tough times, with oil prices down and budgets being cut. It’s forcing us to be smarter about how we respond to customer needs. If you ran the clock back five years, this region was rocking, and you could focus on selling, but now it’s more focused on quality of attendee."
Messe Frankfurt's CEO Ahmed Pauwels confirm these trends: "We have 35 nationalities and different mentalities here. There was initially more fluctuation in staff, too. It took a lot of extra effort to maintain employees, which seemed to work. Now no one is leaving.”