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Exhibition World | FeatureDubai on the rise Dubai suffered a huge financial shock in 2009. Today however, the Dubai World TradeCentre is posting good visitor and delegate growth.First half 2010 performance results released recentlyby venue operator and events organiser DubaiWorld Trade Centre (DWTC) show a year-on-yearvisitor growth of 13 per cent, topping last year's 12 percent increase. Visitor traffic at its venues surpassed630,000 in the first six months across exhibitions,conventions and conferences."The sustained pace of growth of our events businessportfolio is evidence of the 'real' value that internationalbusinesses and regional buyers derive from participating intrade shows in Dubai," says DWTC chief executive, HelalSaeed Al Marri. "Our venues have continued to attract theideal profile and scale of top-tier visitors from the MiddleEast, North Africa, CIS and the Indian Sub-Continent,driving tangible returns on investment for exhibitingcompanies - consequently enabling our organisers to growtheir shows into truly global sector leaders."The 59 exhibitions and conferences in the first half drew22,000 companies from over 85 countries, claims theDWTC, a trend "reinforcing therole of the event industry as akey contributor to Dubai'seconomy".In healthcare, DWTC hashosted 12 major shows to datein 2010, attracting over133,000 visitors and over5,000 of the world's leadinghealthcare manufacturers,wholesalers and distributors. Arab Health 2010, the largesthealthcare exhibition in the Middle East and the secondlargest in the world, grew by 20 per cent to occupy theentire exhibition space at the Dubai InternationalConvention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), including the25,000sqm provided by the new Sheikh Saeed halls. Gulfood 2010, meanwhile, recorded a 22 per cent growthin visitors over 2009. New additions to the first half of DWTC's 2010calendar included exhibitions and events withinaviation, ICT, trade and healthcare, drawing over90,000 new visitors and delegates. Among the newexhibitions hosted so far this year were the AerospaceDefence and Training Show (ADTS), the ChinaHomelife Show, Commercial Vehicles Middle EastShow, and the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Exhibitionand Conference.Al Marri sees it as a priority for the DWTC and the eventsindustry to increase its contribution to Dubai's GDP andstimulate regional investment. "Our decision to invest in facility expansion with theSheikh Saeed Halls last year was to ensure that wedelivered the optimal hosting infrastructure for Dubai," AlMarri says.DWTC was built 31 years ago as a gateway for trade tothe region and Al Marri says it continues to support Dubai'sStrategic Agenda, as laid out by Dubai's ruler and UAEpremier and vice-president, His Highness SheikhMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Al Marri is confident DWTC is on track to attain its goal of"becoming the world's leading destination for majorexhibitions, conferences and events".It seems the DWTC is standing on solid foundationsdespite Dubai's recently shifting sands.McCormick PlaceTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| September 2010|33Dubai World Trade CentreGulfood 2010 recorded a 22% growth in visitors over 2009Helal Saeed Al Marri