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
M&A| Exhibition WorldOnce again, UBM is leading the way inacquisition activity announcing two deals thismonth. It has acquired the InternationalChildren-Baby-Maternity Products Expo in Shanghai,China, together with two smaller business-to-consumerchild and baby products fairs in Guangzhou andBeijing and Fashion Baby, one of China's leadingconsumer titles serving mothers and pregnant women.This is a brand new sector for UBM but China remainsits fastest growing market and the combination of tradeshow, consumer show and magazine gives them aninstant leading position in the sector.The acquisition looks like smart timing for UBM as it'smore than 30 years since China formalised its one-child policy and the population control programme,which no longer applies to most Chinese, looks like itwill be abolished over the coming years.UBM also acquired UK-based The RouteDevelopment Group, organisers of a global series ofaviation route development and network planningevents. The main event is The World RouteDevelopment Forum, which last took place in Beijingwith almost 3,000 participants drawn from airlines,airports, suppliers and industry observers. There arealso a number of smaller regional events in theAmericas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and CISregions. A number of the major organisers recentlyannounced their first six months results. UBMconfirmed that they are currently by far the mostInternational dealmakersSteve Monnington, managing director of Mayfield Media Strategies, looks at international acquisitions taking place around the globe and finds United BusinessMedia is making all the right moves.34| September 2010| THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETacquisitive organiser at the moment with 12businesses acquired (compared to none at all in thefirst half of 2009). However the total amount investedwas just US$66.9m, of which just $35m was paid upfront, with the balance as potential deferredconsideration. UBM's print business saw revenue decline by nearly14 per cent from the same period last year but all otherdivisions increased its top line to maintain total revenuein line with last year. Revenue from exhibitions was up1.5 per cent and like last year was led by strong growthin Asia.Reed Exhibitions announced revenue growth of nineper cent to US$589m in the six months to June 30,although it benefitted from a positive biennial cycle.Space bookings for 2010 remains lower than inprevious years and revenue for annual shows isexpected to decline. Adjusted operating profitincluding amortisation and acquisition costs fell from$1.2bn to $1.16bn, beating forecasts of $1.09bn.Informa announced overall revenues up 1.4 per centover 2009 with an increase in publishing but a declinein events, primarily the smaller ones. Profit before taxdoubled to $102m "despite uneven economic recoveryin terms of region and vertical sectors", according tochief executive Peter Rigby.These results generally show that although recoveryis slow and patchy, performance is in marked contrastto last year when Informa announced a year-on-yearrevenue decline of 27 per cent and Reed, 21 per cent.