Photo credit: DBE

Q: Why and how did you get involved in meetings industry?
Working for Ministry of Industry in Denmark where I was doing a tourism project, through this I made connections at the Copenhagen tourism board which led to a new position with that board

Q: What lessons do your years in Copenhagen CVB offer for Dubai?
Key success factors to succeed as a Business Events destination is to create strong partnerships both locally and internationally which is what we are trying to build here in Dubai. Not only from people within the industry but with partners, for example Dubiotech, Dubai Health Authority, Zayed University and other government entities.

Q: Have you noticed any patterns/correlations in how meeting planners engage with various Gulf meeting markets?
Region is becoming increasingly popular both for corporate and association planners as it is such a  dynamic region – in terms of knowledge, social and ecoonomic development, Dubai is located within one of the fastest growing regions in the world, in addition to this we also see  the return of events – Dubai is no longer considered a one off destination as events are returning here again and again

Q: Where has the bulk of Dubai CVB business wins come from in the last year?
Asia – particularly incentive groups from South East Asia. Europe remains a stable key market for Dubai

Q: What large events are coming to the city in  the near future?
 Dragon awards  – Chinese Insurance with 5000 – 8000 delegates

Q: What attractions does Dubai offer for those in search of innovative incentives?
We have a myriad of options, including:
o   Cultural understanding at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
o    Our many different Souks – market places for gold and jewelry, textiles and spices for example
o   Dhow dining (traditional boats with restaurants)
o   Desert Saffari
o   Camel Polo
o   Adrenlin type of activities including Sky Diving, Sea- plane, Autodrome, Sailing, Sand Duning

Q: What is the spirit of Dubai meetings industry?
Dubai resonates with a Can Do Attitude plus the combined partnership within the industry to ensure that we as a city are succesfull


Steen Jakobsen, Director for Dubai Business Events – the Official Convention Bureau (DBE), is responsible for driving international business events to Dubai and advancing the position of the Emirates as a leading business event destination. He joined DBE in October 2013 following more than 7 years heading up the Copenhagen Convention Bureau. Jakobsen is actively involved in the meetings and events industry as a member of SITE, having served on the ICCA Board of Directors and on the Board of Directors of BestCities Global Alliance, the partnership of 12 globally leading business events destinations, of which Dubai is one.

Steen Jakobsen Defining moments

Dinner at Bacardi Distilleries in Portorico


Balmoral Edinborough

Michael Buble Dubai


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A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.