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Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, hosted the third edition of Dubai Global Wedding Excellence Retreat earlier this month. The retreat was held as part of the city’s wider efforts to attract destination weddings and further diversify Dubai’s visitor base.

Over the course of four days, the retreat welcomed over 75 destination wedding planners, industry experts and influencers from around the globe with participants coming from India, Turkey, Lebanon, Nigeria, UK, Greece, Netherlands, Germany, Jordan, US, China, Australia and GCC. The itinerary consisted of inspection visits and events at key hotels, venues and attractions around the city in partnership with stakeholders in the hospitality, events and entertainment sectors. Highlights of the retreat included: an opening party at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai; a themed lunch at Kinara by Vikas Khanna at the new JA Lake View Hotel; a gala dinner at Sofitel Dubai The Palm; and a closing party at Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai. In addition, the retreat included a Leadership Forum at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, with experts discussing current trends and challenges in the destination wedding sector as well as a workshop of business meetings between the participants and Dubai based wedding industry suppliers.

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The hosting of the third Global Wedding Excellence Retreat, 9-12 January, further emphasised the strong commitment to growing this important segment. In 2019, in addition to a retreat, Dubai also hosted the Destination Wedding Planners Congress at Atlantis The Palm, which brought together 500 attendees from over 70 countries, and on 2 March the city will host Engage!20 at Armani Hotel Dubai, a summit expected to bring 400 key influencers, thought leaders and wedding planners from around the globe.

Issam Kazim

Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The successful hosting of the third edition of the Dubai Global Wedding Excellence Retreat has once again enabled us to showcase to an influential audience the strong potential Dubai holds for weddings as they look to create memorable events for their clients. During their stay, the wedding planners were able to see and experience the city’s diverse offerings and services available to them, and all of this was made possible by the strong support we saw from stakeholders across Dubai, in addition to broadening the overall tourism horizon. As we continue to leverage opportunities to further expand Dubai ‘s visitor base, destination weddings hold strong potential, with the city’s combination of world-class and unique venues, hotels and dining scene being complemented by expertise in planning and execution to ensure memorable special days for couples from around the world. We look forward to continuing to identify opportunities to reach out to more destination wedding and event planners to further develop this segment.”

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As part of DBE’s efforts in positioning the city as a knowledge hub and a leading business events destination, the convention bureau works closely with stakeholders to showcase the city’s world-class hotels, ease of connectivity, state-of-the-art venues and excellent infrastructure. Over the coming months it will host study missions with planners and buyers from Western Europe, Russia & CIS and India, as well as engaging with business events professionals in their own markets through a series of roadshows and participation in major trade shows.