A group of 55 business event planners and buyers from across Europe have concluded an experiential and knowledge-building tour of Dubai, exploring the city’s robust and ever-growing offering for meetings, conferences and incentive travel programmes. Hosted by Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, the three-day ‘Discover Dubai 2020’ study mission was curated to showcase some of Dubai’s most diverse destination offerings including world-class hotels, venues, attractions and entertainment, and to provide a comprehensive preview of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Highlights on the group’s itinerary included premier hotels Armani Hotel, Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Madinat Jumeirah, Hilton Al Habtoor City, Burj Al Arab and the Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai. The itinerary also involved experiencing a number of the city’s leading attractions, such as the exhilarating La Perle Show, and an enchanting cultural tour of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, including an Emirati lunch at Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, with stakeholders on hand to showcase the opportunities for meeting planners and the support available to them.

Steen Jakobsen

Assistant Vice President of Dubai Business Events

Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President of Dubai Business Events, said: “Building on the strong links we have established with the business events community across Europe, our first study mission of the year has provided us with an opportunity to further elevate Dubai as a destination of choice for meeting planners. This has been made possible by the strong support we have received from stakeholders across the city, enabling us to demonstrate to our visitors the diverse, robust offerings they can take advantage of, as well as the strong connectivity and infrastructure that has made this one of the most visited cities in the world and the number one destination for business events in the region.”

Demonstrating a strong focus on transforming the city into a global knowledge hub, delegates participated in a Leadership Forum, hosted at the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The Forum offered an overview of Dubai’s plans for the business events segment as well as discussions about key challenges and opportunities for meeting planners globally. The group was also given a comprehensive preview of Expo 2020, including a site tour and details of the new Dubai Exhibition Centre, which is co-located at Expo 2020 and is already seeing strong interest from meeting planners.


Shaun Vorster, Vice President for Programming at Expo 2020 said: “It was a pleasure to welcome this important delegation to the Expo 2020 Dubai site to see our exciting plans taking real shape as construction is completed. For six months during Expo 2020 (20 October to 10 April 2021), there will be no place on the planet that provides a better opportunity to network with governments, educational institutions, thought leaders, business leaders, start-ups, innovators and industry associations than at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC).”

“Co-located with Expo 2020, DEC is a world-class venue that brings together cutting-edge technology and 45,000 sqm of customisable space to offer summits, seminars, new product launches, exhibitions, networking and business meetings, concerts, and even weddings. It will be a unique setting at the doorstep of The World’s Greatest Show.”

Udo Landow, CEO & Founder of Agency Show D’Vision, said: “Thank you to Dubai Tourism for a well-organised trip and study mission. Our agency has been working with the destination now for almost 20 years and have had many events, incentives and sales meetings here. The trip was a great opportunity to see many new and exciting facets and highlights of the city. The show La Perle, the new hotel Caesars Palace and the breakfast at the Jumeirah Burj Al Arab were definitely impressive moments for all participants. The great preview of Expo 2020 and the Leadership Forum at the Expo 2020 site was also unforgettable and I am looking forward to sharing the highlights of this event with my clients and business partners and being able to bring them to Dubai later this year. Thanks to all the team for creating such a unique and special experience for us.”

Paul Lake, Creative Solutions Specialist at BCD Meetings & Events, said: “I’ve been coming to Dubai for 20 years and its ability to reinvent itself just astounds me. The reason I came on this trip was the unique backstage access to Expo 2020 Dubai Business Events offered. I can see a massive demand from corporates and we have a seen interest in Dubai specifically because of it. It’s simply another reason to visit Dubai.”

Dubai Business Events is set to host a further five study missions from around the world throughout 2020, and also participate in sales missions in Europe and other markets, road shows and trade shows including IMEX in Frankfurt and IBTM World in Barcelona, as it continues to prioritise engaging with meeting planners and other business events professionals.


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