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Survey: Dubai is seen as the safest location to host international exhibitions

Dubai is seen as the safest location to host international exhibitions and conferences in the coming months, while trade fairs will play a critical role in a post-covid ‘restart’, according to new research.

A recent market survey of more than 4,000 professionals from 130 countries explored the impact of COVID-19 on the global exhibitions industry, delving into key areas such as travel, budgets, and the importance of trade fairs in a post-pandemic world.

The study covered a wide range of industry sectors from the auto aftermarket and commercial security to beauty and cosmetics, showing that 77 percent of respondents viewed Dubai as the safest destination to attend an exhibition post covid-19, followed by Germany (41 percent), Saudi Arabia (19 percent), France (17 percent), and Italy (15 percent).

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) agreed that as the novel coronavirus recedes and a semblance of normality returns, exhibitions will be more important for business (31 percent), or just as important (38 percent), compared to the past. A further 64 percent plan to attend exhibitions in the next eight months, while 36 percent have been given the green light to do so before the end of this year.

The July 2020 ‘Exhibitions post COVID-19’ survey was commissioned by Messe Frankfurt Middle East (MFME), one of the region’s largest trade fair organisers with major events such as Automechanika Dubai, Intersec, and Beautyworld Middle East among its portfolio of more than 16 exhibitions and conferences.

It arrives as the UAE continues to inject confidence back into its economy; last month, international travellers were welcomed to the country for the first time in nearly four months, while on July 16, the Dubai World Trade Centre hosted the AI Everything conference, the first ‘real life’ event at the venue since March.

“As with many business sectors, the trade fair industry felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Dubai, which has a thriving exhibition sector at the Dubai World Trade Centre,” said Simon Mellor, Messe Frankfurt Middle East’s CEO.

“The purpose of the ‘Exhibitions post covid-19’ study was to investigate how this global virus affected businesses of MFME stakeholders, and how we can address their concerns collaboratively with our peers. We will continue to run the survey over the course of the year and look to engage more parties as it evolves over time.”

Added Mellor: “The good news for the exhibitions industry is it’s still a critical component for business success, as this research has indicated. Clearly there is an appetite for the events sector to pick up in Dubai, with this evident during the AI Everything conference at DWTC, which marked the return of physical events in Dubai.

“Globally, Messe Frankfurt has ‘restarted’ exhibitions with the opening of Intertextile Shenzhen Apparel Fabrics on 15 July 2020 in China, and we’re on track to deliver two of our most important shows in Dubai. These will take place with stringent health and safety measures to help keep our attendees safe.”

 

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