Meeting & Incentive Forums sees record delegate number return to Dubai
Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, together with Meeting & Incentive Forums (M&I Forums) have collaborated for the second year running, bringing the 2016 Europe Spring edition back to Dubai. The first time an M&I Forum has been held consecutively in a city, this year’s event brought together more than 340 hosted buyers and 260 global meeting and incentive suppliers for a week of intensive business networking and high-level one-to-one meetings to nourish lasting relationships across the global business events industry.
DBE, a division of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in partnership with JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Emirates Airline, Arabian Adventures and a number of other hotels and venues hosted the six-day event that took place from April 4-9, 2016, and played a pivotal role in facilitating more than 8,500 meetings between hosted meeting planners and Dubai-based as well as European suppliers.
Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events said: “Dubai has rapidly grown into a leading leisure and business tourism destination, and today is home to more than 50 per cent of the region’s business events. The city is built on the strong attributes of global connectivity, ease of doing business and sheer endless array of opportunities in terms of hotel and venue capacity. Dubai is perfectly positioned to host and expand the M&I Forum Europe Spring, and we take great pride in celebrating another successful forum.”
Since launching in London in 2006, M&I Forums has grown into a unique platform for handpicked business event suppliers to connect with the ‘who’s who’ in the global meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) industry. Following a successful debut in Dubai in 2015, the decision to bring M&I Forum back to the emirate was influenced by the ease of working with the business events community in the city in coordination with industry leaders and government partners. Dubai continues to be an ideal location for business events, not only because of the services DBE offers, but also because of the global connectivity, great hospitality, state-of-the-art facilities and world-class infrastructure.
Richard Barnes, CEO, Worldwide Events, the organisers of the global Meeting & Incentive Forums, adds:“The wealth of MICE products Dubai has to offer and the pace of change in the city, which is unlike any other around the world, are key reasons why we chose to host the forum here in back-to-back years. This year’s event is 50 percent larger than the one held in Dubai last year and that is testament to the interest that buyers have in the destination.”
M&I Forums have been operating for just over 10 years and are set up as one-on-one meetings between buyers and suppliers, shared networking experiences while also getting to experience what the host city has to offer. The decision to bring the forum back to Dubai was one that resonated with both hosted buyers and suppliers.
Jacqui Butler, Managing Director of Creative Meeting Solutions and one of the hosted buyers, said: “This type of event allows me to meet with a diverse and extensive amount of suppliers in only a few short days. Attending the Dubai edition was an easy choice for me because of the ease of getting to Dubai. Unlike other cities in Europe where the event is held, there was a direct flight from my hometown of Birmingham. Connectivity cannot be underestimated.”
Pedro Coehlo, Sales Manager, Hotel Quinta de Marinha, one of the suppliers, adds: “Dubai was our most successful event last year, it produced the most leads for us, so there was no doubt we would be back again. M&I Forums have been a way to connect with buyers, and Dubai is unlike any other host city, making it a great combination.”