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July 24, 2015

Middle East: DXB Incentives on the Rise

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Demand for luxury and high-end incentives is back, placing Dubai in the spotlight among international meeting planners, according to the inaugural Annual Destination Index Special Report by Pacific World

The research, which highlights industry trends as well as the most popular destinations around the world for meetings, incentives and events, has identified India, the US, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Benelux as key source markets placing business in the emirate. Furthermore, the majority of clients are coming from the pharmaceutical, IT and automotive industries. 

“The recent rise in interest in this region has been inf luenced by two key factors,” said Harsha Krishnan, Strategic Development Director at Pacific World. “Firstly, the exemption of Eastern European countries from UAE tourist visas has enabled meeting planners from countries including Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria to consider Dubai as a more realistic and less complicated destination for their events in terms of logistics. 

"Secondly, the announcement that Emirates would open several new routes, including Chicago Boston, Oslo, Brussels, Kiev, Taipei, Kano and Abuja has placed Dubai as a much more accessible incentive destination. The airline has also increased its number of flights to destinations including San Francisco, Houston, Doha, Frankfurt, Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi, and the Seychelles.” 

Additional factors contributing to the increased appeal of Dubai as a five-star incentive destination include developing infrastructure such as the opening of Dubai Tram. 

The emirate has also recently welcomed a number of new hotels including Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai and Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights. 

The Pacific World Destination Index was init ial ly launched in March 2014 but following an extended research period, the team has been able to analyse activity and trends for the whole year. 

“The 12 month overview has allowed us to incorporate factors such as seasonality by using a three month rolling average and year-onyear comparisons for growth and group size,” said Krishnan. “We also analyse the destinations on a monthly basis, looking at recent changes in country/city image; new flights and accessibility; major events; buzz about new hotels/infrastructure; political, economic and currency movements; and event types they are seeing requests from.” 

Overall, top trends outlined in the report include how international clients are increasingly requesting suppliers to offer guarantees when it comes to corporate governance and compliance immigration policies. In addition, visa requirements are still a strong a decisive factor when choosing a destination. Destinations offering a combination of historic and state-of-the-art venues and hotels are most in demand while the opening of new international and well-known brand hotels helps develop trust and interest among planners.

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