The Gulf Incentives, Business, Travel and Meetings (GIBTM) is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi from 24-26 March 2014. The event will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) with an expanded remit and enhanced business networking opportunities.
According to TCA Abu Dhabi, the MICE sector is an increasingly important economic contributor, currently generating Abu Dhabi AED2.4bn per annum, and set to grow by seven percent annually to reach AED5.1bn by 2020.
The region as a whole is also in line to reap economic benefits of a share of an estimated AED20.6bn worth of global business, with IAPCO’s extended member base responsible for organising more than 6,500 meetings each year, and accommodating some 2.5 million delegates.
The strength of the Middle East meetings and incentives market is also confirmed by findings of 2013 IBTM Meetings Industry Research Report, which noted that 59% of Middle East buyers are forecasting increased budgets for the next 12 months with a corresponding 68.5% planning an increase in events in 2014.
“Last year, GIBTM saw 251 hosted buyers attend with 67% placing orders in excess of US$650,000. For 2014, we will welcome over 300 targeted buyers as demand continues to grow,” said Lois Hall, exhibition manager, GIBTM.
In 2013, 7,207 pre-scheduled appointments brought hosted buyers and exhibitors together, with 2,364 total visits and 302 exhibiting companies representing 35 countries. Hall also reports an early surge in interest from buyers in the UK, Azerbaijan, France, Poland, Ukraine, China and Australia.
“We are looking at a figure of 8,500 pre-scheduled appointments for 2014, which will be a significant increase on 2013,” said Hall.
Some of the new initiatives lined up for next year include the Business Travel Day; the first-ever GIBTM hosted Market Focus on Asia along with an Asia Pavilion and the sourceme Pavilion.