How Dubai underlined the importance of in-person business events

Dubai provided a viable alternative for hosting many events held over the past 15 months.

Dubai’s business events sector and wider economy are poised to benefit from another year of successful bidding activity led by Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau.

In 2021, Dubai maintained a strong calendar of promotional activities around the world, through a combination of sales missions in key target markets and participation in major industry roadshows.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, said: “The city’s handling of the pandemic and rapid economic recovery continue to be recognised by the global business community. In addition to seeing Dubai become a hub of choice for businesses, associations and talent across a wide range of sectors and professions, this is also resulting in the city standing out as a preferred destination for events of all sizes.”

He added that the experience of the past two years has only served to underline the importance of in-person business events and what they can offer to organisers, participants, sponsors, exhibitors and their wider networks. 

“We therefore continue to explore all opportunities to host business events in Dubai and work with stakeholders in the city to provide meeting planners a safe, impactful platform for knowledge sharing, networking and creating lasting legacies,” he says.

Collaborating with stakeholders across the public and private sectors, DBE has captured a total of 120 events for the year 2021 and beyond. These events, a combination of conferences, meetings and incentive travel programmes, feature almost 70,000 key opinion leaders, scientists, government officials and other experts, which put Dubai at the heart of global conversations on the recovery of key sectors and professions, innovation and economic growth. 

Among the major events won in 2021 were the 27th International Council of Museums (ICOM) General Conference in 2025. Dubai Business Events (DBE) collaborated with the UAE’s chapter of ICOM (ICOM-UAE), Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Dubai Municipality to win the bid for the event. Other key events captured over the past year for the associations segment included the BIR World Recycling Convention & Exhibition (2022), Asian Congress in Pediatric Nephrology (2023) and the Congress of the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (2024).

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