GITEX Technology Week continues to be a strong catalyst that accelerates the region’s growing global status as a pioneering market in technology adoption. The show’s growing contribution to Dubai’s economy is attested by the results published in the GITEX Technology Week Economic Impact Assessment 2019 Report issued today by DWTC. With a significant AED 1.6 billion in revenue across direct, indirect and induced economic levers, GITEX Technology Week also translated a high 57% of this total economic output into the retained value of AED 919 million for Dubai’s GDP this year.
The whitepaper provides in-depth insights into how the scale of and global exhibitors and visitors at GITEX collectively yield a ripple effect beyond the technology and MICE sector, sustainably supporting the country’s diversification agenda that has been identified as a strategic priority in the UAE Centennial 2071 Strategy.
Since its launch in 1981, GITEX – which was then the Gulf Computer Exhibition – has been the region’s flagship engine for global technological permeation and mass proliferation across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions. Today, at the cusp of its 4-decade journey, the 39th edition of GITEX Technology Week is a remarkable transformation showcase – much like the sector it represents.
Growing just under 60x in its attendee base and nearly 100 times in scale since inauguration, the event has also evolved its vision beyond being a platform for game-changing technological innovation to seeding the knowledge economy for the MEASA’s future tech ecosystem with its well-lauded GITEX Future Stars. In its 4th year, this component of GITEX Technology Week is already attracting some of the pioneering start-ups, cutting-edge inventions and next-generation innovators from around the world.
The GITEX Technology Week Economic Impact Assessment Report 2019 is designed to provide insights and data-backed analysis pertaining to the impact of the trade show on the emirate’s economy. Key parameters assessed include:
- Total participant spend at GITEX;
- ‘Direct’ spends in ancillary sectors such as accommodation, F&B, retail, entertainment, travel and transport, other business services etc.;
- ‘Indirect’ spends related to necessary production increases to meet increased demand;
- ‘Induced’ value that results from higher employment and consequent disposal income growth.
Direct Economic Output of AED 1.136 billion was generated within the MICE and adjacent sectors by GITEX’s 171,282 attendees in 2019, representing the impact of their total spend on goods and services related to their participation in the event as well as their spend across ancillary sectors during the course of their business visit to Dubai. A further estimated AED 468 million was generated by GITEX in indirect and induced output, resulting in a combined Total Economic Output of AED 1.6 billion.
With an extremely high 57% retention of value within the economy, GITEX produced a combined Gross Value Added (GVA) of AED 919 million, of which AED 669 million was direct GVA, AED 126 million was indirect GVA and AED 124 million was induced GVA, showing the strength of the domestic industry and market in terms of absorbing the growing value from the sector.
“The UAE is evolving into a global innovation hub and pioneer in the use of transformational technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Our investments and strategic efforts are aimed at furthering DWTC’s role as a pioneering MICE platform, optimally positioned to connect developed economies with high-growth emerging markets across continents,” said His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. “The 2019 GITEX Economic Impact Assessment report sheds light on DWTC’s approach and proven ability to unlock ecosystem-wide economic value, creating even more critical wider socio-economic impact, ultimately spurring business expansion investment and leadership for Dubai as a global hub for international business.”
GITEX’s event-related spend, which includes exhibition space rental, stand building and related spend (AED 354 million), combined with attendees’ business entertainment spend (AED 37 million), totaled AED 391 million, accounting for 34% of GITEX’s direct economic output. Attendee expenses across in-city services and propositions, restaurants, retail and accommodation in 2019 totaled AED 651 million and represented 58% of GITEX’s direct economic output, while travel-related airfare and visa-spend totaled AED 94 million (8% of GITEX’s direct economic output).
The GITEX Technology Week Economic Impact Assessment Report 2019 showed that the total economic output of AED 1.6 billion generated by the event was driven by the AED 354 million in direct spend at GITEX, meaning that for every AED 1 spent at GITEX, 4.5 times was generated in sales value for Dubai’s wider economy. “GITEX is a critical platform for raising awareness of the ways that organisations can deploy cutting-edge technologies in their digital transformation efforts, and is crucial in stimulating national economic growth in the areas of technology and innovation. Our role, as a leading global platform for business events across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region, allows us to ably support Dubai and the UAE in its ambitious diversification and sustainable growth agenda,” His Excellency Almarri said.
GITEX Technology Week and Dubai World Trade Centre once again served not only as integral global platforms for industry knowledge sharing but also as crucial drivers of international visitor spending. GITEX registered a total of 171,282 attendees, 33% of which (57,367) were international, while the event hosted over 4,500 exhibiting companies. Attendees came from a total of 152 countries, with the GCC accounting for a massive 40% of the international participants, 16% from the wider MENA region, 12% from the Indian Subcontinent, 10% from Europe and 8% from Asia-Pacific. This diversity highlights Dubai’s status as an international business and innovation hub at the crossroads between the East and the West.
The report reveals that international attendees spent nearly six times more than their local counterparts. The average length of stay for international attendees was 5.7 days, while their average daily spend was AED 1,741 (AED 9,924 for their entire stay), whereas the average length of time spent at GITEX by local participants was 3.6 days, with an average daily spend of AED 483 (AED 1,739 for the entire event).
His Excellency continued, “The data from the GITEX Technology Week Economic Impact Assessment Report confirms that international business traffic to GITEX Technology Week is significant in driving economic development and a national culture of innovation. The impact does more than just affect the UAE’s economy, and extends to residents, trade professionals and businesses alike. With the growing spotlight on Dubai for its superior business and trade ecosystems, our focus remains on further enhancing our offering of events to continue to attract multi-sector business visitors, with a view to enable future GDP acceleration.”
GITEX is estimated to have supported a total of 6,239 jobs, generating disposable household income of AED 298 million. Of the figure, MICE and adjacent sectors contributed a direct impact with 4,442 (71%) of the number jobs created, while 1,797 (29%) of the number of jobs were the result of indirect and induced employment impact across the wider domestic economy. The UAE and Dubai are already accelerating towards a tomorrow rooted in innovation, knowledge creation, open data sharing and economic diversification, which implies that DWTC will play an even more crucial role in pioneering the next stage of growth, over the forthcoming decades.
“Dubai’s evolution as a leading MICE destination has undeniably helped shape its reputation as a global hub for the international business community, and DWTC has been a pioneering leader in this journey. The momentum achieved through the past four decades since our inception puts us in a very strong position as we progress towards 2020, laying the foundations to realise the vision and strategy of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – to drive further investment across sectors into Dubai’s and the nation’s economy.
“We have expanded our horizons to our calendar to encompass the most relevant and strategic global priorities such as food security, artificial intelligence, biotech, blockchain, creative economy and environmental sustainability. These events not only provide a truly multilateral forum to shape future policy, but also encourage ideation, co-creation, and collaboration – positioning Dubai as a global model of a diversified, sustainable and resilient economy, that adapts, transforms and defines the future agenda for development,” His Excellency Almarri concluded.
Growth at DWTC and consequently for the region’s MICE sector and Dubai’s GDP are set to intensify over the immediate 2-3 years starting with the latent opportunities presented by Expo 2020 which is expected to welcome 25 million visits. DWTC’s legacy and expertise encompasses the Expo 2020 site, with the development of the Expo Village and the new Expo 2020 Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), both of which will cement Dubai’s global leadership as a residential, business and MICE events destination, further boosting private sector investment and business tourism between the emirate and the world.