The Cvent meetings management company announced its annual top 50 convention cities for 2016 in three different categories for the first time: the United States; Asia Pacific (APAC); and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Previously, Cvent had only published top 50 destination lists annually for the U.S. and Europe.

At least part of the reason why the organization expanded its rankings globally was to include Dubai, which ranked #11 on this year’s EMEA list. Last year’s Top 50 European list did not include any cities in the Middle East.

Likewise, it might have been interesting if Cvent had published a North America list to integrate Canada instead of sticking with U.S. listings. In the latest International Congress & Convention Association rankings for most meetings per city worldwide, both Vancouver (ranked #38) and Toronto (39) are listed ahead of New York (47) and Washington, D.C. (49), while Montreal (50) is close behind. Including the Canadian cities in the Cvent rankings would potentially rearrange the top 10 list.

We asked, Kevin Fliess, VP of product marketing for Cvent Hospitality Cloud, why the listings were expanded this year.

“The U.S. represents about half of the meetings and events industry worldwide, and the other half is outside the U.S., so it’s equally as important,” he said. “We now have enough data over the course of several years to be able to report out on a regional basis covering those three major parts of the world.”

Cvent bases its destination rankings primarily on: Unique request for proposals (RFPs), total room nights, awarded RFPs, awarded room nights, percentage of qualified venues, and number of profile views. Fliess said the volume of RFPs received and awarded were the two criteria weighted the most heavily.

Here are the top 12 cities for each of the three regions in the Cvent rankings:

Ranking #USAEurope, Middle East & AfricaAsia Pacific
1OrlandoLondonSingapore
2ChicagoBarcelonaSydney
3Las VegasAmsterdamKuala Lumpur
4AtlantaParisBangkok
5San DiegoBerlinHong Kong
6New YorkRomeShanghai
7Washington, DCFrankfurtMelbourne
8DallasMadridTokyo
9NashvilleBrusselsBeijing
10New OrleansPragueSeoul
11MiamiDubaiMakati
12DenverDublinBali

In the U.S. rankings, Orlando, Chicago, and Las Vegas seem to be entrenched in the top three standings year-over-year. Orlando has earned the top position four out of the five years that Cvent has compiled this list.

Fliess said Nashville is a bit of an outlier in the top 10 due to its size, but the city hits above its weight in the meetings and events industry with group business driving 42% of annual visitation to the Tennessee capital.

Also giving Nashville added competitive advantage, the Omni Nashville Hotel and Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center occupy the #1 and #2 positions respectively on the 2016 Cvent Top 100 Hotels in the U.S. rankings.

Regarding the EMEA rankings, “The fact that Dubai is on the list speaks to the growth of the Middle East, and Dubai in particular, as a world-class meetings destination,” said Fliess. “Dubai is just on fire now.”

Photo Credit: Dubai ranked as the #11 top meetings destination in the EMEA region behind 10 European cities. Visit Dubai