Skift Take

India's growing prominence in outbound MICE presents a significant opportunity that Dubai aims to leverage. The new recognition program targeting Indian intermediaries will definitely push agencies to promote Dubai as a preferred MICE destination.

Dubai Business Events, part of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism and the city’s official convention bureau, on Monday will announce its first-ever recognition program for Indian intermediaries for meetings, incentives, conferences and events business.

The MICE Star Awards program recognizes agents in India and their role in solidifying Dubai’s position as a leading business events destination.

“The award recipients will be selected based on an evaluation process that considers both the volume and value of their business to Dubai’s business events and wider tourism ecosystem,” a statement from Dubai Business Events said.

Dubai’s exhibitions, conferences, seminars, and business events sector grew by 25% last year. Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) attracted 2.47 million participants in 2023.

DWTC noted that the strong performance in 2023 reflects Dubai’s economic growth and its role as an international platform for business and trade. The growth was driven by 301 events, marking a 23% increase compared to 2022.

In addition, Dubai secured 349 bids to host international conferences and meetings facilitated by Dubai Business Events, representing a 49% increase in successful bids from the prior year. These events are expected to bring in over 191,000 international delegates to the city.

A report by Dubai Pulse estimates that the events industry in Dubai was worth $44.7 billion in 2023, with an annual growth rate of 25% projected from 2023 to 2027. The industry currently supports 100,000 jobs in Dubai and is expected to create an additional 10,000 jobs over the next five years.

India’s Outbound MICE Potential

According to Dubai Business Events, the launch of the program highlights Dubai’s dedication to the Indian MICE market. In 2023, India emerged as the top source country for visitors to Dubai, reflecting the city’s popularity for business events.

Dubai has also introduced a five-year multiple entry visa for Indian travelers. “As a key market for Dubai, India will continue to play an integral role in enabling us to achieve the goals of the D33 Agenda, further reinforcing Dubai’s position as a hub for business, investment and tourism,” said Bader Ali Habib, regional head of proximity markets at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism. forecasts that India’s outbound MICE tourism market will reach $13.4 billion by 2031. It said the growth in this sector is driven by economic factors, including government support, improved air connectivity, and increased awareness among businesses and individuals about the benefits of attending international events.

India’s business travel spending is set to reach $38 billion this year, with a projected full recovery to pre-2019 spending levels by 2025, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

“Companies prioritize in-person interactions with clients and suppliers to expedite projects. Professionals also embark on business trips to participate in meetings, events, and seminars,” Sunny Sodhi, managing director of FCM Travel India, told Skift earlier.

The pharmaceutical, finance, and manufacturing sectors are key drivers of India’s outbound MICE tourism.


Get More Meetings Insights

The Skift Meetings newsletter delivers fresh, original content straight to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: asia monthly, corporate travel, dubai, india outbound, meetings and events, mice, visa waiver

Photo credit: In 2023, India emerged as the top source country for visitors to Dubai. Unsplash

Up Next

Loading next stories