Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is marking its 40th anniversary this month since establishing its position as the first icon for regional trade in 1979 and evolving to be integral to global commerce and business enablement across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (MEA) and the sub-continent.
Over the past 40 years, DWTC has been a key protagonist in Dubai’s diversification agenda. It played a fundamental role in enabling trade and events during the emirate’s formative years, rapidly propelling the city to new heights of success.
It also supported the growth of the Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector in Dubai, contributing to its appeal as an optimal career option for talent in the city and globally. DWTC continues to expand as an anchor landmark along the city’s economic corridor.
It continues to play an integral role in strengthening Dubai’s position as a global economic hub, having generated over Dh200 billion ($54 billion) of total economic output and hosting over 5,000 business and Mice events from 1979-2018, said a statement from DWTC.
In addition, it has attracted over 30 million business visitors to Dubai from inception through 2018, of which 12 million visitors were from international markets thereby facilitating international trade and consolidating Dubai’s status as a global business destination.
Inspired by the ground-breaking vision for Dubai to be a model growth-oriented city for the world, the emirate’s founding father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, triggered the city’s extraordinary and rapid metamorphosis in just four decades, with DWTC fuelling the evolution and cementing of the emirate's reputation as a competitive international leader in business tourism, events trade and investment, it stated.
Embodying the aspirations of the city’s leadership, the 39-storey Sheikh Rashid Tower (commonly known as Trade Centre Tower) that started its journey as the tallest structure in the Arab world and the symbol of business on the face of the Dh100 currency bill, has dramatically and sustainably transformed its purpose over time to become (i) home to regional and international businesses within the multi-dimensional 1.3 million sq ft DWTC complex in the heart of Dubai; (ii) pivotal to the city’s global leadership in the expansive events industry; and (iii) steadily building the emirate’s competitiveness as a business, knowledge and networking hub for 2025 and beyond.
Helal Saeed Almarri, the director general of DWTC Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: "Our founding father, Sheikh Rashid defined a bold vision – for Dubai to be ‘the’ globally recognised trade and business hub for the entire region, propelling a domestic economic agenda rooted in diversification – an unconventional and defiant position to adopt for any nation in the Middle East given the traditional stronghold of oil-driven GDP growth."
"It has been this path-defining leadership that has guided our mission as DWTC and seen our city soar to heights ‘beyond’ what many believed to be ‘possible’. His mandate since DWTC’s inception has been our guiding beacon in defining our mission and strategic priorities that have over the years focused on shaping Dubai’s core proposition as a hub for tourism, trade and finance," he noted.
Today, DWTC’s global reach, market attractiveness and sector diversity are unparalleled – with a broad spectrum of industries represented within our high performance, fast evolving and internationally renowned calendar of events, said the top official.
"It plays host to over 600 events annually across key sectors, including technology and innovation, healthcare, energy and sustainability, real estate, food and beverage, hospitality, automotive and transportation, among others, all of which are closely aligned with Dubai’s and the UAE’s strategic vision for economic diversification,"noted Almarri.
"By the same token, DWTC has been a key enabler of international trade for the UAE and other global economies, as world leading multi-national companies, small and medium businesses and start-ups are given the platform and opportunity to connect to new markets, high value buyers, global funding and R&D opportunities etc. – reflecting a democratised, “shared economic value creation” platform, that is a pioneering model for sustained global growth," he stated.
On its future plans, Almarri said the nation was already paving the way for a tomorrow, rooted in innovation, knowledge creation, open data sharing and diversification as outlined in the UAE Centennial 2071 Agenda.
As Dubai accelerates towards this goal, DWTC plays an even more crucial role in charting the next stage of growth, over the forthcoming decades.
To facilitate this purpose, DWTC continues to enhance Dubai’s business ecosystem, enabling new industries, fostering entrepreneurship, providing a rich content network, developing sustainable and integrated infrastructure, facilitating knowledge sharing and creating opportunities for youth of this region and the world – all working in tandem to strengthen the emirate’s position as an inclusive, stable and world-class destination to live and work.
The DWTC growth is only set to intensify over the next few years, largely due to the opportunity that Expo 2020 Dubai presents, as the city prepares to welcome 20 million visitors, remarked Almarri.
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 leading position as a residential, business and Mice events hub, further boosting private sector investment and business tourism between the emirate and the world, he added.-TradeArabia News Service