Arab Health and Medlab Middle East, the largest exhibitions for the healthcare and laboratory industry in the MENA region, generated more than 3.7 billion Dirhams ($1.01 bn) worth of business during the 2020 edition of the show, a year-on-year increase of 3.7%. The exhibitions also contributed over 389 million Dirhams ($106 mn) to the Dubai economy through direct and indirect spending from visitors and exhibitors.
Furthermore, according to recent research by Informa Markets, 85% of healthcare and laboratory key visitors surveyed stated they would like to attend live events again. This underscores the pent-up demand to attend and support the local economy when visiting Arab Health and Medlab Middle East on its return to the Dubai World Trade Centre, 21-24 June, which this year will be under the show theme of ‘United by Business’.
Wouter Molman, Executive Vice President for Informa Markets, said: “Our survey results clearly indicate an appetite to return to a physical event format, with face-to-face networking at the forefront of what our key audiences are looking for. The message from our participants has been unequivocal. They want to be present at the event and feel safe doing so, thanks to the UAE’s measures.
“Based on our research, we can safely expect both events to attract 61,000 visitors, roughly half of which will attend the in-person event, with the other half attending the event online. Having seen the successes of events recently run in Dubai, we are confident in delivering a strong and successfully live, in-person event, with good MENA representation.
“The UAE government’s commitment to vaccinate the population and facilitate a safe environment for people to come together while adhering to all safety protocols has been a defining factor in the confidence to get back to business. We are in one of the few countries in the world where this is possible as a result of the incredible government work.”
As part of Informa Markets’ commitment to providing the highest hygiene levels at all events by ensuring attendees and staff safety, the company has launched Informa AllSecure. The enhanced measures include 35 guidelines covering all aspects of cleaning and hygiene, social distancing measures, and the use of PPE, screening, and a track and trace in conjunction with local authorities.
“We created Informa AllSecure for two reasons. The first was to boost confidence within the events industry, while the second was to ensure that everyone attending one of our physical events can connect, learn, and safely do business,” said Molman.
“Our exhibitions are not only conducive to generating deals amongst participants; they also have a huge impact on the local economy and support industries such as tourism and hospitality, F&B, and aviation. We are all truly ‘United by Business’”, he added.
A host of government initiatives since the onset of COVID-19 has fast-tracked the countries recovery and permitted the opening of hotels and exhibitions before elsewhere in the world. As such, the latest STR data revealed the Middle East’s hotel sector was a top performer globally during 2020, with an average occupancy of 45.9%. One of the best performing countries was the UAE, with an average occupancy of 51.7% and an average daily rate (ADR) of over 418 Dirhams. Although these figures were 29.3% & 16.5% down year-on-year, the return of physical exhibitions will help buoy optimism among hoteliers.
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “It has been vital that we have the best policies in place and that we engage with stakeholders internationally and locally to ensure all visitors feel safe and can travel confidently to and from Dubai. We have been working closely with our partners including Informa Markets and Dubai World Trade Centre, implementing the latest guidelines and best practices to create safe environments for their events and put Dubai at the forefront of the recovery of the business events sector globally.”
“Arab Health and Medlab Middle East are part of the very fabric of UAE business and trade; the return of physical events is an important sign of the renewed confidence and commitment in the UAE as an important trade corridor. Now, more than ever, it is important for the healthcare industry to come together, to network, to discuss the future of the industry, and to do business,” concluded Molman.