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Revealed: the economic impact of Dubai's GITEX

05 Nov 2019

Revealed: the economic impact of Dubai's GITEX

Arabian Business

The growing economic impact of GITEX Technology Week has been revealed in a new report which put its value at AED1.6 billion ($440 million) to Dubai's GDP.

The GITEX Technology Week Economic Impact Assessment highlighted revenue across direct, indirect and induced economic levers, which translated into retained value of AED919 million for Dubai’s GDP.

For every AED1 spent at GITEX, 4.5 times was generated in sales value for Dubai’s wider economy, it said.

Direct relates to spending in ancillary sectors such as accommodation, F&B, retail, entertainment, travel and transport while indirect refers to spending related to necessary production increases to meet increased demand and induced value results from higher employment and consequent disposal income growth.

Since its launch in 1981, GITEX has been the region’s flagship engine for global technological permeation and mass proliferation across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions.

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 GITEX Future Stars.

The report said direct economic output of AED1.1 billion was generated while a further estimated AED468 million was generated by GITEX in indirect and induced output.

“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 Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The report showed that GITEX’s event-related spend, which includes exhibition space rental, stand building and related spend, combined with attendees’ business entertainment spend, totalled AED391 million, accounting for 34 percent of its direct economic output.

Attendee expenses across in-city services and propositions, restaurants, retail and accommodation in 2019 totalled AED651 million while travel-related airfare and visa-spend totalled AED94 million.

GITEX registered a total of 171,282 attendees, 33 percent of which were international, while the event hosted over 4,500 exhibiting companies.

Attendees came from a total of 152 countries, with the GCC accounting for 40 percent of the international participants, 16 percent from the wider MENA region, 12 percent from the Indian Subcontinent, 10 percent from Europe and 8 percent from Asia-Pacific.

The report revealed that international attendees spent nearly six times more than their local counterparts while the average length of stay for international attendees was 5.7 days and their average daily spend was AED1,741.

GITEX is also estimated to have supported a total of 6,239 jobs, generating disposable household income of AED298 million.

Almarri added: “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.

“We have expanded our horizons to our calendar to encompass the most relevant and strategic global priorities such as food security, artificial intelligence, bio-tech, blockchain, creative economy and environmental sustainability."

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