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Bullish Sentiment Prevails Over MENA Meeting Industry

Global Meetings Industry Research Report Indicates Buyers Looking at Organizing

More Events and Increasing Budgets for the Region

The latest Global Meetings Industry Research report for the Gulf, Middle East and North African region, which was launched recently at the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (, pointed to buyers and event organizers looking at increasing the volume of events, with a large number also looking at increasing their budgets for the region.

Presented by Sally Greenhill from The Right Solution and Rob Nicholas of meetme, the results of the research indicated that 48.2 percent of Middle East buyers and 47.2 percent of Global buyers said that they organized more events in the last 12 months as compared with the previous year, 64.5 percent and 56.4 percent respectively said that they are even looking at further increasing that volume. Supporting such an increase in the volume of events are 53.7 percent of Middle East buyers and another 46.4 percent of Global buyers indicating an increase in their budgets in the next 12 months.

With the survey results showing that the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) continues to top the list of 10 countries that both Middle East and Global buyers hold such events, factors such as competitive rates, added value, intelligent pricing, innovative products, new destinations, wow factor, economic recovery, political stability, regional security, visas, airlift and airport taxes, are seen to have the most impact in increasing meetings and events business in a specific destination.

The results of the report were drawn out of a survey of 1,063 buyer-respondents, 143 of whom are based in the Middle East. Out of the total respondents, 364 have held events in the region.

Report at-a-glance summary
  • In 2011, 58.5% of events organized by buyers were the conventions and congresses– reflecting a significant increase in this category
  • The top 10 countries for Middle East buyers during the past 12 months were the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Jordan, India, and Malaysia
  • In the next 12 months, Middle East buyers see growth in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, France, Japan, and the UK
  • The top 10 countries for Global buyers during the past 12 months were UAE, the USA, China, Italy, France, the UK, Spain, India, and Germany
  • In the next 12 months, Global buyers see growth in India, the USA, Singapore, Thailand, Italy, the UK, France, China, Germany, and Macao
  • Top 10 industry sectors for MENA events are Oil and gas, Pharmaceutical, Finance and Banking, Training and Education, Electronics and Communications, Construction and Engineering, Hospitality, Food and Tobacco, IT and Computing, Manufacturing, and transport/retail/automotive/cosmetics
  • The top five markets for MENA region are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait
  • • In terms of the number of delegates, 46.8% of Global buyers and 52.9% of Middle East buyers said that there were more during the previous 12 months
  • The top client types in the Middle East are Corporate, Government-owned enterprise, NGO’s, Government/not-for-profit, Associations, Agencies, and Consultants
View the full report online at

Held under the patronage of Chairman, HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, GIBTM 2012’s distinguished industry partners include Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, ADNEC,, Etihad Airways and The Vision Destination Management Company. Meetme, published by NPI, is a global media partner and publisher of the official show daily publication.
GIBTM 2012 takes place on the 26th-28th March 2012.
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