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Security in the Middle East increasingly important to buyers


Security in the Middle East is increasingly important to buyers, although the events market is still buoyant in the Gulf, according to research unveiled at GIBTM.

“There is a great deal of optimism in the industry for the year ahead, with meetings increasing as a proportion of business and conventions/congresses growing considerably,” said Sally Greenhill, of The Right Solution, reporting on the Global Meetings Industry Research report that was launched at Middle East events show GIBTM, currently taking place in Abu Dhabi.


The report shows buyers looking at organising more events and increasing budgets for the Gulf, Middle East and North African region. Results showed 56.4 per cent of global buyers looking at increasing the volume of events and 46.4 per cent indicating an increase in their budgets in the next 12 months to this region.


The survey results also show that the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) continues to top the list of countries where Middle East and global buyers hold events and that competitive rates, added value and intelligent pricing are the most important factors impacting on increasing meetings and events business in a specific destination.

The results of the report were drawn from a survey of 1,063 buyer-respondents, 364 of whom have held events in the region.

Security has jumped back up as an issue for buyers though. “Which is no surprise,” says Meetme's Rob Nicholas. “But of course it provides opportunities for certain destinations and it is a selling point on another level for the UAE. The Gulf and the UAE in particular has often been seen as a safe haven. There is no doubt we have seen a short term shot in the arm with the UAE in particular benefitting.”

The report also revealed that the t
op ten industry sectors for this region 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.

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