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Dubai Tourism launches event industry report to set the stage for continued collaborative sector development

dtInsights to Boost Organiser Decision Making around Market Demand, Event Pricing, Sales Channel Effectiveness and more.

Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has launched its inaugural ‘Ticketed Events in Dubai’ 2015 report as it seeks to share collective findings to better equip organisers in the decision making process to help grow existing events and to launch new ones based on type, scale, price points, calendar opportunities, buying behavior, event attendee potential and optimum capacity.

Dubai’s event industry, a core pillar of the city’s tourism destination proposition, remains a strong and growing contributor of economic value to the emirate’s GDP. Building off a mature calendar of regularly renewed, world-renowned leisure and business events, the event offering is well complemented by a diversified mix of entertainment, sport, theater, art and cultural entrants, collectively aimed at attracting international and domestic audiences.

“Close collaboration across all the fundamental levers of sector development, between government, public and private sector stakeholders – from venue developers and operators, to event organisers and the network of promoters and distributors – has been instrumental in laying the foundations for Dubai’s success to date. Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, as the events industry prepares to cater for the evolving needs of an even more diversified target of 20 million visitors to the emirate, sustained cross-industry partnership will be even more crucial to retain Dubai’s status as a leading global event destination,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).

Covering full year 2015, the new event industry whitepaper provides a snap shot of the performance of ticketed leisure events hosted in Dubai across three main leisure categories, Entertainment, Sports and Culture. According to the report, which only captures events applied for via Dubai’s e-Ticketing platform, there were a total of 656 system registered ticketed leisure events delivered in 2015, representing 1.1 million tickets being sold. Leisure events constituted 27% of the total volume of unique ticketed events hosted during the 2015 calendar year and accounted for 60% of the number of tickets recorded as sold for the period.

Across Entertainment, Sports and Cultural events, the findings summarised in the paper quantify the magnitude of their direct contribution, and highlight the diversity and depth of Dubai’s events calendar, particularly in its ability to cater to mass and niche audiences across the year.

“For the industry, these insights serve as a valuable resource to assess their specific show performance relative to industry average, or as they look at opportunities to invest and grow events in their portfolio. Ultimately our aim is to deliver and continuously evolve Dubai’s event calendar, and such research and data backed findings equip the private sector to be more prudent in selecting, scaling, pricing and targeting the market based on appetite. Additionally, the paper delves into purchaser demographics, sales channel effectiveness in the lead-up to the event, and nationality-specific nuances by event type to drive more informed decision making,” added Kazim.

In a bid to better unify the industry, 2015 saw the full implementation of Dubai’s e-Permit platform, which was the primary source for the report. An industry enabling solution, the platform caters for all processes pertaining to licensing and permitting for events to be facilitated through a unified online gateway managed by Dubai Tourism. On the consumer enablement side, the e-Ticketing platform creates a unified distribution gateway for the convenient purchase of tickets for all types of registered ticketed events in Dubai, with seamless integration to a highly secure mobile and electronic payment gateway.

Report Findings

According to the report, for the specific event categories covered in the analysis, the UAE residential population and international travellers already in Dubai had the highest propensity to attend ongoing events in the city so should be the priority for any event related marketing investments.

In general, peak sales were within two weeks of an event irrespective of event type with event-day sales being a dominant category. Propensity of more advanced (4-5 weeks before the event) ticket purchases were limited to those buying tickets either from other countries as part of their Dubai trip planning process, or for extremely sought-after events – like niche plays, performances etc., or for premium seats or crucial games within popular sporting events.

Furthermore, online bookings gained popularity as the maturity and security of e-commerce transactions grew within the domestic market and near-region. In most event categories, between 45-69% of purchases were made online, reflecting the trend of increasing affinity and comfort within the UAE and GCC markets to use both electronic and mobile payment channels – particularly for event related purchases.

About Marc Mcilhone

Marc Mcilhone
Marc Mcilhone is ArabBrains' Editor - sourcing news and features content and overseeing the work of the site’s contributors. Marc’s work is informed by his technical background in architecture having worked for some of the UK’s leading practices on projects within the education, healthcare and housing sectors. Marc has a particular interest in how innovators are creating sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives. Please email press releases and news to:

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