Chinese firms, tourists fuel UAE events industry
Growing number of firms and tourists coming from China is a blessing for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which emerged as a hotspot for corporate events, concerts and entertainment shows, experts said here Tuesday at the ongoing Middle East Event Show.
With over 3,000 Chinese companies registered in the UAE, their demand for corporate events surges constantly. Hundreds of gala dinners, concerts, artistic shows and excursions are organized for these Chinese companies by events corporations.
The growing influx of Chinese tourists also fuels demand for events across the country, said Lee Charteris, vice president of Flash Entertainment in Abu Dhabi.
"There are 900 registered event companies in the UAE and competition is getting more intensive every single year," he said.
Chinese customers care a lot about details, said Khalil Ghadri, founder of Dubai-based KG Production and Events. "Timing is important, speed is important and a no-mistake attitude is vital. Concerts and gala dinners must run smooth otherwise the next event might be booked through a competing events firm."
"The entertainment market for the Chinese in the UAE is definitely growing," said Carla Bruno, communications specialist at events firm Red Filo.
She did not reveal any name of their Chinese clients, but added that the multi-cultural flair of the UAE appeals to Chinese spectators as they can find in Dubai and Abu Dhabi a multi-national and secure environment which few other Arab cities can offer.
For Sarah Omolewu, managing partner at Dubai-based Maven Marketing and Events, Chinese firms are a definitive target to expand the entertainment business. "We are even looking beyond the UAE and plan to expand to Chinese mainland in the future," she said.
According to the official Dubai tourism body DTCM, the number of Chinese tourists grew by 25 percent year-on-year in 2014, attracting 344,000 people.
There are 300,000 Chinese nationals living in the UAE. Bilateral trade between China and the UAE, a major oil supplier, hit 175 billion dirham ($47.7 billion) in 2014 and surpassed India for the first time.