Expo 2020 to boost UAE’s reputation as events destination

The Dubai World Trade Centre, which is also the region’s biggest trade venue, last year welcomed 3.3 million delegates and attendees to 353 MICE and business events. (Courtesy Dubai World Trade Centre Authority)
Updated 16 April 2018
0

Expo 2020 to boost UAE’s reputation as events destination

DUBAI: The Expo 2020 will boost the UAE’s global reputation as the go-to place for major events because of its leading innovation for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector, an industry expert said.
“There is no doubt that the UAE has led by example when it comes to event innovation and experience. Events such as the World Government Summit and the recent Arab Media Forum are incredible events and are a fantastic example of best practice to the world of how to deliver an event and to host international guests,” Alan Kelly, Business Development Manager at Informa Middle East, told Arab News.
“Expo 2020 will only enhance the UAE’s reputation as an innovation hub for the global events industry, bringing the world’s leading event curators and experiential agencies to the region and, in turn, raising the bar for the entire local industry.”
Expo 2020 is expected to receive 25 million visits during its six-month run from October 2020 until April 2021, mostly from outside the UAE — the largest proportion in the history of World Expos — as more than 180 countries are participating in the event.
“It will most definitely be a UAE ‘first’ for event concept, design and delivery,” Kelly said.
Kelly said that Dubai, which is hosting Expo 2020, was a ‘super place to visit for an event: “it’s got the hotels, the venues, a supporting infrastructure and is well connected to global cities — all key to hosting international events.”
The Dubai World Trade Center, which is also the region’s biggest trade venue, last year welcomed 3.3 million delegates and attendees to 353 MICE and business events including 103 mega events while its Abu Dhabi counterpart the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition hosted 1.5 million people across 480 events in 2016, including defense exhibitions and medical meetings.
Kelly, who will join the Middle East Special Event & Exhibition Show on April 22 and 23, also believes the UAE is poised to embrace cutting edge technologies which will better engage and involve audiences, while staving off the growing threat of “event fatigue”.
“The days of simply turning up to an event and remaining on the sidelines, watching and listening, are long gone. New technologies, and the resulting data they produce, will enable events to become far more immersive and tailored to the needs of delegates, creating both intimate and unique experiences,” he said.
“More can be done on the ground to attract international delegates and visitors to our events, and increased collaboration between all stakeholders is vital to help make this happen … we need to attract international association events, and increased support is needed with the launch of new annual events, existing exhibitions, and key industry events, all of which will help ensure sustainability and continued growth.”
“Expo 2020 will obviously increase the revenue lines for many companies operating within the event space, but it will also present an opportunity for these companies to push the boundaries of event innovation and be the global benchmark for cutting-edge delivery and concept creation,” he added.


Brent crude oil rises for a sixth day as supplies tighten amid strong demand

Updated 24 April 2018
0

Brent crude oil rises for a sixth day as supplies tighten amid strong demand

  • US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents
  • The potential of renewed US sanctions against Iran is pushing prices higher

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil rose for sixth day on Tuesday, passing $75 a barrel, on expectations that supplies will tighten because fuel is rising at the same time the US may impose sanctions against Iran and OPEC-led output cuts remain in place.
Brent crude oil futures climbed to as high as $75.20 a barrel in early trading on Tuesday, the highest since Nov. 27, 2014. Brent was still at $75 a barrel at 0311 GMT up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from its last close.
Brent’s six-day rising streak is the most since a similar string of gains in December and it is up by more than 20 percent from its 2018 low in February.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last settlement. On Thursday, WTI rose to as high as $69.56, the most since Nov. 28, 2014.
Markets have been lifted by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which were introduced in 2017 with the aim of propping up the market.
The potential of renewed US sanctions against Iran is also pushing prices higher.
Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA said new sanctions against Tehran “could push oil prices up as much as $5 per barrel.”
The US has until May 12 to decide whether it will leave the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions against OPEC’s third-largest producer, which would further tighten global supplies.
“Crude prices are now sitting at the highest levels in three years, reflecting ongoing concerns around geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which is the source of nearly half of the world’s oil supply,” ANZ bank said.
“Oil strength is coming from Saudi Arabia’s recent commitment to get oil back up to between $70 to $80 per barrel as well as inventory levels that are back in the normal range,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
OPEC’s supply curtailments and the threat of new sanctions are occurring just as demand in Asia, the world’s biggest oil consuming region, has risen to a record as new and expanded refineries start up from China to Vietnam.
One of the few factors that has limited oil prices from surging even more is US production, which has shot up by more than a quarter since mid-2016 to over 10.54 million barrels per day (bpd), taking it past Saudi Arabia’s output of around 10 million bpd.
As a result of its rising output, US crude is increasingly appearing on global markets, from Europe to Asia, undermining OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market.