Monday, December 27, 2010

MICE industry in Dubai: Comprehensive Analysis

                           fig 1: Burj Al Arab ( Source:                                                                                                

Dubai is one of the very fast emerging players in the global MICE industry along with the players like China and South East Asia. It’s the state of the art infrastructure and the cosmopolitan culture of Dubai that attracts the attention of the businesses and corporations across the globe for conducting their meetings and conferences in Dubai.

The given blog will analyze Dubai as a MICE location, recent accomplishments it had made in the given area and SWOT analysis for its MICE industry .

Along with petroleum, tourism, financial sector and real estate sector are very important revenue earners for Dubai. Known for its beautiful and exotic hotels and resorts, restaurants, spas, beautiful land marks, shopping malls and fashion stores Dubai attracts an immense number of tourists every year from all across the globe. In the 1st nine months of 2010 total number of hotel guests was six million (DTCM, 2010). DTCM or Dubai tourism and commerce marketing, pioneer body to take tourism related initiatives in Dubai has an ambitious target of attracting fifteen million foreign tourists in Dubai by 2015. (, 2008)

Dubai attracts both, leisure as well as business tourists. In the past few years there has been considerable increase in business tourism related activities in Dubai. Dubai convention bureau a part of Dubai tourism and commerce marketing is taking strong drives and initiatives to attract business visitors from all around the world to conduct meetings and conferences at Dubai. Like its twin sister Abu Dhabi, Dubai is sending delegates and conducting promotional campaigns all across the globe along with attending international meetings for MICE industry like IBTMs and IMEX etc. In the next part the author will be discussing two very important pillar of the MICE industry in Dubai that is Dubai convention bureau (DCB) and Dubai world trade center (DWTC)

Dubai convention bureau or DCB is not directly involved in conducting meetings and conferences but gives helping hand to the MICE industry in Dubai by promoting it internationally and nationally as meting destination. The services of DCB include the following (DCB website, 2010): -

Bid assistance: - with the help of its strong expertise it helps national and international host in going for the bid. The prime services include identifying issues that needs to be addressed, writing the bid, providing endorsements from key govt. as well as private bodies, working on the strength and weaknesses of other competing cites etc.

• Site selection: - it helps the host in inspecting convention centers, conference halls, hotels etc. Provides assistance with selection of PCOs (professional conference organizer) and meeting planners, provides local contacts.

• Helps in the promotional activities for the event.

• Provides other complimentary services like tour guides, information booths in meetings comprising over 1000 delegates, govt. contacts etc.

Dubai world trade center or DWTC is the leading destination for conducting exhibitions, conferences, meetings and corporate events. It also provides offices on rent to corporate and consulates from all around the globe. DWTC is considered as the focal point of business related activities in Dubai. In 2009 alone it was visited by some 1.24 Million conference and exhibition visitors (, 2010)

In the concluding part the blog will attempt to do a brief SWOT analysis for the MICE industry in Dubai: -


• State of the art infrastructure with plethora of international standard convention centers, hotels, logistic facilities etc. Dubai has around 566 hotels with more than 67,000 rooms. (DTCM, 2009)

• Crime rates are low.

• Cosmopolitan culture

• Epicenter of trade in Middle East.

• Pro- active government authorities.

• Well connected through air with different parts of the world.

• The leisure activities in Dubai are additional advantage for its incentive travel packages.

• Dubai is strategically placed between Asia and Europe where as it is close to Africa as well.


• Dubai is becoming extremely expensive these days. In 2010 it was considered as the 55th most costly city in the world. ( Mercer, 2010)

• It has recently undergone a real estate bubble crash and hence the economy is still in a recovery mode.

• In spite of low crime rate there had been an increase in sex and drug related crimes. Some of them have got huge media publicity.

• Dubai lacks cultural sites.


• The increase in price of oil  will boost the economy.

• Dubai expects further growth in leisure tourism with around 15 Million foreign tourists visiting by 2015. This will surely be advantageous for business tourism in Dubai.

• Dubai is the business and tourism center of Middle East region which is high up on the geo-political and  business agendas of the West as well as emerging powers from the East.


• In recent times  lots of other cost efficient and exciting locations are rising in the Middle East such as Muscat, Doha and Kuwait City.

• Cities like Prague and Istanbul are attracting lot of tourist attention these days. These cities can offer cultural tourism as well as magnificent modern facilities at a much economical price to lure business tourists from across the world.


References –

2>, 2008, Dubai to attract 15m tourists by 2015, available at < >

3> DCB website, 2011, Our Services, available at < >, accessed on Jan 2011

5> Mercer, 2010, Worldwide Cost of Living survey 2010 - City rankings, available at < >  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PEST & Trend analysis of tourism in India

Country Selected: - INDIA

Aim: - Given blog aims to do a PEST analysis and a trend analysis tourism in India. It will include a brief introduction followed by key trends in the Indian tourism market, their respective implications and major take away.

Introduction: - India as a country provides a huge potential for tourism to flourish. One of the oldest cultures of the world and a vibrant economy it has potential for various different kinds of tourism such as heritage cum cultural tourism, medical tourism, business tourism , eco cum adventure tourism, spiritual tourism, etc. The huge potential of India as a tourist hub can be derived the fact that it has a much diversified culture, different kinds of geographical terrains and a very rich cultural heritage. The potential gets an additional boost due to phenomenal growth of Indian economy in the recent years coupled by rise in average household income and investments in infrastructure. Right now also tourism plays a very important role in Indian economy. In the year 2009 valued at 41.73 billion English Pounds it constituted 6% of the Indian gross domestic product. It constitutes 5.8% of the total employment in India and employs 17.4 million individuals. But still the figures are very dismal given the kind of potential Indian tourism has. Though the market penetration of Indian tourism is still very low but can grow by leaps and bounds provided proper strategy is built into operation.

Indian Tourism: Trend Analysis

• In 2007 five million international tourists visited India; this figure is expected to touch ten million in 2010.

• Indian economy very fast in between 2002 and 2007. The average household income grew by 14% there by giving a boost to domestic tourism.

• Total tourist movement had doubled in the last seven years.

• In 2009 the total revenue earned from foreign tourist was approximately 10.5 billion British pounds (6.0 % of total exports). According to travel and tourism competitiveness review this figure is expected to grow to 31.5 billion English pounds in the next ten years.

• According to travel and satellite research (part of World travel & tourism council) the demand of travel and tourism with in India is going to increase by 8.2%. This growth rate is 3rd highest in the whole world.

• Indian hotel industry is adding 90,000 rooms per year.

• Capital Investment in the Indian tourism sector will increase by 8.8% per year. With this rate it can be expected that total investment will be around 59 billion English pounds in the given sector.

• Medical tourism is growing very fast in India. Growing at a Compound annual growth rate (hence forth will be referred as CAGR) of 19% it is expected that by 2012, 1.1 million medical tourists will be visiting India. Growing at a CAGR of 27% the net value of medical tourism will be approximately 1.5 billion English pounds.

• The present value of Indian tourism which is 41.73 billion English pounds is expected to increase by 200% in the next 10 years.

• It is expected that by 2019 there will be 40 million individuals in India employed in the tourism sector. (An increase of approximately 133% )

Internal and External audit of Indian tourism

External audit (uncontrollable factors):-

Macro Factors

Political factors:-

1. India has a stable democratic government. This ensures stability for the tourism industry.

2. The centre has a specific ministry of tourism whose prime purpose is to device plans and strategies for the welfare of Indian tourism industry.

3. India as a nation is divided into various smaller state and every state has its own tourism department. These departments often fight with each other in ensuring higher tourist inflow into their respective states. Though this competitiveness ensures efficiency in the individual states but is detrimental for overall tourism as a whole. Since India is a diverse nation with every state having something to offer along with competition what is really essential is proper coordination between various states.

Economic Factors:-

1. India is among the fastest growing economies of the world. In the last decade its GDP has grown with almost 7% per annum. A higher economic growth ensures rise in annual income hence increase in domestic tourism.

2. A higher economic growth also ensures increase, in investments in the infrastructure, promotional expenditures, construction of newer tourist avenues, beautification of cities and towns etc. These ensure a boost to the tourism industry.

3. High growth results in higher number of business visits.

Socio –Cultural :-

1. India a diverse nation with end numbers of different languages, cultures, traditions, cuisines; make it an ideal destination of cultural tourism. The depth of diversity can be concluded from the fact that India has more than 22 constitutional languages and 1600 dialects.

2. Indian culture has always emphasized on respecting and entertaining their guests very well. The Sanskrit Shloka “ATHITHI DEVO BAHVAH” (guest is god) is the essence of Indian tradition. This warmth and love for their guests has always been appreciated by tourists in general and foreign ones in particular.

3. India has a vibrant and rich history of cultures that can also attract many culture lovers and scholars for further studies and exploration.

4. Due to 200 years of British rule English is an integral part of Indian education system. Most of the people at India can communicate and understand in English. This gives an added advantage to India in comparison to its neighboring counterparts in attracting foreign tourist.


1. At present Information Technology plays a very important role in tour planning and its implementation. Starting from searching the tourists spots to booking hotels and transportation to transferring money every where web based platforms are used. In the Indian context there are plenty of such web based portals such as, etc. India being an IT superpower is capable enough for future development of such avenues in a very cost efficient and technologically superior way.

2. In spite of India being an It superpower the overall home pc penetration is still low at just 26%. This disassociates a very large chunk of domestic users from using such web based portals.

3. For the success of tourism it is essential that a country must be equipped with state of the art transportation facilities. It must have very efficient transportation system that can help in transporting both large volume of people and goods in a very cost effective, fast and comfortable fashion. Thanks to its huge population and late opening up of economy its transportation system still not of international standard.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Analysis of MICE business in China

In the last three blogs the author attempted to give a brief introduction to business tourism & MICE industry. Now he will like to take this further and will like to delve deeper into it. In the next stage he will attempt writing on the trend of MICE industry in various individual regions. Along with the traditional hot destinations such as Europe and USA there are lots of new places such as Middle East, China, Singapore are emerging as favorable destination for business tourism and MICE activities. The next few blogs will like take a deeper look at these individual places along with the socio economic conditions and developing industry trends in the background. The very 1st one will be dealing with the neighboring China.

Ever since the Chinese economy was opened in the year 1978 China has shown phenomenal growth in the past three decades. Known as the factory of the world it holds a very strong influence in both world geo-politics as well as world economy. Al most all the major companies in the world has their manufacturing unit in China. Because of its investor friendly government policies, low cost of labor and strongly developing human resource it is considered as one of the most favored location for investment. Under such circumstances the importance of MICE industry increases many folds because of following reasons:-

• It is a lucrative business in itself that is a source of an end number of high end employments.

• Business tourism can stimulate leisure tourism as well.

• Since it brings in investors and business houses from all over the world it can stimulate investments in other sectors.

• It can play a very important role in local as well as regional developments. Since primarily it does not brand a whole country but a particular region or a city to the investor & business communities.

• Can stimulate govt. initiatives in building state of the art infrastructure.

The current status of Chinese MICE industry:-

• The Chinese MICE industry has grown rapidly in last 10 years. Most of the 1tier and 2 tier cities have state of the art exhibition halls of international standards. ( Michael Dreyer, 2010)

• The various kind of MICE activities include: Local events where local products are displayed to local buyers, Import events where foreign products (both capital goods as well as luxury products) are displayed to local consumers and buyers and sourcing events where Chinese exporters show their goods to sold to the international buyers. (Michael Dreyer, 2010)

• Important venues for MICE activities in China are Sanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Dongugan, Guangzhou etc.

• Business tourism plays an important role in inbound tourism in China.

• According to international Congress and convention association ( ICCA) by 2020 with 137 million business travelers China will account 8.6% of Chinese business tourism market.( Dongugan news, 2006)

• China is the third largest business travel market. ( BEDOUK.COM, 2010)

• Chinese government taking strong proactive steps to boost MICE industry in China. Recently in august the govt. had established two organizations, ICCA China committee & MICE advisory committee for covering eastern half of Chinese capital. (Travel, 2010)

China national convention center was opened in October 2009. With a gross floor area of 270,000 square meters its main purpose is to provide international standards for conducting exhibitions, conventions and meetings. It is expected that in the 1st five years of its operation it will be conducting some 173 events with almost 3, 20,000 attendees. Out of this 66 will be of international or regional association congresses and 56 will be national level meetings. (Rob Davidson, 2009).

• Since travel and tourism industry as well as MICE industry are growing very fast in China hence it complements each other.

SWOT Analysis:-


• China has invested hugely in the infrastructure recently. They have got state of the art infrastructure which includes top quality hotels, transportation, telecommunication, well equipped convention centers etc.

• China has a cost advantage since it is comparatively much economical than its western counterparts.

• China today stands in the centre of world economics and politics. Hence this is an added advantage for its prospect as a venue for meetings, events etc.

• China , a vast nation can provide a wide range of delight to its visitors ranging from its magnificent monuments, aesthetic oriental culture, exotic food, landscapes to state of the art modern amenities such museums, theme parks, sports complex etc.

• China is also a hot destination for travel and tourism business. This is an added advantage for its MICE industry.

• Traditionally most of the events have taken place in the same old European cities such as London, Dublin, and Paris etc. In contrast to them China can provide an all together new experiences to the business travelers. (, 2009)

• World class events like Beijing Olympics 2008 & world expo 2010 have been conducted in China. This had reaffirmed Chinese strength in handling big events successfully and also recognizes the fact that it had travelled a long way as a nation.


• Language is still a major concern in China. Most of the Chinese still don’t speak or even understand English.

• For China MICE is still a new idea. In Europe and USA, MICE activities are happening since hundred years where as in China it had started in the last ten years only. Hence China is still undergoing through its learning curve and it has got many things to learn. It even does not have too many organizations to take care of these things in contrast to USA or Europe. (, 2009)


• Most of the transnational organizations such as Honeywell, GM, and Kodak etc have their regional head quarter at China. Hence it can be added advantage since they will prefer conducting annual meetings at Chinese locations. (, 2009)

• The China considered as the next super power, had got strong hold in the world geo-politics as well as geo-strategy. China has a very prominent role to play in the new world order that will be multi polar in nature. Hence this wide spread craze for China can act as a latent force in promoting China as a destination for MICE activities.

• East Asia and South East Asia themselves are under growing strong economic growth. There are lot of exciting business events happening in these areas. Being the strongest regional force China as a venue for MICE activities will always attract attention of regional industry players towards itself.


• So far in Asia Singapore is considered as the strongest MICE destination. Beating Singapore will always be a tough for the Chinese players.

• Lot of new players such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, India, Vietnam etc are joining the MICE bandwagon and can provide stiff competition to China.

• Players like India and Vietnam can be good alternative to China both in terms of cost efficiency as well as in terms of services.

• Though there is a China fever all across the world but at the same time there is a lot of reservations for China also because of its non democratic government, restrictions imposed on press etc. This kind of resentful thinking in some quarters of the world might deter some companies and associations from conducting events in China.


1. Michael D, 2010, The rapid growth of China’s MICE industry, CEI, available at <>

2. Michael D, 2010, The rapid growth of China’s MICE industry, CEI, available at <>

3. Dongugan news, 2006, South China’s MICE boosts business tourism, available at<> < accessed on Jan, 2011>

4., 2010, China develops MICE industry, available at <>

5. Rob D., 2009, EIBTM trend analysis and market share report, p-20.

6., 2009, Chinese Mice analysis, available at <>

7., 2009, Chinese Mice analysis, available at <>

8., 2009, Chinese Mice analysis, available at <>

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Analysis of the phenomenal growth of dubai in the last four Decades

fig 1: Palm islands (source: )                                                        

Dubai the second largest Emirate of UAE (United Arab Emirates) is considered as one of the top notch cities in the world. Known for its unique mix of extravagance, charm and elegance it equally attracts tourists as well as business travelers and professionals from all across the globe. But few decades back it was among the least developed nations in the world with economy primarily dependent on agriculture, animal husbandry and pearl trading. The turning point  for Dubai came in 1973 when oil and natural gas was discovered and from that point there was no looking back for the Emirate state. The following blog by the author will make an attempt in unwinding the success saga of Dubai and try deciphering various factors that helped morphing the desert state into such grandeur.

Social and Political apparatus: - natural resources coupled with strong, visionary and stable administration can do real magic and nothing exemplifies this better than Dubai. Dubai as a state was formed in 1971 and since then it has constitutional monarchy. In early 1970s oil and natural gas was discovered in Dubai, and within a very brief time of 1973 to 82 when the oil price was very high  made huge economic development. The oil revenue was invested in developing economic and social infrastructure, providing high salaries, and in other social welfare schemes. This resulted in a very stable and peaceful political and social atmosphere (Mohamed Shihab). The ruling class of Dubai had understood the fact that since the overall oil resources in Dubai is just 1/20th of neighboring Abu Dhabi; state economy cannot depend on oil revenue for a much longer time. Hence they always emphasized on diversification of economy into various other alternative sectors such as trade, tourism, real estate, financial services etc. (Michael Matley and Laura Dillon, 2007 )

Factors that shaped the  growth journey of  Dubai

Oil and natural gas:- Oil and natural gas in Dubai was found in the 60s and since then had played a very important role in Dubai’s economy. In the time of 80’s 55% of Dubai’s GDP came from the oil sector but with time its significance kept on decreasing. It contributed, 10% of GDP in 2000, 5% in 2005 and just 2.1% in 2008. (Paul Holdsworth, 2010). The constant decrease in the contribution by the Oil and natural gas can be attributed to the fact the economy had diversified into various other sectors such as trade, tourism, real estate and finance etc. With the current estimate it can be predicted that the oil and natural gas resources in Dubai will not last much longer.

Ports:- Dubai is one of the leading port cities in the world. After Hong Kong and Singapore it’s the 3rd largest re export center in the world. The 1st ever port namely port Rashid was constructed in 1972. Then in 1978 the Jebel Ali port was constructed. Jebel Ali is the biggest port in the Middle East and the biggest man made harbor in the world. The port is also surrounded by a major industrial zone having some 5,500 companies from 120 countries and an international airport. The leading port companies in Dubai  were Dubai ports authority and Dubai ports international which later on merged to form Dubai ports world or DP world. DP world operates 49 ports across Dubai and internationally and handles approximately 50 Million TEUs #. (Abdul Basit, 2010)

Business and commerce:- Dubai has evolved as center of commerce for the Middle East. Dubai’s political apparatus had played a very important role in this transformation. The earlier point discusses about the Jebel Ali free zone where companies from all around the world get tax benefits and hassle free liberal environment to conduct business. Another important step taken was the construction of DWTC (Dubai World Trade Center). The 39 storey building was the pioneer center in conducting business meetings, exhibitions, conferences and corporate events in the Middle East region (though today other centers like ADNEC are catching up fast). DWTC is home to many corporate offices and embassies also, hence played an important role in exposing Dubai to the business and investor communities spread across the globe. Dubai had invested hugely in constructing business parks for dedicated industries. One such park was opened in 1999 namely Dubai Internet City. It is home to the offices of some of the leading software and IT companies in the world such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Cognizant, Siemens etc. Similarly other such business parks include Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Land, Dubai Health Care city, Dubai Studio City etc. By 2006 more than one fourth of the fortune 500 companies in the world were having its base at Dubai. (Michael Matley and Laura Dillon, 2007 )

Tourism:- With time Dubai had morphed into one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world. Many people even consider it giving fight to Las Vegas as the tourist capital of the world. With lots of state of the art hotels, spas, restaurants, fashion boutiques, shopping malls and exciting activities like dessert safari, ice skating and camel racing etc it is today one of the most preferred tourist destination in the world. The emirate state was visited by some seven Million visitors in 2007 and close to 10 million visitors in 2010. With more than 450 hotels and lot of projects still under way Dubai targets 15 Million visitors by 2015. Dubai also attracts a lot of business travelers from all across the globe to conduct their meetings, exhibitions and other corporate events in Dubai. The credit for this can be given to the state of the art convention centers like DWTC and the heavy marketing done by the DTCM (Dubai tourism and commercial marketing) in promoting Dubai as a business travel destination. Dubai’s journey as a successful tourist destination started in the mid 90s. In 1997 the Jumeriah group was established which develops and operates luxury hotels in Dubai as well as in other parts of the world. The Dubai govt. had invested in many of the magnificent projects like the Burj Al Arab, Palm Islands, Snow Mountains, and Jumeirah Medina resorts etc. These coupled with heavy marketing and an efficient airline in the form of Emirates airline gave a huge boost to the tourism sector in Dubai. (Michael Matley and Laura Dillon, 2007)

•  Financial sector:- Financial sectors are other important constituents of the Dubai’s economy. In 2005 financial sector contributed 10% to the GDP of the Dubai. There is also a strong correlation between the real estate sector and financial sector. Dubai aspires to be the financial hub of Middle East. The Dubai Financial Market commenced its operation in 2000. It received a FDI inflow of 12 Billion US dollars in 2005.

Why Dubai?

One important question that always strikes is why Dubai had been so successful in making changes so fast where as other Arab states which equally looks attractive on paper could not make such an impact. There are following reasons for that:-

Speed: - Dubai is well known for implementing its projects with phenomenal speed. From project launch to its implementation things are done with great speed.

Truly cosmopolitan culture: - Dubai is a place where people from different part of the world came and mingled with each other in a much open fashion. Where as in other Arab states the expatriates were restricted to their own boundaries, in Dubai they mingled well with the locals as well as other expatriates giving an unique cultural edge to Dubai. Other states in the Middle East lack such an exciting cultural platform.

Safe haven in the midst of a politically disturbed region: - Middle East is high up on the strategic agendas of the whole world because of its natural resources, but at the same time political and socio economic systems of these nations make others a bit apprehensive of them. Dubai was unique in this regard because in between a politically disturbed mosaic it provided a safe and stable place which attracted every one, investors, tourists, professionals , diplomats, sportsmen, artists alike towards itself from all over the world.

Transparency: - While other gulf states are notorious for their transparency in govt. activities Dubai had tried hard to build govt. institutions which are very transparent and open in its approach.

It was the state of the art infrastructure, open and cosmopolitan culture, stable and efficient government, zero business and corporate taxes that made Dubai as one of the most sought after places in the world. The journey of Dubai in the last four decades is one of the most phenomenal success stories of the world but it had its own drawbacks. In the last two years Dubai had undergone a real estate bubble burst that had impacted its economy badly, fate of many of its big real estate projects seem to be doomed. The Emirate state had constantly been accused of human right abuses of its expatriate workers, as well as lack of quality in many of its projects. Last year with the help of financial support from Abu Dhabi its economy seems to be recovering strong  and atmosphere again seems to be optimistic. Dubai has a long way to go. The given blog analyzed the success story of Dubai so far where as the next one will analyze the future growth prospects and strategy for Dubai.

# The twenty-foot equivalent unit (often TEU or teu) is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals


1> Mohamed S, Economic development of UAE, United Arab Emirates: a new perspective, P-250, available at <  >

2> Michael M and Laura D, 2007, Dubai Business Strategy: past, present and future, Harvard business school,P-1, available at < >

3> Paul H, 2010, Oil Makes Up 2% of Dubai GDP Post-Diversification,, available at < >

4> Abdul B, 2011, DP World container volume hits 
all-time high, Khaleej Times Business, available at <§ion=business >

5> Michael M and Laura D, 2007, Dubai Business Strategy: past, present and future, Harvard business school,P-3 to 4, available at < >

6> Michael M and Laura D, 2007, Dubai Business Strategy: past, present and future, Harvard business school,P-3 to 4, available at < >