With a focus on the potential of the Middle East's outbound travel market, The MICE Arabia and Luxury Travel (MALT) Congress is returning for its sixth edition to Dubai on February 27-28, 2018.
Outbound business and luxury travel from the Middle East increased at an annual rate of 4.9% from 2012 to 2016, a figure higher than the global average.
Figures released by Visa estimate that the MENA region will see the number of annual outbound trips rise from 42 million in 2016 to 65 million by 2025.
According to a Credit Suisse report, GCC nationals spend 260% more on airfare than other nationalities, with up to 60% purchasing business tickets. They also spend an average of 430% more on accommodation and 558% more on dining.
The sixth annual MALT congress will welcome influencers from the world of conferences, meetings, incentives, events, business and luxury travel for more than 15 hours of learning and more than 10 hours of business networking over two days.
A major trend seen in outbound MICE and luxury travel from the Middle East is the shift towards singular experiences be it cultural, historical or natural. Experiential travel will be a key theme at the 2018 event and will encompass the adventure, culture, heritage, wellness and spa, and cruise tourism segments, which are currently trending globally.
The congress will see hoteliers, destination management companies, concierge services, team building companies, tourism boards and other suppliers of varied categories from around the world who can customise their offerings to MICE needs and explore potential business opportunities.
The Congress will feature sessions on how to create meaningful supplier relationships, technology trends and the latest on how travel buyers and managers can keep their programmes relevant to changing needs, and of course, sealing business deals and getting the most out of the pre-arranged business meetings.
Speaking about the congress, QNA International director of conferences Sidh NC said in a statement: "The 2017 edition of the MICE Arabia Congress boasted a whopping 1,800 meetings during the two day period and with the 2018 edition, we intend on raising the bar even further for the event."