Spotlight on Industry Leaders

31 March, 2016

Spotlight on Mahir Abdulkarim Julfar, Vice President – Commercial, Venues, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

What is your area of responsibility within your organization? 
I’m responsible for managing the commercial strategic planning and executing DWTC’s exhibition calendar events. I’ve been with the organization for eleven years and ensure strategy development, exhibitor and supplier relationships, and business development.

How is DWTC driving business event growth in Dubai?
DWTC is a catalyst for the development of Dubai as a global business gateway, and is strongly aligned to Dubai’s 2020 Tourism Vision with a focus on attracting both business and leisure travellers. DWTC is a pivotal arm to diversify Dubai’s economy through the ongoing developments of our venue, exhibitions and live events. Our core MICE business continues to grow year-on-year across the portfolio, which is driven by capital investment in venue capacity expansion and facility enhancement, a richer and more diversified calendar of events and  our ‘smart’ and seamless business destination proposition.

Why, in your opinion, is Dubai a dynamic place to live and work? 
With its vision and ability to constantly evolve, Dubai is an inspiring city. The city has firmly established itself as a leading commercial and trade hub with state-of-the-art infrastructure and a world-class business environment. Besides that, my role at DWTC allows me to constantly collaborate and learn from new markets and cultures. Our emirate city is inhabited by a diverse 80% of expatriates from over 150 countries. For me, this means that every day is a new unexpected adventure, meeting new people and enjoying new experiences.

What is a hidden gem you would recommend to someone visiting Dubai? 
A hidden gem is the Bastakiya area, which is situated close to the Dubai Creek. It is a beautiful representation of Emirati culture and heritage. The area has deeply rooted historic buildings, which have been renovated and turned into art galleries and cafes. For those curious about the history of the Emirates, this is an excellent place to walk around to be transported back to the 1890s.

When you think about Dubai in 5-10 years, what kind of city do you imagine?  
Dubai’s vision is incredible and I am proud to say that what we do at DWTC is part of the foundations of this phenomenal future.  In the coming years, I foresee a more connected city, not just in transport and infrastructure but also in technology. Dubai’s connected smart city vision will bring a strong business impact on tourism, allowing business and leisure travellers to see and do more. In five years, the city will also be celebrating the closing days of EXPO 2020, and looking ahead to the legacy this will create in terms of infrastructure and human connections.

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