Work Planner: 6 of the best events you should attend next month

With Ramadan starting in early June this year, and being followed by the traditional
summer lull, the business conference season will soon draw to a close. But there’s no
shortage of events,across many industry sectors, being held in May, writes Ben Flanagan.

Here’s the lowdown on the top exhibitions and conferences over the next two months.

Arab Media Forum

WHEN: May 10-11

WHERE: Dubai World Trade Centre

This year marks the 15th edition of the Arab Media Forum – and how the industry has changed in that time, given the relentless rise of digital in a once newsprint-dominated market.

The theme this year is “media for good”, looking at the humanitarian role of media in preserving values and ethics. Organised by Dubai Press Club, the forum is set to host prominent regional and international media experts, journalists, thought leadersand analysts.

The full line-up had not been announced at the time of writing, but previous speakers have included: Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Waleed al-Ibrahim, chairman of MBC Group; and Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian satirist.


PRICE: Registration required


Airport Show

WHEN: May 9-11

WHERE: Dubai World Trade Centre

Dubai is already home to the busiest airport on the planet, and is building an even bigger one in the south of the city. So it’s a fitting host for the Airport Show, at which thousands of aviation experts are expected to check in.

Airports in the GCC are expected to serve more than 400 million passengers a year by 2020, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation – so there will be a lot on the agenda. The business-to-business event is expected to draw 300 global companies and 7,500 attendees, covering areas including airport and airfield construction, operations, security, technology and air-traffic management.

The show is co-located with the high-level Global Airport Leaders’ Forum.


PRICE: Check website

Abu Dhabi International Jewellery & Watch Show 2016

WHEN: May 3-7

WHERE: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

The UAE jewellery and gems industry is growing at an estimated 7 percent a year, according to TechSci Research.

And so this show in Abu Dhabi, which is open to the general public, could mean big business for the 150+ exhibitors expected.

Last year’s show included exhibitors from the Middle East and countries including the USA, Switzerland, India, Hong Kong and Australia.

Visitors are expected to include high-net worth individuals, private collectors and jewellery and watch enthusiasts.

Entrance is free, and your registration form doubles as a ticket to the daily raffle draw.




Automechanika Middle East

WHEN: May 8-10

WHERE: Dubai World Trade Centre

According to analysts Frost & Sullivan, the business for automotive spare parts in the MENA region will be worth $16.9 billion by 2020, nearly double the industry’s value in 2013.

Automechanika Dubai, part of a series of trade fairs on the automotive aftermarket, is dedicated to this booming business.

The show will throw a spotlight on everything from tuning to paintwork and automobile IT systems.

Automechanika Middle East, now in its 14th edition, spans three days and is expected to attract over 2,000 exhibitors. It is open to trade visitors only.


PRICE: Compulsory registration


Beauty World Middle East

WHEN: May 15-17

WHERE: Dubai World Trade Centre

This show is more than just cosmetic – being open to trade visitors only, it’s about the very serious business of the beauty industry.

Billed as the Middle East’s largest international trade fair for beauty products, hair, fragrances and wellbeing, it is expected to attract more than 1,440 companies over three days.

The total beauty market in the Middle East and Africa is worth a staggering $27 billion a year, according to figures quoted by the organiser.

Spending in the UAE and Saudi Arabia alone is expected to rise by 8 percent to reach $7.4 billion this year, the Euromonitor data suggests.


PRICE: Compulsory registration

Careers UAE 2016

WHEN: May 16-18

WHERE: Dubai World Trade Centre

The UAE wants more Emiratis in work, and two years ago officials announced an ambitious goal to increase the number of UAE nationals employed in the private sector tenfold by 2021.

The Emiratisation drive has seen the emergence of a number of specialised recruitment events. Careers UAEallows Emirati jobseekers to meet recruiters face-to-face, with employers from across 20 industry sectors expected.

In previous years, 33,000 jobs were applied for via the event’s CV hub, and 41% of visitors who participated in the event received job offers as a result of their participation, according to the show organiser.

Careers UAE attracted more than 18,600 visitors last year, ranging from school students to professionals seeking training or a new career path.


PRICE: Admission for UAE nationals only