April – peak geek, affordable art and connected travel
Some of Disney’s most beloved cartoon characters will be taking to the rink for Disney on Ice – see familiar faces from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Frozen entertain families from 4-7 April.
Excitement is already building for Middle East Film & Comic Con (5-7 April), a chance to hear the latest from entertainment giants including Netflix and Warner Bros, be inspired by local cartoonists, and indulge in some casual celebrity spotting. Karl Urban from Star Trek and Thor: Ragnarok, Natalia Dyer from Stranger Things, Kristian Nairn (Hodor) from Game of Thrones and Karen Gillan from Guardians of the Galaxy are all confirmed attendees, and there’ll be some serious cosplay to enjoy as well.
At World Art Dubai (18-21 April) there’s a similar mix of local and international, with both UAE-based galleries and up-and-coming international artists offering their wares. This is your chance to invest in some truly affordable art, whether drawings, paintings, sculptures or even wearable art.
Celebrating its 25th year, Arabian Travel Market (22-25 April) is one of Dubai World Trade Centre’s most renowned mega-events, an unmatched platform for inbound and outbound tourism professionals to unlock the business potential of the sector in the region.
The rest of April’s fairs are trade-only and span construction, leisure, healthcare and property. Starting from 2-4 April, Hardware & Tools Middle East is specifically equipped to cater to the construction, fabrication and technical industries, and offers the latest tools and machinery.
From 9-11 April there are four shows running simultaneously: Dubai Entertainment, Amusement & Leisure Expo (DEAL), the largest amusement and leisure trade show in the world outside of the US; International Property Show, where property investors can capitalise on projects direct from developers; Annual Investment Meeting, a gathering of the international investment community to discuss and encourage Foreign Direct Investment; and Emirates International Forensic Conference & Exhibition, which sees experts from Asia, Africa, Europe and the US come together to support the development in forensic science.
Another, more specialised, property show is up next from 12-14 April: the Egypt Property Show. Aimed primarily at showcasing the potential of the country to Egyptian expats and other investors, the show will be taken to the US, UK and Kuwait after it closes in Dubai.
GETEX Spring (12-14 April) is the leading student recruitment event in the region and an effective platform for all education providers to achieve their student admission targets and enrolment quotas. Only in its 2nd year the Middle East Psychological Association (13-14 April), meanwhile, is proving to be a vital conference for the region with its aim of raising awareness around mental health.
Seamless (15-16 April) has separate conference agendas covering the world of Payments, Fintech, Ecommerce and Retail, with one shared free-to-attend exhibition hosting 300 of the region's leading technology providers. Expect useful discussions on the slow takeup of fintech in the Middle East, the validity of blockchain, penetration of online payments and much, much more.
Think Science (16-18 April) will showcase the exciting innovations of hundreds of competing students from across the UAE, as well as allow companies from different sectors to present scientific hands-on activities aimed at building public knowledge and understanding of the subject.
The end of April sees a plethora of congresses ranging from transport to property. From 21-26 April is the World Tunnel Congress, the foremost international conference on tunnelling and underground space. The UITP Middle East & North Africa Transport Congress & Exhibition (23-25 April) is recognised for its drive of sustainable urban mobility, and rounding the month off, is the FIABCI World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation (27 April-2 May), expected to attract more than 1,000 real estate professionals from 60 countries.
May and June – blockchain explained and a summer of sport
Complex tech and vehicle after-care are on the cards as May begins. Future Tech Week (1 May-3 May), billed as ‘where innovators dare to try’, will introduce cutting-edge concepts in the fields of robotics and mobility, as well as a two-day Blockchain Summit (2-3 May) that sits within the main week.
Automechanika Dubai (1-3 May) last year saw 30,322 trade visitors from 136 countries come together to discuss the value of robust after-care sales in a challenging market – and similar numbers are expected this year.
From 6-9 May, auditors will gather at The Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference to discuss industry topics under the 2018 theme ‘Connecting the World Through Innovation’.
The Airport Show (7-9 May) is a B2B exhibition where MEASA aviation authorities can gain first-hand knowledge about emerging aviation trends, network with global industry leaders and source the latest technologies.
Beautyworld Middle East (8-10 May) is where makeup gets serious: as the largest international trade fair for beauty in the region, attracting more than 1,500 exhibitors, and a very lucrative opportunity for those in the wholesale business.
From mid-May, conferences and events wrap up for the summer but Dubai World Trade Centre isn’t slowing down. Our month-long Majlis (16 May-17 June) sees Za’abeel Hall 6 transformed into a traditional Arabian setting for guests as they enjoy delicious Iftars and Suhours prepared by award-winning chefs. Our world-class hospitality team can also cater to off-site dining experiences for both large scale corporate clients and for more intimate, private gatherings.
For those looking to work off their dinner, Dubai Sports World (17 May-8 September) offers something for sport lovers of every kind. Whether you’re looking to socialise as part of a team (cricket, football, rugby and basketball), are more of a racquet-sports fan (tennis, ping pong, badminton), or see yourself as aerially-inclined (the ‘ninja warrior cause’, gymnastics), come on down to beat the heat – and get fit!