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According to a study conducted by Strategy&, business tourists represented one third of all visitors to the GCC in 2015, indicating that the segment is growing rapidly with Dubai alone holding nearly 27 percent of the USD1.3 billion MICE market.

On the occasion of MICE Arabia Congress held in the emirate in early March, Mikael Lambotte, assistant manager, guest relations, Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München, Munich, commented that there are still challenges to overcome.

"We truly think that the easiness of access via direct airline connectivity is key. Time is too important for people and changing flights three times is not acceptable for business travellers," he analysed, adding that security is also another concern.