Abu Dhabi Con­ven­tion Bu­reau

Abu Dhabi Business Travel Guide - - Front Page -

ES­TAB­LISHED IN March, 2013,

Abu Dhabi Con­ven­tion Bu­reau drives and sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of busi­ness events through­out the emi­rate ef­fi­ciently, ef­fec­tively, and trans­par­ently, and in part­ner­ship with all its stake­hold­ers.

Its main mis­sion is to cham­pion the emi­rate as a dy­namic global busi­ness events leader.

Sig­nif­i­cant strides to this end were made in 2016 via nu­mer­ous bids to host a num­ber of key con­fer­ences in the com­ing years.

In to­tal, the Bu­reau suc­cess­fully sub­mit­ted suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tions along with part­ners and stake­hold­ers to host 14 con­fer­ences which are ex­pected to at­tract more than 35,000 del­e­gates.

“The Con­ven­tion Bu­reau recorded a record-break­ing 2016 mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant strides in at­tract­ing busi­ness into the emi­rate by lead­ing and sup­port­ing bids to host a num­ber of key con­fer­ences,” Al Shamisi says. “We are tar­get­ing con­fer­ences, congress and as­so­ci­a­tion meet­ings from sec­tors iden­ti­fied as pil­lars of the 2030 Vi­sion; ed­u­ca­tion, health­care, trans­port, en­ergy and sus­tain­abil­ity.

A key ob­jec­tive is bring­ing Gov­ern­ment, pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors to­gether un­der a ‘one Abu Dhabi’ for bid de­vel­op­ments; also driv­ing de­vel­op­ment of an am­bas­sador pro­gramme and en­cour­ag­ing UAE par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­ter­na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions.”

Europe & Mid­dle East Out­look (EME): To this end, how would you say Abu Dhabi has de­vel­oped in re­cent years as a busi­ness travel hub and what are the key rea­sons be­hind its grow­ing ap­peal?

Mubarak Al Shamisi (MAS): While we are con­tin­u­ing to work on long-term bids - up to 2025 - we are get­ting quite a few short-term leads. We are see­ing an in­crease in re­gional meet­ings com­ing to Abu Dhabi as well. We are also see­ing a real in­ter­est from In­ter­na­tional

As­so­ci­a­tions look­ing to ex­pand their ac­tiv­i­ties and mem­ber­ship base in the re­gion. Busi­ness Tourism has been iden­ti­fied as a pri­mary seg­ment of a holis­tic strat­egy for Abu Dhabi’s tourism sec­tor which could lead to up to four per­cent GDP contribution by 2021, and MICE growth of seven per­cent.

Abu Dhabi will fo­cus on re­gional mar­kets and main­tain its cur­rent share from nearby source mar­kets that are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing large growth which could yield 660,000 vis­i­tors per year by 2021.

EME: In line with this, how have the in­flu­ence and sat­u­ra­tion of busi­ness events grown in Abu Dhabi in re­cent years and what makes the city so ap­peal­ing to prospec­tive events?

MAS: Re­cent sta­tis­tics from the In­ter­na­tional Congress and Con­ven­tion As­so­ci­a­tion (ICCA) show that the num­ber of as­so­ci­a­tion meet­ings tak­ing place in the emi­rate has grown steadily from four in 2005 to 35 in 2015, cat­a­pult­ing the UAE cap­i­tal into 73rd place of the MICE in­dus­try’s lead­ing in­dus­try rank­ing. The city is be­com­ing more ap­peal­ing to prospec­tive events as it strives to be­come a world-class des­ti­na­tion, at­tract­ing record num­bers of guest ar­rivals. In 2016 Abu Dhabi wel­comed 4.4 mil­lion ho­tel guest ar­rivals - a sixth con­sec­u­tive record and this year is aim­ing to at­tract 4.9 mil­lion guest ar­rivals. EME: What are the big­gest events to have been held in Abu Dhabi in the past, and the main events ex­pected to take place in the city in the fu­ture?

MAS: Ma­jor bids sup­ported and won in 2016 in­clude the host­ing of the Spe­cial Olympics in 2019, which is ex­pected to at­tract 10,000 par­tic­i­pants, the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence in Medicine & the Health­care Pro­fes­sions - Ot­tawa Con­fer­ences in 2018, and the World Obe­sity Fed­er­a­tion - Gulf Re­gional Con­fer­ence on Obe­sity in 2017.

Other sig­nif­i­cant bids won in 2016 re­lated to medicine in­clude the 6th Congress of the World Union of Wound Heal­ing So­ci­eties, which will at­tract an es­ti­mated 6,000 pro­fes­sion­als to Abu Dhabi in 2020 and the Wonca World Con­fer­ence 2020, which spe­cialises in fam­ily medicine which will also be held in 2020 with around 4,000 del­e­gates.

Among the key events ear­marked for the emi­rate this year are World

Skills, the world’s largest vo­ca­tional skills com­pe­ti­tion, which is set to take place in Oc­to­ber in Abu Dhabi with

7,000 young par­tic­i­pants an­tic­i­pated from 76 coun­tries. In De­cem­ber, up to 15,000 mem­bers of the global di­a­betes com­mu­nity will con­verge in the emi­rate to take part in the In­ter­na­tional Di­a­betes Fed­er­a­tion 2017 Congress. 2018 will also be another busy year for the emi­rate as the Bu­reau con­tin­ues its mo­men­tum with the host­ing of the World Roads Congress and the World En­ergy Congress.

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