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Abu Dhabi launches convention bureau to drive business events

Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, a new, dedicated entity within Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – will support the growth of exhibitions and conferences within the emirate by forging closer links with the industry and providing financial and non-financial support.

Abu Dhabi has launched the bureau to drive its business events ambitions forward as it looks to be ranked by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) as among the world’s top 50 association meetings destinations in five years.

Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, TCA Abu Dhabi and Ali Saeed Bin Harmel Al Dhaheri, managing director, ADNEC launch the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau

“We will provide free, and non-biased assistance and support to professional convention, incentive and exhibition planners, corporations and associations so that they can bid for, win and hold conferences, major business events, business meetings and congresses in Abu Dhabi,” explained Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“This is a clear signal to the maturing local and regional business events industry and its international counterpart, that Abu Dhabi is prioritising their sector as never before and is a move totally aligned to Abu Dhabi’s 2030 economic vision. The bureau’s formation also demonstrates our recognition of the potential of exhibitions, conferences and business events – the MICE sector – to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s wider tourism aspirations and generate significant economic impact for the destination through increasing visitor numbers, hotel occupancies, flights and other visitor and exhibitor spend.

“Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau is an enabler platform that will drive and support the development and promotion of business events throughout the emirate efficiently, effectively and transparently, in partnership with all its stakeholders. Its mission is to champion the emirate as a dynamic global business events leader.”

The bureau, which will have both expatriate and Emirati expertise, will provide a range of services to the industry including bid presentation support, delegate generation campaigns, local stakeholder co-ordination and knowledge, on-site destination advice, government support co-ordination and marketing assistance.

“We are targeting six major business wins this year, a further eight next year and a total of 10 wins during 2015,” explained Al Darmaki. “Our strategy will be to target in-market opportunities that will generate incremental business in the short term while building on international relationships for the long term.

“Our timing could not be better. We have our most competitive room rates ever – which can be a deciding factor for major associations and business event organisers looking to secure a host destination and our available hotel stock is now well-suited to large events,” added Al Darmaki. “Our distinctive advantages are competitive rates, intelligent pricing, added value and innovative product.

“In 2011, ICCA ranked Abu Dhabi 234 in the world for the eight major meetings held in the destination. We have more than doubled that last year and realistically expect to be within ICCA’s Top 150 when the rankings are announced in the next few months.”


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