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July 2018
 
In This Edition

Left Column

Registration Opens for Africa Tourism Leadership Forum, Accra, Ghana: 30 – 31 August 2018

MITM Americas HAVANA – Hosted Buyer Approval Procedure Starts After More Than 500 Applications to the Programme

Asia-Pacific: New air services agreement boosts ties between Australia and India

Australia: Darwin Convention Centre Celebrates 10 Years and is a Finalists in the AIPC Apex Awards

Germany: MEXCON 2018 - Successful digital transformation in events

New Zealand: International business events enrich the country

Sweden: The start-up, CarbonCloud, is being awarded a grant by the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre

Right Column

IMEX America – Powering up for a ‘cascade of cool’

Experiential activities in meetings – there’s much more to come, according to MPI/ IMEX research

ICCA Board signals ambitious changes ahead with search for new CEO

UAE: Dubai Association Centre Growth Accelerates With 38% Increase in Registrations

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Dear Reader!

Have you heard about the Africa Tourism Leadership Forum taking place in Accra, Ghana 30-31 August? It is the first ever to take place and it is designed to push the development of the African tourism industry. We will keep you posted and our African readers are warmly invited to register for the event now!

The organization of MITM Americas HAVANA is quickly progressing – with the hosted buyer approval procedure in progress. The event’s hosted buyer application remains open.

The hosted buyer application for World MICE Day 2018 in Qingdao, China is also open! Lastly on industry events, please don’t miss the IMEX America updates!

APAC news include a new air services agreement between Australia and India, the 10th anniversary of Australia’s Darwin Convention Centre – and the centre is also among the finalists for the AIPC Apex Awards.

Have you ever thought about the economic impact of business events? See the interesting data coming from New Zealand!

The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre awarded a grant to the start-up CarbonCloud for their innovative service CarbonAte, which enables restaurants to calculate the climate impact of their food.

From the UAE we see the impressive update on the Dubai Association Centre registration growth of 38% and the ICCA Board reports on their ambitious plans and the search for the future CEO of ICCA.

We invite you – as usual to share this edition of NEWSFLASH with your colleagues – please use ‘Forward NEWSFLASH’-button.

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
martina@micemediamarketing.com

Registration Opens for Africa Tourism Leadership Forum, Accra, Ghana: 30 – 31 August 2018

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with Africa Tourism Partners (ATP) and its lead partner Grant Thornton have opened registration for the Inaugural Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards 2018 today. As a Pan-African project, this is the first-ever Africa travel and tourism industry gathering designed by Africans, for Africans and to be hosted in Africa. The Forum will convene global and African Travel and Tourism business leaders, thought leaders, ministers, policymakers, tourism authorities, investors, destination marketing organisations, travel trade and media to deliberate on initiatives to enhance intra-Africa travel and growth in tourism industry across the continent.

The Forum and Awards will take place from 30 to 31 August 2018 at the Accra International Conference (AICC), Ghana. It will host more than 30 distinguished experts including Hon. Minister Catherine Abelema Afeku, targeted Africa Ministers responsible for Tourism, Ms. Elcia Grandcourt of UNWTO, Ms. Virginia Messina of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Mr. Vincent Oparah of NEPAD (Africa Union), Ms. Gillian Saunders former Deputy CEO of Grant Thornton and Advisor to South Africa Minister of Tourism, Prof. Marina Novelli of University of Brighton, Mr. Miller Matola, Former CEO of Brand South Africa, Dr. Kobby Mensah, Mr. Jerome Touze of Travelstart, Ms. Rosette Rugamba of Songa Africa, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman of Ghana Tourism Authority, Ms. Carmen Nibigira of Horwath PTL and East Africa Platform, Ms. Carol Hay of Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Aaron Munetsi of South Africa Airways (SAA) and more.

“We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from speakers, supporting partners and attendees for this unique conference and the masterclass,” says Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority. “We look forward to bringing together the many global and African Travel and Tourism leaders to Ghana for a substantive discussion on thought and innovation leadership, progressive policies, intra-travel Africa, air access, business tourism, innovation and other real-world solutions to key issues facing the industry, as well as the opportunities it presents today.” He highlights.

The programme for the Forum is as follows:

30 August - CEOs’ and Executives Breakfast function
30 August - Masterclass in sustainable tourism product development and business tourism
31 August - Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards Dinner

To register or for further information kindly contact

South Africa Ghana

Ms. Tes Proos
info@africatourismpartners.com | tes@crystalevents.co.za
Tel: +27 (0) 84 682 7676 | +27 (0) 21 551 3305

Ms. Doris Delong
info@ghana.travel
Tel: +233 20 222 2078 | +233 24 412 000

http://www.tourismleadershipforum.africa

MITM Americas HAVANA – Hosted Buyer Approval Procedure Starts After More Than 500 Applications to the Programme

MITM Americas 22nd edition taking place in Havana, Cuba from 18 to 20 September 2018 is one of the most prestigious and longest established events in the meetings industry. The format offers hosted buyers and industry suppliers a great mix of business meetings, information and networking opportunities.

Following to the event, hosted buyers may attend one of the two post-tours – Cayo Santa María or Varadero – to amplifying destination knowledge and experiencing first-hand infrastructure, hotels and venues suitable for their events.

The event organizer – G.S.A.R. Marketing – has already started the difficult task of reviewing the more than 500 hosted buyer applications from 57 countries to identifying and approving the 100 international buyers to attend the event – being held for the 3rd time in Cuba this September.

MITM Americas Havana will take place in the emblematic Hotel Meliá Cohiba. Event sponsors are Meliá Hotels International, MINTUR, Ecotur, Enjoy Cuba, Iberostar Hotels and Kempinski.

So far, the approved buyers from 36 countries represent an appealing mix of

19% Corporate
27% incentive agencies
25% meeting planners
10% international associations
19% tour operators

Attending buyers will enjoy their agenda with up to 30 pre-established appointments and the superb networking program designed to creating strong business ties between the delegates. In addition, the delegates at MITM Americas HAVANA 2018 will have the opportunity to interacting with the delegates of the ACTUAL Congress – a unique opportunity to extending your network and creating even better connections supporting your business needs! Find information about the ACTUAL Congress at http://congresoactual.org/eventos/index/en.

The application for MITM Americas HAVANA remains open until the approval process ends.

https://www.mitmevents.com/22-mitm-americas-havana-en.html

MITM Americas Havana,
Havana, Cuba
18 - 21 September 2018
Asia-Pacific: New air services agreement boosts ties between Australia and India

Australia and India have agreed open capacity between the major airports in the countries.

The liberalised air services arrangements are an important step for the Australia-India bilateral relationship, providing Australian businesses the opportunity to access a rapidly growing market. As an island nation Australia relies on international aviation to facilitate tourism, trade and maintain people-to-people links necessary for business growth. The Turnbull Coalition Government has agreed to significantly open aviation arrangements with the world's fastest growing major economy.

The recently settled Australia-India air services arrangements enable Australian airlines to operate unlimited services between Australia and the six major metropolitan airports in India and for Indian airlines to operate unlimited services between India and six airports in Australia.

These air services arrangements provide a foundation for airlines to increase direct flights between Australia and India, in line with the growing scale and profile of the Indian market over the long term.

India is currently our seventh most valuable international tourism market with 302,200 visitors contributing $1.43 billion to the Australian economy in 2017. This valuable market continues to grow and it is estimated that by 2026-27 Australia will welcome more than 640,000 Indians to our shores. This new aviation agreement ensures we have capacity to facilitate this outstanding growth.

Two way trade between Australia and India already sits at $27.4 billion worth of goods and services, making India our fifth largest trading partner. The opportunity for increased freight and cargo enables our exporters to continue to grow this important market.

Liberal code share arrangements are already in place, enabling Australian and Indian airlines to service destinations directly or through hub countries, allowing them to take full advantage of cooperative arrangements with their commercial alliance partners.

This is an exciting time for Australia's tourism and aviation industries, and we look forward to working closely with the Indian Government to further strengthen the ties between our great nations.

Australia: Darwin Convention Centre Celebrates 10 Years and is a Finalists in the AIPC Apex Awards

The Darwin Convention Centre marked a milestone on the 18th of June as it celebrated its 10th anniversary.

A combination of international, national, and regional conferences held at the Convention Centre from July to November attracted a record number of 9,000 delegates, Harvey Lister, Chairman and CEO of AEG Ogden, Geoff Donaghy, Director of Convention Centres of AEG Ogden and Janet Hamilton, General Manager of Darwin Convention Centre celebrated the milestone with an event recognising the partnership between global venue manager AEG Ogden, Honeywell, AMP Capital and the NT Government Darwin Waterfront Corporation as well as the organisations and individuals who have had an impact over the past ten years.

The centre - officially opened in June 2008 - injects millions of dollars a year into the economy and the centre has hosted some of the Northern Territory’s biggest events from international and national conferences attended by thousands of delegates to bull riding championships, from charity fundraising balls to rock concerts. Guests have included dignitaries as diverse as the Dalai Lama and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

In the past 10 years, events held at the centre have attracted national and international delegates to Darwin generating more than $350 million in delegate spend and also broader economic benefits in the local economy. This includes increased business for hotels, restaurants and tourism operators in the region. The centre hosts hundreds of events a year, including an increasing number of major national and international conferences.

Beyond the economic benefit, conferences attract the best people in their field to meet in Darwin. Darwin Convention Centre General Manager, Janet Hamilton said the importance of sharing knowledge and supporting innovative thinking are key outcomes we want all conferences to be able to achieve. Darwin provides a great opportunity to escape from daily routines and experience a new destination that is not only rich in culture but important in the development of many key industry sectors.

Over 680,000 people have attended events at the Darwin Convention Centre since the doors opened 10 years ago. “It’s been a fantastic 10 years,” said Janet Hamilton. “All of the employees who have worked at the centre over the last ten years have worked very hard to create a world-class convention centre and to maintain the highest standards.”

The hard work has paid off

The Darwin Convention Centre has been confirmed as one of 20 finalists in the 2018 edition of the globally recognised AIPC Apex Award competition for “Best Client Rated Convention Centre”. This prestigious Award, which has been maintained by the International Association of Convention Centre (AIPC) for over 20 years, owes its prominence to the fact that competitors are rated entirely on the basis of client ratings as assessed by the global market research company Ipsos.

AIPC President Aloysius Arlando noted that for 2018 Ipsos has surveyed over 1843 client references put forward by participating centres – a significant sample that illustrates the comprehensive nature of client polling. “This means that we are talking about a very strong basis for the evaluation of competitors, and again, the reason for the credibility of this award. The final determination of the Apex Award winner will be made in advance of its presentation at the 2018 AIPC Annual Conference in London in early July.

http://www.darwinconvention.com.au

Germany: MEXCON 2018 - Successful digital transformation in events

German and international events professionals discussed effects of digital transformation on meetings and conferences in Wiesbaden – presentation of six theses about the platform economy as key industry challenge in the future

Headlined “Industry Challenges”, this year’s “Meetings Experts Conference” (MEXCON) focused on the digital transformation as the event industry’s main driver and discussed how digitalisation affects meetings, conferences and events.

Taking place last week in Wiesbaden’s brand new RheinMain CongressCenter, 450 meeting and event professionals from Germany and international guests of this year’s “ICCA Central European Chapter Summer Meeting” at MEXCON attended talks, interactive sessions and took part in on-site visits. Content was delivered in four strands revolving around marketing and communication in times of digital transformation, event tech between analogue and MICE 4.0, new ways of working and future industry perspectives in light of political and societal trends.

The more than 40 participants of the ICCA meeting not only had the opportunity to take part in the MEXCON programme. There was also a joint evening event as well as a joint keynote and panel discussion on “New Work”: Representatives of the GCB German Convention Bureau, ICCA, m:con congress and event agency and Warsaw Convention Bureau discussed how the digital transformation changes our ways of working and how this affects the events industry.

“Industry must seize opportunities opened up by digital transformation”

MEXCON is co-organised by the GCB German Convention Bureau and managing director Matthias Schultze stressed the role of meetings and conferences today: „Our world is changing faster than ever and lifelong learning is absolutely key in an environment that is shaped by the digital transformation. Meetings and conferences as major platforms for knowledge transfer can therefore take on an even more important role and need to seize the opportunities opened up by the digital transformation to future-proof our products and services.” The digital transformation was also in the focus of the GCB’s annual general members’ meeting that took place at MEXCON. Setting out what lies ahead, Schultze highlighted the organisation’s core concerns for the future: “At the GCB, we have identified six fields of action that we need to focus on in order to successfully handle the challenges brought about by the digital transformation. Amongst other things, we review new technologies, use agile methods and formats and implement analytical tools as part of our internal GCB processes."

Partner collaborations to move industry forward

Adding to its specific digital transformation market research portfolio, the GCB has also just initiated a new study together with cooperation partners EVVC (European Association of Event Centres) and VDVO (Association of Event Organisers) to investigate the effects of the platform economy as the key challenge for the meetings and conference industry in future and released six theses at MEXCON that highlight why the time to take action is now. See details on https://gcb.de/newsdetail/news/six-theses-on-the-effects-of-the-platform-economy-on-the-meetings-and-conference-industry.html

MEXCON itself is also an example of successful collaboration within the industry and was launched as a joint project of the GCB and EVVC in 2012. Speaking at the event in Wiesbaden, outgoing EVVC president Joachim König took the opportunity to look back on the cooperation: “Our joint MEXCON success story is strong proof for how much you can make happen in our industry when embracing a collaborative approach. The GCB and EVVC can look back on a very successful time that is encouraging for the future of this event and other ideas and projects.”

http://gcb.de

New Zealand: International business events enrich the country

International business events will deliver over $400 million to the New Zealand economy* and provide the opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s cutting-edge research and hospitality on the world stage.

The events will benefit a range of regions across the country and give Kiwis access to global knowledge and research and provide the opportunity to promote our considerable home-grown expertise.

In the past year Tourism New Zealand has helped to secure over $86 million worth of business events.

Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says the business events sector is important because it holds significant potential to spread the benefits of tourism throughout the year and across the country.

“The 40 international conferences and 47 incentive programmes won in the past year have been secured for destinations across New Zealand. This is an excellent result and means the benefits will be spread far and wide, including into neighbouring regions. The expert knowledge the conference delegates contribute to our local industries can help them grow and improve, making them high-value visitors we want to continue to attract.
An example of this is the crisis information management conference coming to Wellington in November. Exposing our local experts to cutting-edge research and world’s best practice in this field will help improve the way New Zealand responds in the face of a crisis or natural disaster and enables our local experts to contribute their substantial expertise.”

Tourism New Zealand is launching new campaign material in July 2018 to support the organisation’s continued work in this sector.

“Our latest campaign approach continues to put New Zealand forward as the best destination choice for business events, and is supported by our world-class infrastructure, people, natural environment and pre and post business event opportunities,” says Stephen.

The campaign has evolved over five years to showcase different aspects of the New Zealand experience to international organisations considering bringing their conference or incentive here.

The new content launching in July will primarily be targeted at an Australian audience, but will also be promoted globally.

*Conference and incentive business bid for and won over the past five years.

https://businessevents.newzealand.com/en

Sweden: The start-up, CarbonCloud, is being awarded a grant by the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre

The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is awarding a grant to CarbonCloud for their innovation, CarbonAte, which enables restaurants to calculate the climate impact of their food. The grant is SEK 100,000 (approximately EUR 10,000), and a part of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s 100-year anniversary celebration. The aim of the grant is to foster the meetings and hospitality industry.

The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre looked for a candidate who is developing an idea or innovation which, for example, increases competitiveness or improves the revenue or cost side. CarbonCloud is being awarded the grant in recognition for the fact that their service has a positive impact on climate and profitability, while making things easier for chefs and cooks within the food sector, and through that the revenue of the meetings and hospitality industry.

“In our view, CarbonAte has fantastic potential. It is an innovation in which digitalisation and sustainability go hand in hand, and which creates an aid which benefits the environment and restaurants, as well as individual guests and visitors. Sustainability is an important area for our operation. It’s in all of our thinking, both as a meeting place and the workplace”, says Carin Kindbom, President and CEO of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group.

CarbonCloud started as an idea developed from a research project at Chalmers University of Technology, which has now taken off. With David Bryngelsson - CEO and co-founder - in the team, the research revolved around the climate issue, and what can be done about it, focusing on the food sector.

“What we eat plays a major role in the climate issue, as research in the area has shown, but we discovered that the people who take decisions about food were not aware of that. Our climate labelling service makes things clearer for both chefs and restaurant guests and has been received with real enthusiasm. The grant from the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is very gratifying and valuable for us as a newly-established company”, says David Bryngelsson, CEO of CarbonCloud.

CarbonCloud and their climate-labelling service, CarbonAte, is helping restaurants to calculate the climate impact of every ingredient used in their food preparation, and gives the consumer a clear climate calculation for every dish presented on the menu. In March, CarbonAte began collaborating with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which has launched the One Planet Plate concept. One part of this collaboration consists of the development and design of the Food Calculator, which makes it possible for private individuals to calculate the climate impact of various types of ingredients.

The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre has been committed to sustainability for many years, as a natural part of its overall operation. The restaurants are no exception, and their own restaurant, West Coast with its chef Johan Lilja (image), is now the first to test CarbonAte.

As a foundation, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre does not have individual owners or investors and is financially independent. This also means that all profits are invested in the operation in the long term, focusing largely on sustainable profitability.

https://en.svenskamassan.se

IMEX America – Powering up for a ‘cascade of cool’

With doors closed on its most experiential and largest IMEX in Frankfurt to date, the IMEX team now turns its sights to IMEX America.

Free attendee and hosted buyer registration opens online today for IMEX America number eight. The show is set to shine with innovation and ingenuity in its usual setting of the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas from October 16 – 18, 2018, with Smart Monday, powered by MPI, on October 15.

There will be once again be an enormous range of opportunities to do business, to discover new destinations, hotels, services and technologies, to learn about the latest ideas and trends and to make connections with industry contacts.

There will also be some eye-opening and mind-opening innovations to extend and disrupt traditional concepts of meetings and events. In Frankfurt, one observer described the line-up of new formats and experiences as a ‘cascade of cool’. With IMEX America expanding into larger halls for 2018, IMEX partners and exhibitors will have plenty of room to demonstrate their inventiveness and flex their marketing muscles.

C2 International makes Las Vegas debut at IMEX America

With experiential events dominating this year’s business landscape, IMEX America will showcase a wealth of new ideas to planners who are constantly under pressure to deliver new thinking and fresh design. One of the outstanding proponents of these radical, challenging and inspiring new experiences will be C2 International, the ground-breaking experts in innovative business conference. As a result of a new partnership with the IMEX Group, C2 will be bringing its Learning Labs to Las Vegas, providing a further indication of the IMEX commitment to encouraging creativity in the industry.

The show will be preceded on October 15 by Smart Monday, powered by MPI, when a vast number of meetings professionals will arrive in Las Vegas for a day full of professional development events. Association Evening, the Executive Meetings Forum, PCMA Business School and the Association Leadership Forum (created by ASAE) are among the activities which, along with an extensive program of learning arranged by IMEX strategic partner MPI, will provide educational sessions to suit many needs and specific interests.

IMEX America is well-known for providing many networking opportunities at popular co-located events including the Shamrock Invitational, SITE Nite North America, the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders & Pacesetters Awards Celebration plus MPI Foundation Rendezvous.

Register today: http://imexamerica.com/register

For more information on IMEX America 2018 please visit www.imexamerica.com.

Experiential activities in meetings – there’s much more to come, according to MPI/ IMEX research

From meetings hanging in the air or in the dark to crowdsourcing agenda topics from the audience - the trend for engaging experiential interactive activities within business events is growing fast. Moreover, this growth pattern is set to continue and soon they will feature in most programs.

That is the key finding of new research carried out by MPI Outlook for the IMEX Group.

Looking back over the last three years, 87 per cent of the meeting professionals who responded had seen an increased demand from clients or colleagues to include more experiential activities into their programs, with 29 per cent noticing a significant increase.

Looking ahead, more than two thirds (69 per cent) expect to include experiential elements within meetings and conventions from now on, while a further 16 per cent will start adding them in a year or two. 5 per cent expect to introduce them in three years or more. Only 9 per cent have no plans to include them.

Respondents were also asked to define ‘experiential activities’ in meetings, conventions and events. Summarising the consensus of responses, the overall view and definition is that they are ‘activities that create an opportunity for attendees to use many senses and engage in an event while actively participating in a ‘hands-on' way.’

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group says: “The phenomenal interest and positive responses to C2 International’s Learning Labs, the Live Zone and the many experiential elements of IMEX in Frankfurt this year reinforced our perception of the enthusiasm within the industry for experiential activities. Through our partnerships with C2 International and working with other groups, we’ll certainly be bringing an exciting range of new experiential ideas to IMEX America in October.

“This research quantifies and powerfully emphasises the significance of this trend in the wider industry.”

www.imexamerica.com


ICCA Board signals ambitious changes ahead with search for new CEO

The Board of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) announced the departure of long-serving CEO, Martin Sirk, who will step down from his position with the association at the end of July 2018.

With Sirk’s departure, the ICCA Board will be working with new leadership to drive the association forward over the coming decade, and to identify and implement new business models that will future-proof ICCA in what is certain to be a dynamic and hyper-competitive environment.

Sirk joined ICCA as CEO in 2002 and has led the association as it grew from 600 to over 1,100 member companies and organisations in 97 countries.

Sirk commented: “16 years is an exceptionally long period in any role, and I’m immensely proud of the team in Amsterdam and our Regional Offices around the world. I believe I have played a major role in safeguarding the unique culture of ICCA – genuinely global, friendly and open-minded, but always business-focused – throughout the many changes that we have gone through. I wish my successor joy and success with this extraordinary association, which I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to serve.”

ICCA will now appoint a new CEO at the earliest opportunity and will be appointing an international recruitment firm to assist with the selection and evaluation process.

With immediate effect ICCA’s Chief Value Officer, Dennis Speet, will lead the association as its acting CEO.

ICCA President Nina Freysen Pretorius said: “We would like to thank Martin for his many years of dedicated service. He has laid the foundations for the next era of ICCA’s development, and the ICCA Board is now determined to identify the right individual to work with us in realising our ambitious long-term vision for tomorrow’s ICCA. We anticipate that there will be many challenges but also some enormous opportunities to expand our business community and to deliver new and even better value to our members, and I know that the future of our association is very bright.”

https://www.iccaworld.org

UAE: Dubai Association Centre Growth Accelerates With 38% Increase in Registrations

Dubai Association Centre has today announced rapid growth in registrations of international associations in the first half of 2018. Established in 2014 as a joint initiative between the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the Centre now has a total of 58 licensed associations, with 16 registrations received since the start of the year, reflecting a growth of 38%. Newly registered associations include: Energy Institute, Arab Association of Urology, International Coach Federation, Gulf Flight Safety Association, and the International Live Events Association.

The substantial increase this year comes on the back of the inaugural Dubai Association Conference, which took place in December 2017. The event offered a vital platform for networking and knowledge-sharing, in an effort to further boost progression across industries, bringing together association executives, government representatives, university faculties and students, as well as professionals who were interested in forming associations.

Dubai Association Centre, since its establishment, has evolved to become a gateway for international associations that are looking to tap into the rapidly transforming city as well as the Middle East region. Associations have recognised the value of a stronger presence in the region, and Dubai has emerged as the destination of choice to set up regional headquarters. International associations stand to benefit from the innumerable opportunities the city has to offer, as well as from the growth mindset that Dubai embodies.

The expanding presence of associations in Dubai demonstrates the high calibre of business leaders and industry experts who reside in the city. There is also an increasing interest from local trade professionals to become part of international associations, or form local ones, and play a part in overall industry progression. This interest was recognised at the first-ever Dubai Association Conference held from 11-12 December 2017. The Conference laid a strong foundation to attracting a solid network of international associations that support in achieving the nation’s vision – to become the most innovative country, not just in the region, but globally.

Associations play a vital role in attracting business events to Dubai, something which will come into focus when Dubai hosts the 57th edition of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress, from 11-14 November 2018. The congress is set to bring together meeting planners and industry professionals from all around the world, creating a platform for knowledge and business exchange as well as networking opportunities.

The Dubai Association Centre was established in response to the surge in the demand for association engagement in the UAE and the Middle East. It offers assistance for apolitical and non-religious professional associations as well as trade bodies who are looking to set up representative offices or chapters in Dubai. Local trade practitioners from common industries or professionals can also form member-based associations through the Centre. Its main objective is to become a platform for dialogue and education for associations interested in exploring opportunities in the Middle East Region and to ultimately contribute to building an association community that drives the knowledge economy in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Arabian Peninsula.

For further information about Dubai Association Centre, please visit:
http://www.dubaichamber.com/what-we-do/event-and-networking/dubai-association-centre

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