TCA Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has launched a new force to drive its business events ambitions forward as it looks for the emirate to be ranked by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) as among the world’s top 50 association meetings destinations in five years. In 2011, ICCA ranked Abu Dhabi 234 in the world.
The Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau – a new dedicated, one-stop 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.
“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 His Excellency Jasem Al Darmaki, Deputy Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi.
He added: “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.“
The launch of the new entity follows a detailed economic impact study commissioned by TCA Abu Dhabi which showed that 19% of international business events visitors coming to the emirate were international and not resident in the UAE. These visitors spent AED 10,000 (US $2,723) per event while domestic visitors spent AED 640 (US $174). In 2010 the total economic impact of business events on Abu Dhabi was AED 2.4 billion (US $653 million).
In addition, studies commissioned by TCA Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) suggest the economic impact from business events in Abu Dhabi is expected to increase by approximately 7% per annum on average up until 2020 based on historic performance.
The authority is also working to upgrade its Abu Dhabi Advantage incentive programmes aimed at bringing international events to the emirate and winning regional corporate meetings for the destination. The upgraded versions are to be launched at the Gulf Incentive, Business Tourism & Meetings exhibition (GIBTM), which will run at ADNEC from March 25-27.