ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum held

The first ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum was held from May 18-19 at Sofitel Downtown Dubai

Ahmad Al Falasi speaks at ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum.
Ahmad Al Falasi speaks at ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum.

Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the global expert in association meetings, hosted the first ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum.

The forum, held from May 18-19, 2016 at Sofitel Downtown Dubai, attracted more than 180 participants from across the Middle East.

The event was organised as a precursor to the 2018 ICCA Congress, which will see an expected 1,000 global event leaders descend on Dubai.

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Ahmad Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO, corporate services and investment, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), said: "The first ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum was a tremendous success and we’re proud to have played a leading role in organising the inaugural event. I personally look forward to seeing the forum grow in strength over the coming years, as the city gears up to host the ICCA Congress in 2018."

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: “The Middle East is growing at a rapid pace and establishing this forum gives us the opportunity to connect the region with our global network of practitioners, allowing for knowledge sharing and understanding the needs of the meetings business in a deeper way.

"Ahead of the ICCA Congress coming to Dubai in 2018, we want to ensure that we build up interest and capacity together with our local members and partners in the region over the next two years."

The focus of the inaugural ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum was to establish a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices that will be essential as the region’s meetings industries seek to align products and services with the rapidly evolving demands from international associations and corporations.

The forum attracted over 20 speakers and global meetings industry experts, who discussed global trends, the importance of destination teamwork and industry collaboration, and the competitiveness of the Middle East region as a stepping stone to booming markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Speakers also shared strategies on bidding for international meetings and conferences, which has become increasingly competitive, as well as the need for training programmes capable of supporting and responding to future trends across the region.

Further insights into the region were shared by executives from four international associations, who shed light on how the Middle East can leverage its competitiveness, maximise its growth potential, and increase its share of the global meetings market.

The Middle East International Meetings Forum will be held annually as a commitment made during the successful bid to host the 2018 ICCA Congress in Dubai.

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