TTME DEC 2018 - PG 15

1,150+ at ICCA Congress

The recently-concluded 57th ICCA Congress, one of the most prestigious events in the international association meetings industry calendar, took place in Dubai with more than 1,150 senior industry professionals from over 75 countries in attendance.

TT Bureau

Congress delegates have descended on the city from across the world to experience a dynamic four-day programme of education, networking and business opportunities. ICCA and Dubai Business Events have collaborated to create an exciting offering of forward-thinking education sessions, site visits to Dubai’s most innovative enterprises and a social programme showcasing the best of Emirati cultural delights and local hospitality. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. It represents the world’s leading suppliers in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, and now comprises over 1,100-member companies and organisations in almost 100 countries worldwide. Since its establishment 55 years ago, ICCA has specialised in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels and business development opportunities.

The 2018 edition of ICCA’s annual flagship event has achieved record attendance figures for any ICCA Congress held outside Europe. A total of 1,156 industry experts from 79 countries have travelled to Dubai for the meeting. Organised with the support of key local partners including Dubai World Trade Centre, Congress Solutions International, Emirates and Dubai Business Events, the congress brings together senior meetings industry professionals to exchange knowledge and ideas about the latest trends in international association meetings and business events.

Business events are increasingly being recognised as a crucial driver of Dubai’s economy and positioning as a global business centre. As a global knowledge hub with a strong reputation for innovation, hosting the ICCA Congress offers Dubai a unique opportunity to present its extensive meetings infrastructure to business events heavyweights from across the globe, and in turn optimise international expertise to drive the development of the region’s rapidly-evolving meetings industry.

Welcoming delegates to the congress, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said, “Business events are a crucial part of not only our tourism strategy, but also of our wider economic development. Whether through the year-round calendar of home-grown trade shows or major congresses like the ICCA Congress that we successfully bid for, we understand and use the power of meetings and conferences to facilitate the rapid transition to a knowledge economy, and to grow scientific advancement and key industry sectors in Dubai and the UAE. I would like to once again thank ICCA for selecting Dubai to host this congress and all the stakeholders involved for their role in planning.”

Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), said, “The number of international association meetings has doubled every ten years since the establishment of ICCA 55 years ago, and we have identified the Middle East as an important growth area. In fact, we now have a dedicated seat for the region on our board, a permanent regional director, and this is our first annual congress in the Middle East. We have also noted that the Dubai Association Centre is playing a significant role in growing global associations. In addition, we look forward to Expo 2020 Dubai, because when new ideas and people connect, our industry grows.”

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