Abu Dhabi eyes MICE biz from China

Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), reaffirmed its commitment for developing the emirate’s MICE sector with the renewal of its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China MICE Advisory Group at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

TT Bureau

The China MICE Advisory Group, a committee of key Chinese MICE trade partners and media, was established by Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB) in 2019 to gain insights into MICE and business travel trends unique to the dynamic Chinese market. As the first-ever dedicated advisory committee in China created in partnership with ADCEB, reflects the latter’s proactive approach in engaging with the growing outbound MICE sector from China. The China market ranks among Abu Dhabi’s top source markets for tourism and MICE, reflecting a strong bilateral relationship. As the demand for outbound MICE in China increases, approaching levels comparable to the country’s outbound leisure market, a substantial surge in outbound Chinese MICE is expected in 2024. “Our thriving partnerships with China and a proven track record of attracting tourists and business travellers to Abu Dhabi underscores the strength of this partnership. This renewal will enable us to continue to share knowledge and strategically plan for our tourism future, in line with our commitment to promoting and preserving the emirate’s heritage, culture and tourism assets. Our continued collaboration empowers our efforts, while contributing to the growth of inbound visitors from China, solidifying Abu Dhabi as a destination of choice globally,” His Excellency Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General, Tourism, DCT-Abu Dhabi, said.

As part of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to boost global MICE arrivals from China, the partnership also aims to incentivize MICE visitors to prolong their stays in the UAE capital. Simultaneously, it seeks to promote awareness of the capital’s attractions and its exceptional capacity for hosting world-leading business events.

In August 2023, the UAE joined the BRICS group, amplifying its status and opening avenues for strategic trade partnerships, particularly with China. This membership brings enhanced economic cooperation and global business recognition, acting as a catalyst for business events in Abu Dhabi. The benefits span increased trade and investment opportunities, participation in multilateral platforms, and a diversification of international partnerships.

Chinese tourists with a valid passport can enter the UAE visa-free and stay for a duration of 30 days. Abu Dhabi businesses are incorporating an array of initiatives to support Chinese visitors, including seamless and convenient digital payment experiences. For example, the recent tie-up (October 2023) between WeChat Pay and Magnati has empowered businesses in Abu Dhabi to integrate WeChat Pay through the Magnati platform.

In another development, Alipay+ has been introduced in 7,000 taxis across Abu Dhabi in November 2023, courtesy a tie-up between Alipay+ and Payby/Astra Tech. This collaboration ensures Payby merchant network based in the UAE can accept six partner e-wallets of Alipay+, catering to tourists from China, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Italy. Abu Dhabi’s visibility on the global stage is on the rise, drawing businesses and investors and fostering knowledge and technology exchange.

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