ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, a dedicated entity of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), have jointly hosted an Appreciation Evening to honour industry partners that submitted bids for the hosting of various international events in the emirate during and prior to 2014.
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, ADNEC’s Acting Group CEO and Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi and presented recognition awards to honorees from both public and private sectors.
Addressing the gathering, Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director, Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, said the honorees had helped his organisation surpass its 2014 targets. “This year we had targeted eight major conference wins, we have in fact secured nine and have two more pending.” “The eight bids we have secured, for events running until 2019, will bring over 30,000 delegates to Abu Dhabi,” he noted.
Al Shamisi said business events is the tourism sector’s high earner and the authority wants more of them and for their attendees to stay longer.
“We have been marketing this destination as one where there’s now more than ever to do and see, more hotels and resorts, more attractions and more major events. This trend will continue with us now looking forward to the opening of the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island and its world-class museums, the first of which, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens in a year’s time.
“It’s also a destination that’s easier than ever to get to. Niki Air has just started its flights from Austria. Etihad Airways is expanding next year to fly from new destinations in the UK, Africa, Spain, Azerbaijan, Algiers, and India and Abu Dhabi Airports Company is busy expanding terminals and working on the magnificent new Midfield Terminal which will open 2017.
“Business events also have the added advantage of delivering well beyond the conference or exhibition at hand. They are platforms for huge knowledge sharing, for social interaction on a cultural level and can result in repeat visitation as many attendees arrive in the destination for the first time – and hopefully leave intent on returning and spread valuable positive word of mouth.” Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Head of Sales – Conferences and Events at ADNEC said, “Over the past few years, ADNEC has built close relationships with industry partners to attract prominent international events to Abu Dhabi. We have brought together the best minds, ideas and expertise to produce compelling bids”.
Al Shamisi said Abu Dhabi’s ‘One Destination’ approach, where public and private sector stakeholders come together to deliver successful bids and smooth running conferences, is repeatedly paying dividends.
“I think over the past few years we’ve shown the industry just what we are made of. The World Ophthamology Congresss – our biggest to date – came and went with incredible success. So too did the World Routes Development Forum, the Thalassemia International Federation World Congress 2013, the World Travel & Tourism Summit and the IATA Slots Conference. Our credentials continue to stack up and the testimonials pore in.”